New research verifies what massage therapists have always known: massage eases chronic tension headaches (American Journal of Public Health, October 2002). The small study measured baseline values of 14 non-migraine, tension headache sufferers for four weeks, documenting frequency, duration and intensity of the headaches. Subjects then received two 30-minute massage sessions each week for four weeks, emphasizing the neck and shoulder area. After just one week of therapy, subjects reported significant reductions in headache frequency, which continued throughout the study.
Too much on your plate? Millions of Americans know how you feel.
Stress has become a “given” in our modern world, and a primary cause of physical and mental illness for millions of us. Small amounts of stress can be a good thing, keeping us alert and on-task. But unrelenting stress, whether from overbooked schedules, financial strain, too little sleep or too much bad news, can lead to a breakdown of body, mind and spirit. When an overextended life puts you on a collision course with disaster, there are simple steps you can take to recover a sense of balance.
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.
Someone may tell you it’s all in your head. Yet you know it’s not, because you’re feeling it, in excruciating detail, in your body. Movement education pioneers F. Matthias Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais and Milton Trager agree that it may have started in your mind — way back when your body and your brain were learning together how to crawl, stand and walk — but it didn’t end there. Movement education theorizes that when the body establishes responses to its emotional or physical environment, those responses are carried forward long after the original stimulus is gone.
Breathing in aromas rich in antioxidants — the agents in fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamins C and E — may be an option for good health, according to Kwang-Guen Lee, a researcher at the University of California at Davis. Lee distilled and extracted 30 chemicals to produce aromas from 10 plants, including soybeans, kidney beans, eucalyptus leaves and several types of spices, including basil, thyme, rosemary and cinnamon. Lee then tested the extracts for antioxidant levels and found them to be similar to those in vitamin E.
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.
Q. Being fairly new to massage, I’m always unsure about whether to tip or not? Is there some sort of tipping protocol like in dining, or is tipping my massage therapist like tipping my doctor?
Most of us take water for granted. It’s in our oceans, rivers, lakes and swimming pools. It falls from the sky and flows from our faucets. We swim, bathe, wash and soak in it. When we need it, or want it, we have it. Our supply of water is not the problem today, (more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by it) the problem is the purity of the water.
All water is not the same. There are differences equating to different healing properties and, as you can imagine, its uses in hydrotherapy vary greatly.
Q. Is there any way for me to get my massage expenditures reimbursed by insurance?
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.