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March 2015

Hello, and welcome to this month’s article! Spring is coming... Are you ready to say good-bye to Winter for another year and welcome Spring? It’s the ideal season to embrace that feeling of new life and fresh beginnings.

If your plans include a little spring gardening, consider planting some seeds of good health along with your flowers.

While you enjoy Spring as it blooms and blossoms around you, plan on spending more time outdoors getting some exercise, as well as which nutritious foods and healthy habits you can add to your lifestyle. And remember to drink plenty of pure water!

Spring can be a wonderful reminder of the simple pleasures in life that nature provides for us, so make the most of this season of rebirth!

This month’s feature article addresses the benefits massage offers you as you grow older. Many studies have shown how massage can offer health benefits to all ages, but the older we become, the more we can really appreciate how massage can keep us going.

Keep making massage a healthy priority in your life; see you soon for your next appointment!

How Massage Helps As You Age

A growing population of aging adults receive massage therapy as part of their integrated care to temper aches and pains, tackle chronic pain and aid in long-term care. Studies continue to show that aging and elderly individuals benefit greatly from massage therapy.

Regularly receiving massage has been shown to promote relaxation and stability while helping temper the effects of dementia, high-blood pressure and osteoarthritis. By incorporating massage into a regular healthcare regimen, many older adults find a better quality of life and additional relief from a multitude of health issues.

"The aging of both the silent and boomer generations call for an increased focus on improving and prolonging quality of life in this population," said Nancy M. Porambo, President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). "While integrating massage therapy into a health and wellness plan is useful for all ages, it holds particular value in the growing elder population."

Aging Population Experiencing the Benefits of Massage Therapy

The oldest part of the population is the most rapidly increasing segment of the American public. The population of U.S. citizens over age 65 is projected to increase from 12.9 percent to 19.6 percent by 2030, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. By 2040, a projected 28 million Americans will be 80 or above, more than three times the population of the bracket in 2000.

The 18th Annual American Massage Therapy Association Consumer Survey, conducted in July 2014, found that approximately 9 million people over the age of 55 had a total of 39 million massages in the previous 12 months. The report found that the primary reason this population received massage was for medical purposes—pain relief, soreness/stiffness and recovery from injury.

Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic pain is generally underreported in the elderly population due to a fear of stigma and assumption that it is an unavoidable part of aging. This highly treatable issue is not being seen as a health ailment, though it has been shown to severely impact lifestyle through disruption of sleep, daily routines and social activities. Incorporation of massage therapy into care routines has been demonstrated to help treat chronic pain, particularly in joints, such as the shoulder or knee, while also improving stability and posture.

"[This study] suggests that regular massage may produce physiological changes that contribute to improved balance and postural control," says Jo Ellen Sefton, Director of the Neuromechanics Research Laboratory at Auburn University. "This may be a way to decrease falls in older adults."


Whole grains linked to longevity—

Consuming more whole grains can lead to a longer life span and significantly decrease the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a new study has found. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at the dietary habits of 118,000 Americans who participated in periodic health surveys over 25 years. They found that individuals who ate at least 28 grams—roughly one serving—of whole grains a day reduced their overall risk of dying during the study period 5 percent, and their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease 9 percent. Those who replaced one daily serving of red meat with a serving of whole grains reduced their mortality nearly 20 percent. It’s unclear what “dose” of whole grains is most beneficial, but the current evidence suggests “the more the better,” study author Qi Sun tells Whole grains, such as whole wheat flour, brown rice, and whole oats, are rich in fiber and healthy compounds such as magnesium and lignans, and do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, the way refined grains do.

— The WEEK Jan 22, 2015

High heels damage knees—

Many women can attest to the aches and pains that can result from strutting around in a pair of high heels. But a new study indicates that the pain isn’t temporary: Wearing heels can prematurely age knee joints and cause osteoarthritis, reports. Researchers at Stanford University scanned the knees of 14 healthy women as they walked wearing shoes with varying heel heights. They found that as the heels got higher, the strain on the knees increased, with heels of 3 inches or higher effectively “aging” the joints by 20 years. The additional strain, which occurs because the knee is still bent when the heel hits the ground, can lead to osteoarthritis, a painful condition that results from the wearing away of cartilage, the body’s natural shock absorber. Arthritis specialist Jane Tadman, who was not involved in the study, said its results suggest “it’s probably a good idea to limit the height of the heel to a couple of inches, except for special occasions.”

— The WEEK Jan 29, 2015

All of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical
rose garden over the horizon—instead of enjoying the roses
that are blooming outside our windows today.

— Dale Carnegie

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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