Posted on: 05.03.2023 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

April 8, 2004



Surviving Grief: Caring for Your Body

There are many nurturing activities you can participate

in to help with the healing process. The slow and gentle practice

of meditation and yoga can help you begin to feel more calm and

balanced. Writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal can also

help you as you move through the mourning process. A strong network

of friends and family can be quite powerful, and will remind you

of all the positives that are still in your life, despite the loss

of a loved one. Additionally, you may find it helpful to work with

a grief counselor or join a grief support group.

Grief can severely impair your health if it is

not recognized and treated appropriately. I’ve seen patients develop

health issues as varied as cancer, pneumonia, and immune dysfunction

within the first year of losing a loved one. In fact, one study

found that the risk of death doubled for men and women in the seven

to twelve months after the death of a spouse.

Boost Your Immune Function

Because your body has been weakened by stress,

fatigue, and possibly lack of sleep, it is crucial to protect your

immune system during this vulnerable time. I have found that colostrum

is a wonderful immune-system booster and energy restorer. Take 2,000

to 3,000 mg once or twice a day with 8 ounces of water on an empty

stomach. Wait 20 minutes before eating or taking additional supplements.

I have experienced the negative effects of grief

on my own immune system. Shortly after the death of my father some

years ago, I began to cough and sneeze every time I went near my

bed. I realized I had suddenly become allergic to down comforters,

something that had never bothered me before. Obviously this was

a physical manifestation of the grief I was feeling over the sudden

loss of my father. To this day, I do not use any bedding that contains

feathers, probably because a piece of me is still sad that he is


It’s Not Just Stress

Many people will attribute any physical or emotional

symptoms to stress alone. Through years of clinical experience as

well as detailed research, I have seen how grief can trigger many

physical and chemical changes within our bodies. My friend Terry

lost her father to heart disease. During his illness, she spent

many hours on the phone with him, frequently flying cross country

to visit him. Toward the end of his illness and after his death,

Terry began to feel very shaky and lost a lot of weight. She ignored

these symptoms for awhile, thinking that they were due to stress.

When she finally went to her internist, she discovered she had an

overactive thyroid, which required immediate treatment. Terry’s

experience highlights the importance of having a medical check up

within the first year of experiencing a major loss, since grief

can trigger so many physical and chemical changes within our bodies.

Read More on Depression:

Getting Started

Depletion Equals Depression

Quiz: Are You Depressed?

Quiz: How Balanced are Your Neurotransmitters?

Keep it SIMPLE tip — Secret Weapon Against


Nutritional Therapies

Neurotransmitters Are Derived From Nutrients

in Your Diet

Replenishing the Pathways

SAMe – the Natural Antidepressant

Complementary Therapies

Depression Release Breathing Exercise

Yoga Pose for Depression Relief



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