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BSY news

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Massage news

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


Complementary therapy and asthma

Research by Asthma UK suggest that a growing number of asthma sufferers are interested in trying a range of complementary therapies in addition to their prescription medication. Therapies that are most the popular include  yoga, acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnosis and relaxation/breathing breathing techniques (especially the Buteyko Breathing Technique or BBT which is specifically designed to relieve symptoms of asthma by promoting measured breathing and incorporating advice on exercise, diet and rest).

Relaxation through yoga has been shown to reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks in many sufferers; and the associated breathing and meditative techniques of yoga can also reduce stress and therefore reduce the risk of an asthma attack. Hypnosis has been shown to be beneficial in some cases where focus and concentration can be increased which in turn helps to reduce stress levels and the risk of asthma attacks. Acupuncture is suggested to be helpful for those with a mild to moderate form of asthma and can be beneficial in the short term by rebalancing the body’s natural energies.

Homeopathy aims at triggering the body’s own self healing mechanisms so in cases of asthma pollens may form part of the remedy but they are in such small quantities that they are unlikely to trigger an attack. However the advice from Asthma UK is that sufferers should always consult their clinical team before adding in homeopathic remedies.

Categories: Complementary Therapies


The facts about vitamin D3

Summer is here once again and we are all aware of the possible consequences of over exposure to ultra violet light and according to recent research statistics of sun related malignant melanoma (skin cancer) continue to rise (www.skincancer.org, 2014). But the flip side is that because we are all spending so much time indoors or protected from the UV rays of the sun there is growing problem with vitamin D deficiency being seem amongst the general population.

There are three ways of obtaining vitamin D; through sunshine, food supplements and food; but you can’t get enough through supplementation and diet to meet the needs of the body. The skin makes vitamin D from the UVB rays in sunlight and stores it for use. The amount produced depends on time of day, season, skin pigmentation and other factors; and use of sun block impacts the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. For vitamin D production it is suggested that we all spend about 20 to 30 minutes per day outside.

We also need vitamin D in the required quantities so that our bodies can absorb calcium and phosphate which are essential for bone and teeth development amongst other key functions and processes.

An example: an eight ounce service of whole milk will provide approximately 25% of the daily vitamin D requirement, but 20 to 30 minutes outside in the sun will provide 90% of the daily requirement.

If we do not get enough vitamin D then there are several possible consequences, such as loss of bone density; osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children, osteoporosis in  later life, and a range of other serious conditions which include coronary heart disease because vitamin D has been shown to have protective qualities such as reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels (Siadat et al, 2012).

References

Siadat, Z., Kiani, K., Kheirmand, M. (2012) Association of vitamin D deficiency and coronary artery disease with cardiovascular risk factors. Journal of Researching Medical Sciences.17(11):  pp1052-1055

Skincancer.org, (2014),www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Health Care