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January 2015

Happy New Year, and welcome to this month’s article! As the new year gets underway and you consider your direction for the coming months, here’s a little food for thought:

  • When it comes to your health, real improvement is made through positive lifestyle changes, not temporary "fixes" like a 10-day diet.
  • Put your focus on adding or substituting healthy choices rather than simply eliminating bad habits.
  • If you add a new routine (or drop an unhealthy habit) for 21 days, you’re more likely to maintain it as a new, positive lifestyle "habit."
  • Team up with a friend who shares your goals on adopting healthier choices and help each other succeed.

Still the best way to support your overall health is through regular massage. Each year more studies verify the many ways massage helps your body to function optimally—physically, mentally and spiritually.

The rest of this New Year’s issue is filled with health reports and ideas to help inspire you toward a healthier lifestyle. Enjoy!

If you have any health-related questions, just ask at your next appointment. See you then!

Healing Benefits of Massage Therapy
- by Leslie Mary Olsen

According to Aetna, a health insurance provider, health care spending in the United States could reach $4.8 trillion by 2021. In order to improve health and wellness, and as a proactive approach to health maintenance and disease prevention, people are seeking the services of alternative and holistic practitioners with increasing frequency.

In the United States, massage therapy has become one of the most popular types of alternative treatments, supporting the physical and psychological components of health.

Researchers at Bowling Green State University found “significant reduction in workplace anxiety in people who received weekly massages."

No longer a luxury item, massage treatments are an integral part of preventative medicine, providing the recipient the benefit of relief from pain and stress.

“Anxiety and stress are common and costly problems afflicting American adults and are a leading reason for using complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies,” reported researchers from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle in 2010.

Leslie Mary Olsen is certified as a personal trainer and health coach, fitness coaching specialist, and licensed massage therapist. She holds a master’s degree in health policy and has over 30 years of experience in the health and wellness field.


How to exert self-control— Ever wondered why certain people are able to resist temptation? A new study indicates their secret is not sheer willpower but rather consciously avoiding situations that test their self-control, The Wall Street Journal reports. Researchers at Florida State University recruited 38 volunteers and rated their levels of self-discipline using a series of 13 questions. Half were ranked as above average, half below. The students were then given an anagram to solve and told they could either start it immediately in a noisy student lounge or wait until a quiet lab became available. Among those with below-average self-control, most went for the lounge; among those with better self-control, most chose to wait for a quieter place to work. Previous studies have found that everyone has finite stores of willpower, which can be exhausted by repeated temptations. So researchers said the wisest way to pursue a goal—such as academic success or weight loss—is to structure your environment to minimize distraction and temptation.

- The WEEK December 12, 2014

The global health-care and lost-productivity costs of obesity have climbed to $2 trillion a year—as much as the combined costs of armed violence, war, and terrorism, according to a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute. About 30 percent of the world’s population is overweight or obese.

- Associated Press

The ‘text neck’ epidemic— Too much texting may be more than just a compulsive distraction. New research suggests that constantly tilting your head to look down at a smartphone may result in severe neck strain. The human head generally weighs from 10 to 12 pounds, but back surgeon Kenneth Hansraj wanted to measure the variations in the amount of force exerted on the spine as the head bends forward. Using computer models, he found that a head bowed at a 15-degree angle adds roughly 27 pounds of pressure on the spine. But when the angle increases to 60 degrees—a typical angle at which an upright person would look at a phone in his hand—that strain surges to 60 pounds, or roughly the weight of four bowling balls. The extra strain can cause neck cramps, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and early degeneration of the spine. “The problem is really profound in young people,” Hansraj tells Washington “Just look around you—everyone has their heads down."

- The WEEK December 5, 2014

In the coming year, the global consumption of sugar is expected to reach a record high of 171 million tons, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The average American is now consuming 23 teaspoons of added sugar each day, much of it in prepared foods and drinks.


Sodas speed up aging— Drinking sugary sodas has been proved to lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks. Now researchers have found evidence that the drinks could also speed up the body’s aging process. One of the signs of the aging process is that the caps on the end of people’s chromosomes, known as telomeres, tend to shrink. When scientists at the University of California at San Francisco studied the DNA of more than 5,300 healthy Americans, they found that those who drank more sodas generally had shorter telomeres. People who drank 20 ounces of sugary drinks a day—about 21 percent of the sample—had telomeres reflecting an additional 4.6 years of aging, which is roughly the same effect as smoking. Researchers found no link between cell aging and diet sodas or fruit juices. “We think we can get away with drinking lots of soda as long as we are not gaining weight,” senior author Elissa Epel tells “But this suggests that there is an invisible pathway that leads to accelerated aging, regardless of weight."

- The WEEK November 7, 2014

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,
can change the outer aspects of their lives.

— William James

The content of this article is not designed to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2015 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.

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