Article Archive

Eating Disorders Explored

Ask a Therapist

Q. My therapist told me that massage and bodywork can be helpful for eating disorders. How can this be?

A. The truth is, millions of American men and women suffer from some sort of eating disorder. Bodywork, however, can help lessen the chasm between body and mind that helps “feed” these disorders. According to author Merrill DeVito, who went on her first diet in the fifth grade, the self-loathing that accompanies eating disorders gets trapped in the entire body, but bodywork helps release it.

When Drugs and Exercise Collide

Know the Physical Interactions of Pharmaceuticals

You probably know that problems can occur when you combine different drugs or use certain drugs in conjunction with certain foods. Yet, are you aware that a wide variety of commonly used drugs — including prescription, over-the-counter and herbal products — can affect your response to exercise, potentially increasing your risk of injury? Discover how to stay sage using these tips from Carol Krucoff, coauthor of Healing Moves: How to Cure, Relieve and Prevent Common Ailments with Exercise.

Muscular Flexibility

Five Simple Stretches

Mention flexibility and most people envision twisting themselves into a pretzel. But as we age, maintaining flexibility is less about being a contortionist and more about the ability to perform everyday activities. This is why regular stretching is especially important to stay limber and prevent atrophy as our bodies mature.

Herbs & Aromatherapy as Anti-Inflammatories

Easing Aches and Pains

For soreness, aches and pains associated with exercise, some people use muscle rubs (often medicinal-smelling), aspirin or other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, while others just tough it out. These remedies can be quite costly, as well as having unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, these are not the only options. Herbs and their volatile aromatic oils — essential oils — can be useful in relieving the aches and pains of inflammation. These remedies are simple to make, effective, without side effects when properly used, and in the long run are much less costly than OTC remedies.

Chilling Cold Remedies

News Note

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), an ingredient common to many cold and cough remedies, can cause strokes in men and women ages 18–49 after prolonged usage, reported the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PPA is included in many remedies because of its effectiveness at alleviating nasal congestion. However, the FDA is warning 200–500 strokes might be linked to the ingredient. In a related story, the herbal cold and flu remedy Aller Relief has been recalled due to the FDA’s warning the product contained small amounts of the cancer-causing agent aristolochic acid.

Idleness Breeds... an Ulcer?

News Note

According to a study conducted by the University of South Carolina in Columbia, active men are less likely to develop a duodenal ulcer (ulcers that occur in the upper part of the small intestine) than those who are idle. The results, reported in the August 2000 issue of the Western Journal of Medicine, showed that in more than 11,000 subjects tested those who either walked or ran a distance of 10 miles a week had 1/2 to 1/3 the risk of developing an ulcer over 20 years.