The goal of these letters is to share a variety of health information that will inspire you to pursue healthier choices. Just as regular massage sessions can support improved health overall, there are many little things you can do that can lead to a healthier, happier life. If you have any health-related questions you’d like addressed in the future, please ask at your next massage.
Remember that stress in its many forms is the major cause of illness and disease, and massage is one of the best ways to handle all that stress! Also, realize that like all things in life, consistency pays the biggest reward. Just as exercising regularly can keep you in better condition, getting your massages on a regular basis can bring you more health gains than waiting until you’re run-down or in pain to call for an appointment. So take good care of yourself and enjoy the rewards!
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Benefits of Hand-and-Back Massage for Older Clients Massage therapists who see a geriatric clientele know, first-hand, the benefits of touch. A new research review shows hand-and-back massage therapy promotes relaxation in elderly people.
"In recent years, the nursing profession used technology and pharmacology to relieve conditions such as pain, anxiety and insomnia that were once treated with massage," the researchers noted, in a report published on www.pubmed.gov. "However, interest in massage has grown with the move to more holistic nursing."
The review examined the physiological and psychological effects of slow-stroke back massage and hand massage on relaxation in older people and identifies effective protocols for massage in older people, the pubmed report noted. Twenty-one studies met the inclusion criteria for massage, relevance to older people and rigorous research.
All studies using slow-stroke back massage and hand massage showed statistically significant improvements on physiological or psychological indicators of relaxation, the report noted. The most common protocols were three-minute, slow-stroke back massage and 10-minute hand massage. ...
The review is published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
What do Clinical Nurses Think about Massage? Massage therapy tops the list of complementary therapies requested by patients of their nurses, a new study shows. The nurses themselves also utilize massage for personal use.
Seventy-six clinical nurse specialists—all of whom worked in various inpatient and outpatient units in a large Midwest medical facility—were surveyed electronically on their use of complementary therapies for patients and themselves, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic published on www.pubmed.gov.
"There has been an increase in the use and awareness of complementary and integrative therapies in the United States over the last 10 years," the report noted. "Clinical nurse specialists are in an ideal place to influence this paradigm shift in medicine to provide holistic care."
The top therapies requested most by patients were massage, spirituality/prayer, healing touch, acupuncture and music therapy. The top therapies the nurses personally used were humor, massage, spirituality/prayer, music therapy and relaxed breathing.
The results indicated most of the nurses thought complementary therapies were beneficial, the researchers noted.
The results of this study will help determine educational needs and clinical practice of complementary therapies at the medical center, the report stated.
The research is in Clinical Nurse Specialist's May-June issue.
For Better Living… The nature cure -- The great outdoors is good for your mental health—so good, in fact, that even a five-minute dose of greenery can work wonders for your state of mind, says USA Today. British researchers analyzed data from 10 separate studies, which looked at the effect that activities such as walking, cycling, fishing, farming, and gardening had on the mental states of the 1,200 people involved. ... Urban parks conferred positive effects, although green areas with water were even more beneficial. And the largest positive health changes occurred when people exercised in the outdoors, for periods as brief as just five minutes. “There would be a large potential benefit,” says study co-author Jo Barton, if “people were to self-medicate more with green exercise.”
– The Week; Vol 10 Iss 464
The mirth diet — It’s been said that laughter is good medicine, but it also may be good exercise, says LiveScience.com. In a series of studies, researchers at Loma Linda University in California found that repeated bouts of “mirthful laughter” offer some of the same benefits—including lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol—as moderate exercise. In their most recent study, researchers found that volunteers who laughed while watching videos experienced changed levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are known to regulate appetite. Those hormones are also affected by exercise. The findings, says study author Lee Berk, suggest that some sort of “laughter therapy” might be an option for patients who cannot use physical activity to normalize or enhance their appetite.
– The Week; Vol 10 Iss 463
Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
— Walter Elliott
You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.
— Will Rogers
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
— Albert Einstein