Are you ready to move into the Spring season? As you begin to do any gardening or take on other forms of exercise in the coming weeks, be sure to schedule your next massage session to help your sore muscles recover more quickly.
As you’ll see in this issue’s lead article, massage continues to be a popular choice for those who want to improve their health and to feel their best. Even the third of respondents who had their massages for relaxation and/or stress are getting a nice health boost; stress is one of the major causes of illness and disease.
You’ll also find a couple of health-related articles; one on diet and one on exercise. Every little improvement you make in your health program can pay dividends down the road, so support your future self. Enjoy the rest of this issue; see you soon!
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Massage by the Numbers
Results from the latest survey by the American
Massage Therapy Association
The primary reason people received massage was for medical or health reasons.
- Forty-three percent of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2011
and July 2012 received it for medical or health reasons.
- Of the people who had at least one massage in the last five years, 43
percent reported they did so for health conditions such as pain management,
injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness.
- Eighty-nine percent agree that massage can be effective in reducing
- Thirty-two percent of massage consumers had a massage for relaxation/stress
reduction between July 2011 and July 2012.
More Americans discussing massage with their doctors or health care providers.
- In July 2012, more than thirty-four million American adults (16 percent)
had discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care providers in
the previous year.
- Of those 16 percent who discussed massage with their doctor or healthcare
provider, 50 percent of their doctors or health care providers strongly
recommended massage therapy/encouraged them to get a massage.
- More referrals come from chiropractic offices than other sources, with 13%
of respondents reporting receiving referrals at least once per week, and
another 24% receiving referrals several times per month. Fifty-one percent of
massage therapists received at least one referral every 6 months or less from a
hospital or medical office in 2012.
Massage therapists and consumers favor integration of massage into health care.
- More than half of adult Americans (61 percent) would like to see their
insurance cover massage therapy.
Recent research has shown the effectiveness of massage for the following conditions:
- Cancer-related fatigue
- Low back pain
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Reducing post-operative pain
- Boosting the body’s immune system functioning
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing headache frequency
- Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms
- Decreasing pain in cancer patients
The benefit of berries--
Eating more strawberries and blueberries may be a simple way to reduce the risk of heart disease. A nearly 20-year study of more than 90,000 women found that those who ate three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week were more than 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack in that time than those who ate only one serving per month. The findings held true even when the infrequent berry eaters maintained otherwise healthy diets full of fruits and vegetables. The advantage of blueberries and strawberries may be that they contain high levels of anthocyanins, the compounds that give them—and other foods like eggplants and cherries—their red and blue color. Anthocyanins appear to reduce inflammation and nitric oxide in the body, and thus “help keep arteries healthy and flexible,” British researcher Aedin Cassidy tells Time.com. Flexible arterie s are less likely to develop the buildup of plaque that leads to heart disease. The study, which looked at women ages 25 to 42, suggests that eating more strawberries and blueberries “could have an impact in reducing risk of heart disease in younger women,” Cassidy says. That dietary change could be especially important, he says, for those who have family histories of heart disease.
THE WEEK Vol 13 Iss 602
Exercise Will Make You Smarter
A regular exercise routine can make both body and brain fit. In a new study, previously sedentary adults were put through four months of high-intensity interval training. At the end, their cognitive
functions–the ability to think, recall and make quick decisions–had improved significantly, says Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, in a press release from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
"If you talk to people who exercise, they say they feel sharper. Now we've found a way to measure that," says Juneau.
Blood flow to the brain increases during exercise. The more fit you are, the more that increases. The pilot study looked at adults, average age 49, who were overweight and inactive. Juneau and his colleagues measured their cognitive function with neuropsychological testing, as well as their body composition, blood flow to the brain, cardiac output and their maximum ability to tolerate exercise.
The subjects then began a twice-a-week routine with an exercise bike and circuit weight training. After four months, their weight, body mass index, fat mass and waist circumference were all significantly lower. Their cognitive function had also increased, based on follow-up testing.
These improvements were proportional to the changes in exercise capacity and body weight. Essentially, the more people could exercise, and the more weight they lost, the sharper they became.
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”
— Henry David Thoreau
The content of this letter is not intended to replace professional medical advice.
If you’re ill, please consult a physician.
© 2013 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved