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Latest Articles


Massage news


December 22nd, 2014

Massage in its various forms continues to be a popular complementary therapy and therefore attracts a large research interest.

A study by Sefton in 2012 looked at the effects of massage on balance and systemic function in older people. The aim of the study was to look at whether massage reduced the amount of age related falls and general physical mobility and mental wellbeing.

Massage in its various forms continues to be a popular complementary therapy and therefore attracts a large research interest.

A study by Sefton in 2012 looked at the effects of massage on balance and systemic function in older people. The aim of the study was to look at whether massage reduced the amount of age related falls and general physical mobility and mental wellbeing.

The study considered whether massage could restore muscle balance and function and it was conducted under laboratory conditions where variables could be controlled; 35 adults between the ages of 50 and 69 years were recruited and all were free from diagnosed chronic conditions and none were on medication at the time of study. A randomised control group were selected from the participant cohort to ensure validity of findings and the treatment group were given six weekly 60 minute full body massages, whilst the control group sat in a quiet room for 60 minutes each week.

Short term effects were reported as increased postural stability compared with the control group and the long term effects after week seven (so one week free of massage) showed significant improved balance in the treatment cohort.

This research study continues to influence current massage research providing valuable information for therapists who can incorporate specific objectives into programmes for older clients who have problems with balance and muscle function.

Categories: Complementary Therapies


Avoid stress related illness this winter


December 22nd, 2014

Winter is a time that we all associated with colds and flu; and sometimes it is difficult to stay healthy during the winter months. Stress pays a major part in how resistant and susceptible we are to picking up infections and ailments so tackling stress before the cold and flu ‘season’ is upon us will help avoid days off work and lost time feeling unwell.

Winter is a time that we all associated with colds and flu; and sometimes it is difficult to stay healthy during the winter months. Stress pays a major part in how resistant and susceptible we are to picking up infections and ailments so tackling stress before the cold and flu ‘season’ is upon us will help avoid days off work and lost time feeling unwell.

Effective stress management techniques form part of many therapeutic programmes and they include reducing the stress hormone cortisol and so increase the efficiency of our immune systems; making healthy lifestyle choices which is difficult during dark winter months, so getting enough sleep, eating healthily and most importantly getting fresh air and exercise. Avoiding stressful situations will help and also practising stress management techniques such as physical activities, relaxation and meditation, and interacting with other people.

Stress continues to be a significant problem and according to research in the UK, work related stress is responsible for major loss of productivity because of lost days sickness or absence. So if you want to stay healthy, boost your immune system, and maintain good levels of wellbeing during the winter then reduce stress levels and make sure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Categories: Counselling & Stress Management, Health Care


Stand up!


December 22nd, 2014

The media has been reporting that we should all stand up more, so this means standing to work rather than sitting; walking or pacing when using the telephone, and generally being upright for a lot more of the day that we are perhaps used to. So what’s behind this suggestion? There has been a flurry of recent research into this and the findings suggest that being upright and slowly mobilising whist carrying out everyday tasks can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and also reduce obesity levels because low intensity exercise (which standing and pacing are) modify energy expenditure quite a lot. A study in 2007 by Levine and Miller outlined this process and from their research a ‘walk and stand desk’ was created.

The media has been reporting that we should all stand up more, so this means standing to work rather than sitting; walking or pacing when using the telephone, and generally being upright for a lot more of the day that we are perhaps used to. So what’s behind this suggestion? There has been a flurry of recent research into this and the findings suggest that being upright and slowly mobilising whist carrying out everyday tasks can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and also reduce obesity levels because low intensity exercise (which standing and pacing are) modify energy expenditure quite a lot. A study in 2007 by Levine and Miller outlined this process and from their research a ‘walk and stand desk’ was created.

This new regime is not just for office workers though; it has been taken up by those involved in childhood obesity research, diabetes research and also stress management research because it has been found that standing up more in all daily activities can yield significant benefits for our health. Therefore reading the paper, eating breakfast, speaking to clients on the telephone, can all (it is suggested) be easily done whilst standing. Research suggests that more standing and less sitting promotes an optimum metabolic level whilst the converse has a negative effect on cholesterol levels and fat metabolism. Standing up for three hours a day can use up an extra 750 calories which is a significant amount of energy. The benefits of this rather non- physical form of exercise should not be underestimated as it has other positive effects too, for example it improves balance and posture!

Schools in the UK are using this idea to try and tackle high levels of obesity in school age children. According to the Mail Online (2014), one school involved in a recent research study have been given adjustable desks which allow them to stand and do their schoolwork so that they are not sitting all the time they are in class. The research is based on the statistics that children living in developed countries spend 65% of their waking hours sitting down and these types of sedentary habits generally continue into adulthood; so the intention is to instil a healthier approach to low intensity exercise.

References

Clark, Laura, (2014) www.dailymail.co.uk

Levine JA, and Miller J. (2007) The energy expenditure of using a “walk-and-work” desk for office-workers with obesity. British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Categories: Health Care, Sports & Fitness

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