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September 2016

Hello, and welcome to this month’s article! Fall is on the way! Are you ready for the busy months ahead as we approach the end of the year? This is a great time to review your schedule and make some early plans before you find yourself overwhelmed with so many things to do.

Staying healthy is key to managing a busy life. In the long run, a natural approach to health is the best. This month’s articles focus on areas where massage can help to maintain better health, rather than relying on medications to address the problems.

While many would think of massage as mainly a treatment for sore or overworked muscles, many of its benefits address the mental side of healthcare. It’s easy to see how worry, stress and anxiety can affect your overall health and well being.

Read this month’s issue to discover how massage can help both the mental/emotional and physical sides of health.

Have a great month; see you soon for your next massage!

Therapeutic Massage For Anxiety:
How Touch Therapy Improves Mental Health
By Lecia Bushak

A new study finds that massages may actually help treat anxiety and other mental health disorders, like depression, due to their ability to reduce cortisol and anxiety symptoms.

The researchers conducted a randomized study that focused on patients who had generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People with GAD experience constant anxiety, with fearful and worrisome thoughts clouding their mind at all hours of the day—often for weeks or months on end. Unable to escape these worrying thoughts, GAD sufferers will often feel drained, fatigued, or develop long-term stomach pain or muscle tension.

While GAD is typically treated with antidepressants or other meds, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, the researchers wanted to see if touch could have an impact on the disorder. In the study, the participants were divided into two groups. One was given Swedish massage therapy twice a week, and the other was given light touch therapy twice a week, all over the course of six weeks. Each therapy session was 45 minutes long, and were carried out in the same room conditions. Before and after the session, the participants self-reported on how they felt.

Swedish massage therapy—which involves the more traditional, deep-tissue massaging you’re used to—appeared to be the most effective in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms, the researchers found. Light touch therapy—the practice of gently placing hands on different parts of someone’s body to “release energy”—meanwhile, didn’t show as much of an effect on the participants’ anxiety levels.

“These findings are significant and if replicated in a larger study will have important ramifications for patients and providers,” said Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaportin in a press release.

Why do massages work so well in helping manage stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues? Past research has come to similar conclusions: For example, a 2010 study found that massages could boost the immune system, and other studies found that massages improve sleep quality. We know that both sleep and immune function play a role in mental health.

But perhaps it all comes down to the importance of touch and intimacy in human emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Research has shown the frequent touches—like hugs, caresses, massages, or kisses—can help foster bonds between people, improve immune system function, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, and overall improve emotional well-being. In addition to the purely physical benefits of massages (lowering cortisol and relaxing muscle tension), they can also provide similar results as exercise or meditation: A release of endorphins that create a happy “buzz,” improved sleep, and sharper mind.


Massage and Your Health

There is no denying the power of massage. Whether you view it as pampering, therapeutic, rejuvenating or just a lovely relaxing moment of ‘me’ time, massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your life.

Experts estimate that about 90 percent of disease is stress related and perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in our fast-paced world may be idealistic massage can, without doubt, help to manage stress.

Research into massage shows the enormous benefits of touch, ranging from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders and muscular injuries through to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles.

Consequently the medical community is actively embracing massage and it is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. ...


Whole grains boost longevity—

Eating whole grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice can help you live longer, new research suggests. A meta-analysis of 14 long-term studies involving nearly 800,000 men and women found the people who ate three or more servings of whole grains (48 grams) each day had a 20 percent lower risk of dying early than those who ate none, reports. Having three servings of whole grains per day was also associated with a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease and a 14 percent lower risk of death from cancer than just one daily serving. “There are many biological pathways that would explain why whole grains are beneficial,” says study author Qi Sun of Harvard University’s School of Public Health. Unlike white or refined grains that have been milled and stripped of their nutrients, whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, which provides fiber, iron, and several B vitamins. Fiber improves cholesterol levels, helps insulin sensitivity, and promotes satiety—the feeling of being full after eating—which reduces the risk for obesity-related health issues and stroke.

— The WEEK 7/4/16

If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying?
If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?
— Shantideva

The content of this article is not designed to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2016 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.

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