Holiday Greetings and welcome to this month’s article! As you dive headlong into the holiday season, remember that you can only spread yourself so far. Choose wisely how you spend your time and make the most of your holidays.
One of the best investments you can make for yourself and for those who count on you is a rejuvenating massage. Dedicating about an hour to maintain your health and sanity—to recharge your physical, mental and spiritual batteries—can keep you going strong. Massage can reduce your stress, strengthen your immune system, and help you to sleep better, so be sure to make your next bodywork session a priority.
Enjoy the rest of this issue and learn more health tips to keep you feeling your best. The more you know, the better prepared you are to make the best decisions.
If you’re still trying to decide what to give some of the folks on your shopping list this holiday season, remember that massage gift certificates are a wonderful solution—and just a phone call away.
May you find the time to connect with all the special people in your life and make the most of your holidays!
Back Pain Increasing, Along with Technology Use, Among 18- to 24-Year Olds
A new survey conducted by a health insurer indicates technology use is creating a generation at risk of a "back pain epidemic."
A survey of 3,000 adults, from Simplyhealth, the UK's biggest health cash plan provider, shows a generation suffering from back pain more often than older generations do. This problem is fueled by increasing use of handheld technology and a decline in the awareness of good posture and its role in pain prevention, according to a press release. "Experts are warning that this new 'iPosture generation' is developing bad habits that could lead to back pain problems in the future unless they take heed of good old fashioned advice to sit up straight and look after their posture," the press release noted.
Among the survey results:
- Eighty-four percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they have suffered some incidence of back pain in the last 12 months.
- The average number of working days lost to back pain is higher for 18- to 24-year-olds than any other; 1.5 days more a year than those of their parents' generation.
- Almost all age groups spend as much time in front of a PC, laptop or tablet screen in total as they do asleep in bed, some even more so.
- A combination of work and home screen time (excluding traditional TV) means that people older than 55 years spent an average of 6.64 hours a day (the least) versus 8.83 hours a day in front of screen time for a typical 18- to 24-year-old.
- Sixty-seven percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they either slouch or hunch in front of their PC or other devices at work, and 49 percent of this age group replicate this at home.
- People ages 45 to 54 years old are more than twice as likely as 18- to 24-year-olds to sit up straight at home, on a chair, with their PC or laptop in front of them.
Stress Levels Connected to Coping Skills
Stress. Anxiety, Depression. All of these can motivate a person to seek massage therapy—and new research shows all of them are linked to traumatic life events. Additionally, the study shows that how much stress a person experiences is related to her coping skills and thoughts about the stress.
The study found that traumatic life events were the single biggest determinant of anxiety and depression, followed by a family history of mental illness, which was followed by income and education levels.
It also found that how a person thinks about stressful life events determines the level of stress he experiences.
Study participants were asked a range of questions about their family history of mental health problems, life events, income and education levels, relationship status and social circumstances. It also asked participants about how they responded to stressful situations; for example, if they talked to friends about their problems, if they turned to alcohol to reduce stress, or if they blamed themselves.
"While we know that a person's genetics and life circumstances contribute to mental health problems, the results showed that traumatic life events are the main reason people suffer from anxiety and depression," said Professor Peter Kinderman, Head of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool, England, who lead the research. "However, the way a person thinks about, and deals with, stressful events is as much an indicator of the level of stress and anxiety they feel."
While a person's family history or their life experiences can't be changed, he added, "it is possible to help a person to change the way they think and to teach them positive coping strategies that can mitigate and reduce stress levels."
Sleep washes the brain —
Why do people and animals sleep? This question has long puzzled scientists and sparked several competing theories. A new study on mice claims to have found the answer: The brain physically cleans itself during sleep, essentially running a nighttime rinse cycle that flushes out toxins that build up during the day. “The brain only has limited energy at its disposal, and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states: awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up,” University of Rochester neurologist Maiken Nedergaard tells BBC.com. She found that during sleep, the cells in a mouse’s brain shrink dramatically, increasing the space between them by some 60 percent. That allows cerebrospinal fluid to circulate more freely and wash away cellular waste. Upon waking, the brain cells enlarge and the flow slows to a trickle. Among the residue removed from the brain during sleep is beta-amyloid, a plaque-like substance that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Nedergaard says it’s probably no coincidence that diseases associated with dementia are linked to sleep disorders, raising the possibility that adequate sleep may be important in slowing the progression of brain damage.
The WEEK - Vol 13 Iss 642
If we have the opportunity to be generous with our hearts, ourselves, we have no idea of the depth and breadth of love's reach.
— Margaret Cho
The content of this article is not designed
to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2013 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.