Another great reason to make sure to get your next massage scheduled is that we’re heading toward that time of year when people seem to be more susceptible to flu and cold. Studies have shown that regular massage helps boost the functioning of the body’s immune system. This issue has a recent study that concludes even a single massage can give your body’s immune system a boost.
Of course, massage seems to help your body function better in general, so there are always many good reasons for your next massage! If you have any specific questions on massage’s many benefits, please ask at your next appointment.
As we age, one thing that seems to get easier for lots of people to do is gaining weight. The last two articles have some interesting new findings regarding controlling body weight—a great way to improve your overall health and disposition. See you soon!
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Even One Massage Session Produces Measurable Benefits, Research Shows Most massage clients will attest that the more massage they receive, the better they feel and function. New research shows that even one massage-therapy session "produces measurable biologic effects" and may have implications for managing autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
Researchers from ... Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, set out to determine the effects of a single session of Swedish massage on neuroendocrine and immune function.
"Massage therapy is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States with 8.7 percent of adults receiving at least one massage within the last year; yet, little is known about the physiologic effects of a single session of massage in healthy individuals," the study's abstract noted.
One group of people received a 45-minute Swedish massage session while a control group received a light-touch control condition. Both groups comprised medically and psychiatrically healthy adults, 18-45 years old.
The researchers hypothesized that the massage session would enhance immune function, according to the report published on www.pubmed.gov.
The results showed that compared to light touch, Swedish massage "caused a large effect size decrease in arginine-vasopressin [a hormone that plays a key role in homeostasis, and the regulation of water, glucose, and salts in the blood], and a small effect size decrease in cortisol [a hormone released in response to stress]. Massage increased the number of circulating lymphocytes [a type of white blood cell in the immune system] ..."
The researchers noted, "preliminary data suggest that a single session of Swedish massage therapy produces measurable biologic effects. If replicated, these findings may have implications for managing inflammatory and autoimmune conditions."
"A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals" is running in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Flirting with bingeing Just a few weeks of heavy overeating can change your metabolism so that it’s harder to stay slim for years afterward, says BBC.com. In a new Swedish study, 18 participants pigged out on fast food for a month, increasing their intake of energy-dense food by 70 percent. Meanwhile, they kept their physical activity to a minimum. A control group did not alter their food intake or exercise patterns. Six months after they had resumed their normal diets and exercise habits, most of the former bingers had lost the 10 pounds they’d gained during the study; but a year later, they had gained back, on average, more than 3 pounds. Two years later, they’d gained just over 6. The control group—which had never binged—did not show any change in weight. Just one month of pigging out on bad food, researchers say, could make for a tougher lifelong struggle to fight o ff fat.
– The Week Vol. 10 Iss. 481
A free diet trick that really works The most effective way to lose weight, a new study says, isn’t by taking pills or adopting extreme diets. It’s by drinking water before meals. Nutrition researchers at Virginia Tech found that subjects who drank 16 ounces ... of water before each of their three daily meals lost 50 percent more weight than control subjects did. The study volunteers, 48 overweight and obese men and women, were put on a low-calorie diet for 12 weeks. Half were given no instructions about what to drink; half were instructed to drink two glasses of water shortly before their meals. The first group lost 11 pounds on average, but the water group lost more—15.5 pounds on average. Notably, the diet itself seems to stick: A year after the study, the water drinkers had continued the regimen on their own and lost additional weight. Scientists aren’t sure why this works, but they do know wat er is filling, has no calories, and may take the place of other high-calorie drinks that might be consumed. “It’s a simple way to facilitate weight management,” study author Brenda Davy tells Scientific American. She suggests that dieters drink from a refillable water bottle throughout the day, in addition to their pre-meal infusions.
– The Week Vol. 10 Iss. 481
We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after
a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
— Marcel Proust
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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