Have you set your goals for the coming year? Online research into New Year’s resolutions shows that most goals are geared to improving health, eliminating bad habits, losing weight, and reducing stress.
Before you get caught up in your day-to-day routines and drift back into your familiar ways, realize that most of us believe the quality of our lives can best be improved by making healthier choices. Whenever possible, try to replace the things you’re eliminating with healthier alternatives.
Ultimately, when you focus on ways to improve your health, you’re improving all the other aspects of your life. When you feel better and have more energy, the rest of your life becomes more enjoyable.
One of the best decisions you can make is to receive regular massage. Massage can:
- Reduce stress
- Aid digestion
- Improve circulation
- Relieve sore muscles
- Improve sleep
- Aid detoxification
- Increase range of motion
- Boost immune system
- Help your body stay in proper balance
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
Make that special someone’s day with a massage gift certificate!
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Study Links Intestinal Bacteria to Rheumatoid ArthritisNew research suggests bacterial disturbances in the gut may play a role in autoimmune attacks on the joints.
Researchers at New York University School of Medicine have linked a species of intestinal bacteria known as Prevotella copri to the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, the first demonstration in humans that the chronic inflammatory joint disease may be mediated in part by specific intestinal bacteria.
The new findings add to growing evidence that the trillions of microbes in our body play an important role in regulating our health, the researchers say.
"The human gut is home to hundreds of species of beneficial bacteria, including P. copri, which ferment undigested carbohydrates to fuel the body and keep harmful bacteria in check," noted a university press release. "The immune system, primed to attack foreign microbes, possesses the extraordinary ability to distinguish benign or beneficial bacteria from pathogenic bacteria. This ability may be compromised, however, when the gut's microbial ecosystem is thrown off balance, causing inflammation."
At this stage, though, "We cannot conclude that there is a causal link between the abundance of P. copri and the onset of rheumatoid arthritis," investigator Dan R. Littman, M.D., Ph.D., says. "We are developing new tools that will hopefully allow us to ask if this is indeed the case."
More Than Half of Older Americans are in PainThe good work done by massage therapists nationwide could be in higher demand as the U.S. population ages.
A new study indicates that more than half of all older Americans—almost 19 million people—experience pain on a regular basis.
"Pain is common in older adults and one of the major reasons why we start slowing down as we age," says lead investigator Kushang V. Patel, PhD, MPH, of the Center for Pain Research on Impact, Measurement, and Effectiveness in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Washington, in a press release from Elsevier, which published the information in the journal PAIN.
"Interviews that included assessments of cognitive and physical performance were completed by trained survey research staff in the homes of study participants living in the community or in residential care facilities, such as retirement or assisted-living communities," the press release stated. Among results:
- Bothersome pain afflicts half of community-dwelling older adults in the United States.
- The overall prevalence of bothersome pain in the last month in the study group was 52.9 percent.
- The majority of older adults with pain reported having pain in multiple locations, such as in the back, hips, and knees.
- The percentage of people with pain did not differ by age, even when researchers accounted for dementia and cognitive performance.
- Pain was strongly associated with decreased physical capacity. Older adults with pain, particularly those with pain in multiple locations, had weaker muscle strength, slower walking speed, and poorer overall function than those without pain.
The rise of deadly super bacteria --The overuse of antibiotics is causing an alarming increase in drug-resistant bacteria, which now infect more than 2 million Americans a year. ... A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the spread of such “superbugs” makes an urgent case for curbing the use of antibiotics, which create opportunities for resistant bacteria to flourish by killing off their more susceptible competitors. About half of antibiotic use by people in the U.S. is inappropriate, research shows. The widespread practice of giving antibiotics to livestock to prevent sickness and promote rapid growth also promotes resistant strains that harm humans. CDC officials have classified three germs as urgent threats. Clostridium difficile, which causes severe diarrhea and kills 14,000 people per year, typically strikes those taking antibiotics to treat other infections. A drug-r esistant form of gonorrhea, while less deadly, infects some 820,000 people per year and can cause infertility. Perhaps most worrisome are CRE bacteria, which kill half the people they infect, mostly in hospital settings. “If we’re not careful, we’ll be in a post-antibiotic era,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden tells the Los Angeles Times. “For some patients and some microbes, we’re already there.”
— The WEEK Vol 13 Iss 637
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
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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