Hot summer days can inspire you to stay hydrated, but drinking plenty of pure water throughout the year
can make a big difference in your health. This month’s lead article shares some surprising benefits that consuming plenty of water can provide for you. It’s such a simple thing to include in your daily life—and so potentially rewarding. Commit to increasing your water intake for the next couple of weeks and see how you feel!
Further down, you’ll find a new European study that shows how massage can improve range of motion in the neck. Massage is such a wonderful way to keep your body performing at its best.
Whether it’s the more noticeable benefits like moving more easily or experiencing less physical
tension—or the less obvious things like helping your body to detoxify at the cellular level—massage is such a great way to improve your overall health and your mental outlook.
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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Seven surprising reasons to make water our beverage-of-choice
by Linda Melone
Nothing beats a glass of ice-cold water on a hot day. Water isn’t just the perfect thirst-quencher, though: It plays a part in a bucket full of crucial physical processes, and can help prevent or ease
debilitating everyday physical complaints. Now, fluid of most any kind can help keep you hydrated, but you can’t beat plain old water for calorie-free, caffeine-free convenience. But the problem is, most of us don’t drink enough of the stuff. Maybe these surprising things water can do for you will get you sipping.
1. Boost fat burning. In a study from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., people who drank two 8-ounce glasses of water before each meal lost about five more pounds than those who did not drink water. “Water provides a feeling of fullness and leads to reduced food intake,” says registered dietician Brenda Davy, the study’s lead author. Drinking water also boosts calorie-burning short-term, she says.
2. Recharge your immune system.
Staying hydrated helps your body fight off infection by boosting your immune system. “Water is the major component of lymphatic fluid,” says Dr. Christine Gerbstadt, author of The Doctor’s Detox Diet. “Lymphatic fluid moves throughout the body, collecting waste and returning it to the bloodstream, removing toxins from your body.” Lymphatic fluid also carries immune cells to where they are needed to fight infections and disease.
3. Prevent skin disorders. If you’re prone to psoriasis or eczema, a lack of water not only further
dehydrates the skin but can also compromise the skin’s barrier function, increasing your risk of infection, says Dr. Kenneth Beer, dermatologist and owner of ScientificSkin.com. “When your skin is dry, the mucous membrane cracks and allows bacteria to enter,” he says.
4. Lift brain fog. Approximately 78 percent of your brain is water, so it makes sense that a water
shortage to your brain can contribute to mental fogginess, says Davy. “Even slight dehydration
has been shown to impair mental functioning such as solving math problems and reasoning,” she says.
5. Banish headaches. Instead of reaching for the acetaminophen to get rid of your mid-afternoon headache, drink a glass or two of water first—even if you don’t feel thirsty, Davy suggests. “Headaches are often the direct result of dehydration,” she says. Water is also the best cure for a hangover headache.
6. Ease arthritis pain. Dehydration reduces the lubricating fluid surrounding the cartilage at the end of your bones, causing friction between joint surfaces and resulting in wear-and-tear and pain, Gerbstadt says. Dehydration can also precipitate a bout of gout, caused by uric acid crystals forming in joints.
7. Re-energize. Your body’s cells depend on water to produce energy, says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! “Even a slight drop in hydration levels causes an energy drop,” Teitelbaum says. Davy notes that the same weight-loss study participants who drank water before meals also exercised more, without being asked to do so. “We think they just had more
energy to exercise,” she says.
Research: Massage Increases Range of Motion Therapeutic massage increases patients' neck range of motion, according to new research.
"Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal ailments," noted the abstract published
on www.pubmed.gov. "The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of therapeutic massage on the range of motion in patients with neck pain."
The study involved 60 patients aged 37-82 years treated for neck pain, according to the abstract. The patients were divided into two groups: one received kinesiotherapy and physiotherapy, and the other group additionally received therapeutic massage.
Both groups experienced significant pain reduction and improved performance and function after rehabilitation ... Additionally, "Patients who had received massage demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the range of flexion, lateral bend to the right and lateral bend to the left.
"Evaluation of the effectiveness of therapeutic massage in patients with neck pain" was conducted by investigators in the Rehabilitation Department of the University of Management and Administration in Zamosc, Poland.
Our bodies, our microbes --
Our bodies contain 10 times more bacteria than human cells, and those resident microbes may rule our mental and physical health. That’s the conclusion of researchers who for the first time have mapped up to 99 percent of the microbes that live, more helpfully than harmfully, in the human body.
Using DNA sequencing on samples gathered from 242 healthy volunteers, they discovered that we each host 100 trillion bacteria of 10,000 types. As much as six pounds of our body weight is bacteria.
Each person has a unique microbiome, or balance of different types of microbes. “These microbes are part of our evolution,” New York University microbiologist Martin Blaser tells NPR.org. “They are very important in human health and probably in human disease as well.” Helpful bacteria assist in the digestion of food, train the immune system, and aid in keeping harmful bacteria
from taking root.
Researchers hope that maps of healthy microbiomes will allow doctors to identify bacterial imbalances that can cause infections, mood disorders, obesity, and other medical problems—and offer clues on how tweaking a patient’s microbial makeup could address them. The next challenge, Washington University biologist George Weinstock says, is to figure out how microbes “talk to our
human cells” and how “human cells talk back to them.” That conversation, he says, “makes us who we are.”
–The Week Vol 12 Iss 573-574
Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.
— Erma Bombeck
Creativity is intelligence having fun
The content of this letter is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, please consult a physician.
© 2012 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.