There are plenty of websites and books that have discussed herpes in great length. Type in Herpes in your google search and you will come up with a plethora of information. They will tell you about the different viruses that affect both oral and genital areas, and discuss safety regarding sexual partners, wearing condoms, the fact that women get it more, that you can be a silent carrier and the incubation periods – and that is all good information.
But what I have not found is any information discussing stress and how it exactly brings about the release of the virus once you have picked it up – that is if you contract it. It is possible to contract oral or genital herpes without displaying the symptoms. And in fact, for that matter, even shingles, which is a type of virus that can pop out when you least expect it, and can be lumped into this class of viruses.
I call these the “hidden-stress-viruses”.
They like to visit at the most obtrusive time – when you are under stress.
I had a client many years ago who had not been sexually active for well over a year, and the week before they got married they had an outbreak of genital herpes. They were stressed and confused about it to say the least, especially as they had not been sexually active. The key here is of course the stress they had undergone in all the wedding preparation. They had had Herpes years prior and thought that it had gone away for good.
Herpes viruses, I explained, lie dormant and do so in nerve endings, hidden away from the immune systems patrolling reach. They can lie hidden for years and then, pop, under stress, rear their ugly scabbing head. Why though? Why stress? How does stress bring about the release of this nasty little, inconvenient virus.
Well think of it this way. Under stress your nervous system sends more signals up and down its various nerves. You may not know this but everything you do in life starts with your nerves relaying signals from the outside world via your skin, smell, sight, hearing and taste to the brain, and then relaying messages back to your muscles and organs on how to respond. In between that back and forth signal shuffling is your emotional thinking, and your take on it, and how to respond. There are really only three types of responses; indifferent (or bored), interested or repulsed. Regardless of which reaction it is, you may still have to respond.
If you are at work and feel indifferent but have to do the work anyway, your body sees that as a stress mainly because you have to force yourself to do it. If you are repulsed by it (I put danger in here –mostly because we would like to run away from it), then again your body has to work harder to respond to the situation.
In both indifference and repulsion the nerves work harder, faster, and draw on more nutrients and more importantly draw on your adrenal reserves to respond.
And guess what? If the nerves cannot get adequate nutrition in time to respond or the adrenals are fatigued, then, it seems, the herpes viruses loves to release itself. Exactly why this is, is not fully understood, yet this much is clear. From a naturopathic view – if you do not have adequate nutritional levels of b-vitamins, electrolytes (specifically sodium, potassium and magnesium – the main ones used in nerve transmission), amino acids, blood sugar and a resounding adrenal response – then chances are the nerves and your body will have to overwork and deplete what little reserves you have and, blammo, HERPES RISES!!!!
When any form of Herpes or shingles rises then using nutrients like Vitamin C, B12, Vitamin A and selenium, plus adding in a good multi with potassium and magnesium will help feed the systems that are trying to fight back.
More importantly, and if there is a point to my ramble today, it is this. Known prior Herpes/shingles infection or not, under stress, tank yourself up on nutrients to help fortify your body from its ravaging effects. Consider also taking the following herbs, which have a reputation for supporting the body and adrenals during times of stress: Siberian Ginseng, Gotu Kola, Licorice Root, Rehmannia, and Withania.
My client got married and the herpes settled down as the stress of the day came, went and past. It was an opportunity to educate them on what to do when stress is on the horizon.
By Clinicians Naturopath - Shane Mason