of the year always fly by? It will be New Year’s before you know it! Fall is for many one of the busiest, most stressful times of the year.
The articles in this month’s issue confirm how vital it is for each of us to lessen the amount of stress in our lives. People often fail to realize just how regular massage sessions can help them to maintain a higher level of health throughout their lives. Read on to get an idea of the many subtle ways massage can help your body to function better.
One of the tricks to having a happier, healthier life is to discover what areas of your life you can control. For instance, there are many areas where you can lessen or eliminate stress and other
negative influences. By evaluating your day-to-day life and strengthening your connections to those positive, life supporting aspects while avoiding the negative ones, you can improve the quality of your life.
Getting regular massages can lay a helpful foundation for you by helping your body to lessen stress and to function better in virtually every way. And when you feel better, nearly every aspect of your life improves. See you soon!
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U.S. and Canadian Workplace Stress is a "Growing Health Hazard"
Heightened stress brings many clients to massage therapy, and research has shown massage relieves stress and depression while boosting mood and a sense of well-being. New data show employees in both the U.S. and Canada are increasingly stressed.
A study by Concordia University economists, published in BMC Public Health, has found that increased job stress causes workers to increasingly seek help from health professionals for
physical, mental and emotional ailments. The number of visits to health care professionals is up to 26 percent for Canadian workers in high-stress jobs, according to a university press release.
To reach their conclusions, the economists crunched nationally representative data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS). All NPHS figures were restricted to adults aged 18 to 65 years—the bulk of the labor force—and included statistics on the number of health care visits, chronic illnesses, marital status, income level, smoking and drinking habits, according to the press release.
"These results show that people in medium-to-high stress jobs visit family doctors and specialists more often than workers with low job stress," says first author Sunday Azagba, a Ph.D. candidate in the Concordia Department of Economics.
"We believe an increasing number of workers are using medical services to cope with job stress," said co-author Mesbah Sharaf, also a Ph.D. candidate in the Concordia Department of Economics.
In the United States, recent polls found that 70 percent of American workers consider their workplace a significant source of stress, whereas 51 percent report job stress reduces their productivity, according to the press release.
"It is estimated that health care utilization induced by stress costs U.S. companies $68 billion annually and reduces their profits by 10 percent," said Sharaf.
Total health care expenditures in the U.S. amount to $2.5 trillion, or $8,047 per person. "That represents 17.3 per cent of the 2009 gross domestic product—a nine-percent increase from 1980," said Azaga.
"There is medical evidence that stress can adversely affect an individual's immune system, thereby increasing the risk of disease," Sharaf said. "Numerous studies have linked stress to back pain, colorectal cancer, infectious disease, heart problems, headaches and diabetes. Job stress
may also heighten risky behaviors such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, discourage healthy behaviors such as physical activity, proper diet and increase consumption of fatty and sweet foods."
Parents' Stress Affects Kids
Potential clients have yet another reason to get massage therapy: Parental stress can have long-lasting effects on kids' health. Massage has been found to reduce stress, relieve depression and improve mood.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia
and the Child & Family Research Institute have shown that parental stress
during their children's early years can leave an imprint on their sons' or
daughters' genes—an imprint that lasts into adolescence and may affect how
these genes are expressed later in life.
The study, published online in the journal Child
Development, focused on epigenetics, the expression of genes as
opposed to the underlying sequence of DNA, according to a university press
"This literally illustrates a mechanism by which
experiences 'get under the skin' to stay with us for a long time," said Michael
S. Kobor, a university associate professor of medical genetics.
The team also found that fathers' stress level is
more strongly associated with ... daughters, while mothers' stress level has an
effect on both boys and girls.
How the gut affects mood --
We may soon be swallowing bacteria instead of
popping pharmaceuticals to treat depression and anxiety.
Researchers have found that eating a species of
bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which is found in certain
yogurts, cheeses, breads, and probiotic supplements, has a calming effect on
mice. When scientists at University College Cork in Ireland fed rodents a broth
of L. rhamnosus and then put them in stressful situations, such as
swimming or completing a maze, the bacteria-fed creatures seemed “more chilled
out” than mice without it, study author John Cryan tells ScienceNOW,
and their brains produced fewer stress hormones.
The finding bolsters other recent evidence that our
gut “microbiome”—the hundreds of species of bacteria that live in our
bowels—has a major effect on our mood. Cryan now thinks L. rhamnosus
and other bacteria influence mood by way of the vagus nerve, which
connects our digestive organs to our brains; when that nerve is disabled in
mice, the effects of L. rhamnosus on mood disappeared.
The next step is to see if scientists can use the
vagus pathway to treat psychiatric disorders without drugs, Cryan says, “by
targeting the gut.”
– The Week Vol. 11 Iss. 532
A harvest of peace is produced from a seed of
contentment.— American Proverb
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