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Five ways to use massage therapy for improving health

massagetherapy

Many people see massage therapy as a luxury but in reality, massage therapy is good for your physical and emotional health. More research is being done to learn how massage therapy affects your body physiologically, but there are some things we are aware of now. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy:

  1. Lowers stress.  The long-term effects of stress can take emotional and physical tolls on your body. Massage therapy may relieve stress and conditions associated with it, such as tension headaches.
  2. Increases immune function.  Medical research indicates that massage therapy can help boost immune system strength by increasing the activity level of the body’s natural “killer T cells,” that fight off viruses.
  3. Boosts mental health and wellness. Research suggests that symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression (all associated with mental health) may be helped with massage therapy.
  4. Manages pain.  Pain can negatively affect a person’s quality of life and impede recovery from illness or injury. Recent findings highlight the role of massage in pain management.
  5. Improves physical fitness. Elite and recreational athletes alike can benefit from massage therapy. It can reduce muscle tension, improve exercise performance and prevent injuries.

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5 integrative medicine recommendations for cancer patients

integrativemedicine

Cancer affects the whole person: body, mind and spirit, not just the system it targets. Many find that cancer treatment best serves a patient when conventional treatments targeting the body are supported by integrative medicine approaches that help body, mind and spirit. Research-based, proven methods are used by integrative medicine providers to help decrease the side effects of the conventional treatment such as pain, anxiety, dry mouth and sleep disturbances. While supporting the patient’s overall recovery, these five recommendations can help a patient heal and improve peace of mind:

1.)   Acupuncture – Originating 3,000 years ago in China, acupuncture involves placing fine needles into specific points on the body to elicit a healing response. The stimulation of these needles corrects the flow of energy, or qi, along channels throughout the body, called meridians. Studies show acupuncture can help with nausea and dry mouth. The treatment can also be helpful for pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress.

2.)   Massage therapy – Another treatment that has been used for thousands of years, massage therapy is a way to heal the body, maintain wellness and to demonstrate compassionate support to others through touch. There are more than 250 variations of massage and bodywork techniques, each helping to induce relaxation, soothe muscles and promote healing. A Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center study showed a 50 percent reduction in the symptoms of fatigue, pain and anxiety in cancer patients when they received regular massage therapy treatments. Continue Reading »

How to Manage Stress Related to Cancer

cancer

Imagine having a medical test and getting the phone call that there is something abnormal, and more testing is necessary to determine if it’s cancer. Not knowing is a very difficult emotional state. It’s likely that your body will react to this with adrenal hormones like cortisol and its fight or flight response. This leads to racing hearts and minds, difficulty sleeping, tight muscles, digestive problems, and a sense of dis-ease. If this stress response continues, it can affect every cell and organ in your body and impair your body’s ability to heal.

Fortunately, there are many things a person can do to help manage the stress related to a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Social support is essential; allow others to be involved and accept the care you need. Find ways to do the things that normally bring you peace—like physical activity, time in nature or worship services. For many people, spiritual practices or spiritual counseling are very helpful.

Physical activity is a powerful stress reducer. Our bodies are meant to move every day, so keeping as active as possible is important. On the other hand, it’s important to listen to your body, and not over-do it, especially during cancer treatment. Regular exercise can help give a sense of control and remind people of the strength of their minds and bodies. It is also proven to help prevent cancer recurrences. Continue Reading »

Five ways acupuncture can help athletes

acupuncture Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is one of the world’s oldest medical treatments still in use today. People have been using the ancient therapy to heal trauma, manage pain and maintain health for over 2,500 years.

Acupuncture involves placing fine needles into specific points on the body to elicit a healing response. The stimulation of these needles corrects the flow of energy, or Qi, along channels throughout the body called meridians. It has long been proven to be successful for people of all ages and physical conditions. It’s no surprise that athletes can gain a competitive edge over their opponents by integrating this technique into their training regimen. Continue Reading »

Learn the facts about vitamins, supplements and healthy food choices

It is easy to let healthy eating habits fall by the wayside in today’s fast-paced society. But consuming the proper amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is key to healthy living.

That is why Dr. Jennifer Norden, integrative medicine specialist, and Julia Salomon, corporate dietician, are teaming up to inform the community about vitamin and supplement intake, as well as which foods are the best sources for nutrients.

Join them on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., for a free presentation at Mercy Medical Center. Here is an overview of what will be covered during the presentation:

Vitamins and Supplements: What should you take?
Review the evidence and marketing behind vitamins, supplements and natural medicine to help decide what really works:

Sorting fact form fiction in the marketing for vitamins and supplements can be challenging. In her presentation, Dr. Norden will be talking about the medical evidence of common vitamins and herbal medicines, as well as safety and quality concerns. During her presentation, you will find out what really works for preventing disease.

Colorize for Good Health: Do you know what Colorize is?
Bring color, texture and freshness to your diet and life:

Julia Salomón will be teaching you how to think food first! Her presentation will highlight the importance of focusing on healthy food as the first source for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. You will learn about the benefits of various foods and how to easily incorporate them into your daily life.

This presentation might be just what you need to get on the right track toward living a healthy lifestyle. 

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