In other words, when you follow a natural diet of fresh foods and water and maintain a healthy lifestyle of proper rest and exercise, the healthier and happier you tend to be. Another vital contributing factor is having and pursuing goals that give your life meaning and purpose.
As you deviate from all the healthy life choices, you open the door to a greater likelihood of illness and unhappiness. The great trick is aligning all your life goals so you can embrace all these healthy choices.
Of course, massage is one of the most enjoyable ways for you to support your health goals and to help you to feel your best. Be sure to make your massages a priority.
The rest of this newsletter has several recent reports that hopefully will inspire you to take proper care of yourself. See you soon for your next massage!
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Massage and Health News Children with Cerebral Palsy Value Massage -- British researchers have found that children with cerebral palsy value massage therapy for many of the same reasons adult clients of massage therapy do.
"Results showed that children enjoyed the relaxing aspects of massage and reported a number of improvements in their health such as improved muscle relaxation, mobility and bowel movements, and reduced pain," a statement from Elsevier, publisher of "Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice," the journal in which the study was published.
Breathe Slowly to Reduce Pain -- New research performed by a scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center has shown that controlled breathing at a slowed rate can significantly reduce feelings of pain.
According to a press release, chronic pain sufferers, specifically fibromyalgia patients, also reported less pain while breathing slowly, unless they were overwhelmed by negative feelings, sadness or depression. ...
The researchers analyzed the participants' ratings of pain intensity and unpleasantness and found an overall reduction in reported pain when the healthy control participants were paced to breathe slowly. However, fibromyalgia patients benefited from slow breathing only if they reported positive affect. ...
The research was published recently in PAIN, the refereed journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.
Massage therapy usage in hospitals is common -- The number of hospitals offering complementary and alternative medicine grew from 7.7 percent in 1998 to 37.3 percent in 2007.
Stress-related issues are major reasons why hospitals offer massage. 71.2 percent of hospitals that offer massage provide it for stress reduction for patients, and 69.1 percent of hospitals that offer massage provide it to staff to reduce stress.
Among hospitals that offer massage, some other prevalent populations served and/or reasons for massage include:
- Pain management
- Massage for cancer patients
- Pregnancy massage
- Part of physical therapy
- For mobility/movement training
Massage and Breast Cancer A growing body of research shows massage can have serious health benefits for many people, including those battling breast cancer.
In a Mayo Clinic study published in the August 2009 issue of Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, breast cancer patients who received massage therapy reported a reduction in fatigue, creating a general feeling of wellness and improved sleep quality and their ability to think clearly. A study at the Touch Research Institute showed levels of "natural killer" cells and lymphocytes that help to battle cancerous tumors increased among breast cancer patients who received a massage three times a week.
"Massage therapy can often help alleviate pain and fatigue, which can make a huge difference in the overall feeling of wellness for those overcoming breast cancer," said Judy Stahl, national president of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). "As a breast cancer survivor myself, I know the difference massage can make when going through such a difficult experience."
New Study Addresses Quality of Diet There’s no doubt that what you eat has a major impact on your long-term health. We all have our favorite treats; the important thing is to make the majority of your diet healthy, fresh foods and to limit your intake of those things that do nothing to contribute to your health, as the following article demonstrates.
Your brain on junk food -- Junk food is literally addictive, producing changes in brain chemistry similar to those cocaine causes, says a new study. To explore how overeating affects the brain, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida monitored electrical activity in the brains of rats given unfettered access to cheesecake, frosting, bacon, and other fatty, high-calorie foods. Not surprisingly, the rats quickly became obese. They ate compulsively and continuously, even ignoring electric shocks applied to their feet in the presence of food. (The shocks deterred two control groups of rats from eating.) As the food-addicted rats ate, the high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt foods lit up the pleasure centers of their brains just as if they were taking drugs; over time, the rats had to eat more and more fat, sugar, and salt to feel rewarded. “They lose control,” study co-author Paul Kenny tells Discover News. “This is the hallmark of addiction.” When the junk food was removed and health food was offered, Kenny says, the rats were so upset that “they basically starved themselves for two weeks.” The finding doesn’t surprise food experts like Dr. Gene-Jack Wang of Brookhaven National Laboratory, who points out that fast-food meals and heavily processed foods are stripped of fiber and nutrition and designed to trigger innate preferences for fat, sugar, and salt. “We make our food very similar to cocaine now,” he says.
— The Week, Vol. 10 Iss. 459
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
— E. B. White