Hello, and welcome to the September 2011 newsletter!
Ready for Autumn? After another scorching summer, most everyone is ready for a break from the heat. Some cooler weather often leads to a boost in personal energy. If you increase your activity
level—working in the yard or other outdoor activities—be sure to schedule a massage to help you with those sore muscles.
Improving the quality of your life ...
Life is always in a state of change, and what you do each day helps to determine the direction your health will be taking in the coming years. One of the most challenging aspects of creating a truly healthy lifestyle is identifying and incorporating those beneficial actions that can improve your condition now and in the future.
What makes this tricky is that we’re creatures of habit, and our busy lives can make it harder to change our ways and replace unhealthy habits with things that can improve the quality of our lives.
The rest of this issue offers you some food for thought on ways to support better health.
Remember, massage remains one of the best (and most pleasant) ways to support your health in the long term, so be sure to schedule your next appointment. See you then!
Say “I really care about you!” with the gift of health—a massage gift certificate!
Call today to order ...
What science knows about muscle cramps
It comes out of nowhere—while you’re playing tennis,
gardening, sitting on the couch or even when you’re fast asleep. Suddenly a
muscle gets locked in spasm, it’s hard as a rock, and the pain borders on
Muscle cramps usually target your legs and can last
for a few seconds to 15 minutes or more. Yet as common as cramps can be,
experts don’t know exactly what causes most cases. And there’s no solid science
on how to best treat them. Here’s what we do know:
They’re common in summer. That’s
because when you exert yourself in hot weather, sweat drains your body’s
fluids, which helps muscles contract and relax; heat also depletes salt and
minerals, which may cause a muscle to spasm. Other possible causes: inadequate
stretching, muscle fatigue or simply holding a position for a prolonged
Try massaging it. Step 1 to ease a
cramped muscle: Stop whatever activity triggered it. Then try to gently stretch
and massage the muscle, holding it until the cramp stops. Though a review
published in the journal Neurology showed stretching—and drinking
water, another common remedy—aren’t proven treatments, both methods are safe if
done in moderation and may ease pain. The jury is still out on other common
treatments, such as taking vitamin B complex or calcium channel blockers, but
experts agree quinine—once the drug of choice for treating leg cramps—should be
avoided; it hasn’t been proven effective and may cause severe side effects.
Walk this way for weight loss
When it comes to exercise, running isn’t the only
way to see results. Michele Stanten, fitness director at Prevention
magazine, outlines the Walk Off Weight Program in a book of the same name. By
alternating high-intensity activity with lower-intensity recovery periods, the
program helps you burn fat and increase weight loss. Here are some other
reasons to give walking a try:
Build up your immunity. When you’re
staying active, disease-fighting cells circulate through your body. Daily
walking can lead to a higher-functioning immune system, which can mean fewer
colds and flus and help protect you against conditions like heart disease,
cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
Keep bones and joints strong.
Walking can help provide natural antioxidants and nutrients to your joints,
muscles and bones. A walking regime can help reduce stiffness, aches and
Get a natural energy boost. Walking
for just 30 minutes a day can give you that extra boost you need to add another
component to your workout. So once you’ve been on a walking program for a few
days, you might feel ready to add a bike ride on top of that.
Get a natural mood boost. Every
time you walk, your body releases endorphins that make you feel good and
relieve stress. Just think of it as a twofer: a way to improve fitness and your
emotional state at the same time.
And get a good night’s sleep.
Because walking regularly can help improve your mood, lower your stress levels
and reduce pain, it’s no wonder it also can help you sleep more soundly. 2
— Cara Hedgepeth
1;2: What science knows about muscle cramps
& Walk this way for weight loss excerpted from USA
Weekend, Aug. 2011
Fast-food junkies --
If it sometimes seems that Americans are addicted to
fast food, it might be that we actually are. Studies have repeatedly found that
the consequences of bingeing on high-calorie, high-fat foods mimic the effects
of drug addiction. A recent study by the Scripps Research Institute found that
gorging on fast food actually changes the brain’s chemical makeup, making it
more difficult to trigger the release of dopamine (aka “the pleasure
chemical”). That means fast-food addicts need to eat more and more to feel
happy—the same way users of cocaine and other drugs, for example, need to keep
upping their dosages to get high. An earlier study, by Princeton University,
found that rats who were fed and then withdrawn from a high-fat, high-sugar
diet exhibited similar symptoms—chattering teeth and the shakes—to junkies
going cold turkey. “Drugs give a bigg er effect,” said study author Bart
Hoebel, “but it’s essentially the same process.”
– The Week Vol. 11 Iss. 528-529
Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. — William James
The content of this letter is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, please consult a physician.
© 2011 Massage Marketing. Used with
permission; all rights reserved.