How have you been doing? Have you ever known someone whose life was going quite well in some areas but really poorly in others? One of the real tricks in life is balancing all of the different aspects and allotting enough time and attention to each, knowing what is important and what can be put off until later.
Often people ignore things that really do matter, maybe because there were no obvious signs—like health problems that develop quietly.
You have to devote enough time to your family, your work, your friends, and yes, even some time for your own needs to have a happy, well-rounded life.
You probably matter quite a lot to some people. To be there for them, you have to devote some attention to providing for yourself. Take care of yourself with proper rest, diet, exercise—and with your regular massage sessions. Your benefits can be improved with routine visits; schedule your next appointment today.
This issue contains recent health news that reinforce the many benefits massage can offer you.
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Less Stress Could Lead to Weight Loss Add another benefit to the long list of reasons to get a massage: weight loss. According to new research, reducing one's stress might also reduce one's pant size.
A new Kaiser Permanente study found that people trying to lose at least 10 pounds were more likely to reach that goal if they had lower stress levels and slept more than six hours but not more than eight hours a night, according to a Kaiser press release.
Many other studies have shown massage therapy induces relaxation, reduces pain and creates well-being, while it also reduces stress and depression and improves sleep patterns.
"This study suggests that when people are trying to lose weight, they should try to get the right amount of sleep and reduce their stress," said lead author Charles Elder, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, who also leads Integrative Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest.
The paper was published recently in the International Journal of Obesity and was the result of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Nearly 500 participants from Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Washington took part in the study, which measured whether sleep, stress, depression, television viewing and computer screen time were correlated with weight loss, the press release noted. Several previous studies have found an association between these factors and obesity, but few have looked at whether these factors predict weight loss.
Participants were asked to lose at least 10 pounds over six months. Participants attended weekly meetings at which they were weighed and advised to reduce calorie intake by 500 calories per day, adopt a low-fat, low-sugar diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity to 180 minutes a week and keep daily food records.
The research team found that sleep and stress levels were good predictors of weight loss, but depression and screen time were not.
Get the Most from Your Massage Sessions! Here are some suggestions from the American Massage Therapy Association on how to get the most from each massage:
• Don’t eat immediately before your appointment.
• Be on time. If you arrive in a rush, it will take longer to get to a relaxed state.
• Report any discomfort during the session, whether it’s from the massage or related to the environment, e.g., room temperature or lighting.
• Quiet your mind by focusing on how the therapist’s touch feels.
• Don’t get off the table too quickly after the massage if you’re dizzy.
• Drink extra water after a session. Massage releases waste products and toxins from your muscles. Increasing your fluid intake lowers this toxicity and lessens the strain on filtering organs.
• Allow for some open, quiet time after your massage.
Killed by overtime — The eight-hour work day is becoming obsolete, as companies pressure employees for “productivity”—that is, long work days. But employees may pay the ultimate price for overworking, a new British study finds. Researchers followed more than 7,000 healthy, middle-aged U.K. government employees for roughly 12 years and discovered that those who reported clocking 11-hour days had a 67 percent higher risk of heart attack than those who logged a more moderate 7 to 8 hours.
Ten-hour workdays produced a 45 percent higher risk. “This study might make us think twice about the old adage ‘hard work won’t kill you,’” Stephen Holgate, a chairman at Britain’s Medical Research Council, tells Reuters.com. Scientists aren’t sure exactly how overtime harms the heart—or whether it simply contributes to other risk factors like unhealthful eating, failing to exercise, stress, depression, and lack of sleep. Clearly, though—just like blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking—work habits are a predictor of heart health. Doctors should start asking patients: “How many hours do you work?” says researcher Mika Kivimäki of University College London. “Our research presents a strong case that it should become standard practice.”
– The Week Vol. 11 Iss. 511
Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.
— Baron de Montesquieu
The content of this letter is not intended to replace professional medical advice.
If you’re ill, please consult a physician.
© 2011 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.