How are you doing this summer Jefferson?
Are you finding time to rest and de-stress this summer?
This month’s lead article is a good example of how your lifestyle choices can affect different areas of your health. The excerpts from the next article Benefits of Massage—which comes from the
Arthritis Today website—show how massage can benefit everyone, including those with arthritis.
Statistics from the Arthritis.org website show how pervasive arthritis is becoming:
• Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
• Today arthritis strikes 50 million Americans (one in every five adults).
• Arthritis is not just a disease of old age.
Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65.
Arthritis is the second most
frequently reported chronic condition in the U.S.
Improve your outlook for a healthier future by making massage a regular part of your life; you’ll be glad you did.
Enjoy the rest of your summer; see you soon for your next massage!
Lift a loved one’s spirits with a massage gift certificate
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Obesity Fuels Rheumatoid Arthritis
The obesity epidemic is causing rates of rheumatoid arthritis to rise, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic.
For their study, the researchers looked at the records of 813 adults with rheumatoid arthritis and 813 adults as the control group. Rheumatoid arthritis cases rose by 9.2 per 100,000 from 1985-2007, the study found, and obesity accounted for 52 percent of the increase.
"We know that fat tissues and cells produce substances that are active in inflammation and immunity. We know too that obesity is related to many other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, and now perhaps to autoimmunity," said co-author Eric Matteson, M.D., chair of the Division of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Matteson says. "It adds another reason to reduce and prevent obesity in the general population."
According to The Arthritis Foundation, massage therapy benefits rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Benefits of Massage
By Susan Bernstein
Massage... is something many people use to soothe sore joints and muscles, to ease anxiety or to help them sleep better. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health, reports that massage is one of the most popular
complementary therapies used by Americans... Until recently, little was known about why massage seemed to work, but recent research suggests that massage can affect the body’s production of certain hormones linked to blood pressure, anxiety, heart rate and other key vital signs. But is massage safe and effective for people with arthritis?
Does Massage Work?
Regular massage of muscles and joints... can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who’s conducted a number of studies on the benefits of
massage, including on people with arthritis. In Field’s research and other recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms, regular use of the simple therapy led to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints...
Most people who try complementary therapies, including massage, do so to address back and neck pain, according to a 2007 NCCAM report. A number of studies confirm the effectiveness of massage for back and neck pain, including one published in 2011 in the Annals of Internal
Medicine that looked at the effectiveness of massage therapy on 401 people with chronic low back pain. The researchers found that massage did reduce their pain, and the benefits lasted at least six months. They also concluded that the type of massage wasn’t that important—different types worked about the same.
In fact, says Field, what matters most is the level of pressure used in the massage—preferably moderate to light. Her 2010 study, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, showed that stimulating pressure receptors, or nerves under the skin that convey pain-reducing signals
to the brain, with moderate pressure leads to reduced symptoms.
“The critical thing is using moderate pressure,” says Field. “Light pressure, just touching the surface of the skin or brushing it superficially, is not getting at those pressure receptors. Light pressure can be stimulating, not relaxing.”
See entire article at: arthritistoday.org
How exercise calms the brain--
Exercise is known to combat anxiety, but scientists have long been puzzled by why that’s so. Physical activity creates excitable new neurons in the hippocampus—a part of the brain that regulates emotion, thinking, and memory—and in theory, having more of these neurons
should make people more anxious. But when Princeton researchers compared the neurons grown in the brains of mice that regularly ran on a wheel with those in sedentary mice, CBSNews.com reports, they found that the active mice gained more of a particular type of neuron that releases the
neurotransmitter GABA, which keeps other young neurons from becoming overactive. When both groups of mice were exposed to stress—in the form of a cold bath—their excitable neurons lit up as expected. But unlike the sedentary mice, the fit mice also released a large amou nt of GABA, which quickly quelled their anxiety. Researchers think routine exercise changes human brains similarly, helping us relax in the face of stress.
— THE WEEK Vol 13 Iss 627
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for i have also learned from experience that the greater part our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.
— Martha Washington
The content of this letter is not intended to replace professional medical advice.
If you’re ill, please consult a physician.
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