The Health Benefits of Massages

They release stress and anxiety: Modern life is full of stress, but massages make you feel calmer and more relaxed. If your life has you feeling overwhelmed, schedule an appointment with a massage therapist today.

They relieve pain: Messages relieve many forms of pain, including chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, fibromyalgia pain, pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and postoperative pain.

They reduce muscle tension: Muscle tension can lead to muscle pain, back pain, and stiffness. Getting a massage relaxes your muscles, helping to alleviate these symptoms and leaving you feeling looser and happier.

You exercise better after a massage: If you work out or participate in a sport, a massage can put you at your peak performance.

They help you sleep better: If you suffer from insomnia, or just have been feeling tired lately, a relaxing massage can help you get the rest you need.

They improve your heart health: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of deaths in Americans. But by reducing stress and improving your circulation, messages can make your heart healthier.

They improve balance in older people: Misaligned joints and stiff muscles can cause older people to feel off-balance, which can cause pain and difficulty walking, and put them more at risk for falls. A massage can improve balance for a short period of time, and regular massages can have longer-term effects.

They improve flexibility and range of motion: If you’re struggling to touch your toes, a massage can improve your flexibility by reducing pain and muscle stiffness.

They help people with cancer: Cancer patients can benefit from messages. Cancer treatment is extremely stressful, and massages can help alleviate that stress. Additionally, massages may help reduce the nausea that results from chemotherapy.

They reduce headaches: If you experience frequent tension headaches, or even migraines, the frequency of these headaches will decrease after a massage.

They improve your mental health: Just by reading the other health benefits on this list, you can probably see how a message can be great for your mental health. If you’re sleeping well, feeling good during exercise, less stressed, pain- and tension-free, and just feeling overall healthier, your mental health will improve. And for older patients, regular massages can even temper the effects of dementia.

They boost your immunity: People who get massages are less likely to fall ill when cold and flu season hits the workplace, by reducing risk factors such as stress and insomnia, and increasing levels of oxytocin in the blood which has an impact on mood.

Consume your Way to Fight Inflammation

Our body is devised with an amazingly astonishing mechanism: when an alien object tries to enter your body, it works to shield itself from the foreign element. 

The immune system of our body is designed in such a way that, when it fights off invaders like plant pollens or chemical elements of a microbe, the body reacts to the process in multiple ways. One of the reactions is inflammation.

Inflammation is the defense process of our immune system in which a part of the body becomes red and begins to swell. This is a perfectly natural reaction to an infection or an injury, as your blood cells rush to the area to assist in healing. However, if the inflammation persists chronically, the repercussions can turn life threatening. 

Sometimes inflammation occurs without an infection or a bruise caused by external factors, and that is when you need to start paying attention. Inflammation can be a gateway to a number of fatal illnesses like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, depression, and even Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. 

Remedies to combat inflammation lie in our kitchens. Many experimental studies have concluded that consuming right nutrients can actually influence the onset, or stymie the occurrence, of inflammation in the human body.

Here are some of the most dangerous foods to consume for their role in causing inflammation:

  • Overconsumption of refined carbohydrates like white bread, pastries, and white rice to name a few examples.  If the bread is soft and easily compressed most likely it’s going to quickly turn into sugar in one’s body.
  • Fried foods and other pre-prepared packaged junk foods such chips that are excessively consumed can speed up the occurrence of inflammation.
  • Sugar-laden and sweetened beverages, drinks, sodas, and over consumption of alcohol.  The liquid consumption of sugar causes other health hazards too, besides inflammation and fuels the metabolic syndrome affecting many today.
  • Processed meat like hot dogs, sausages, salami, bacon, luncheon meats.
  • Corn fed red meat like steaks, burgers, and other “meat pie” dishes.
  • Spreads of animal fat origin like margarine, lard, and shortening.

It is not a revelation that most of the food items mentioned above are associated with diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity since inflammation is an underlying cause of each of these diseases.

What must be consumed to keep inflammation at bay?

Take a look at some of the best fresh foods, preferably organic, you can consume to reduce inflammation:

  • Fibrous green leafy and cruciferous vegetables like spinach, collards, lettuce, swiss chards, kale, broccoli trying to go for various colors of the rainbow
  • Tomatoes, which contain anti-inflammatory compounds such as lycopene.
  • Almonds, walnuts, and cashews
  • Fruits, including citruses, like oranges, cherries, strawberries, and other berries
  • Fatty fish like sardines packed in water or olive oil, mackerel, wild salmon and, herring, and black cod. If eating these fish is not possible than take a high quality fish oil supplement
  • Lets not forget about the mushrooms.  If available in your area maitake, shiitake, enokitake, and oyster mushrooms provide powerful health benefits.
  • Beverages like green or white tea, matcha, and coffee have anti-inflammatory benefits too, but mind the additives, which can negate the benefits.

The Mediterranean diet, which is composed primarily of plant, healthy fat and protein consumption, is said to be an ideal and healthy dietary lifestyle if one wishes to lean towards anti-inflammatory eating.

The Link Between Obesity And Cancer

In a world where processed foods, sugar-laden desserts, and the high-fat fast food is easily and readily available, it’s no wonder that obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., as in some other countries. Obesity is a struggle for many people, and now there is, even more, reason for alarm as the scientific community has discovered a link between obesity and certain types of cancers. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, about 20% of cancers diagnosed in the United States are in some way related to obesity, poor nutrition or physical inactivity, meaning that they are largely preventable.

abdominal-obesity

Being overweight has been clearly linked to an increased risk for the following types of cancers:

  • Kidney cancer.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Colon and rectal cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer.
  • Esophageal cancer.
  • Endometrial cancer.

Studies are still being conducted to see if there is a direct link between obesity and an increased risk for other cancers such as liver, cervical, prostate, and other types of cancer. Science has also shown that having an excess amount of belly fat increases the risk of getting colon or rectal cancer, in addition to other types of cancer. Although the connection between excess body weight and increased cancer risks are quite complex and not entirely understood yet, it is believed that excess weight on a person’s body can affect cancer risk by:

  • Hindering the immune system function and increasing inflammation.
  • Increasing certain levels of hormones.
  • Affecting factors that affect cell growth.
  • Affecting how the body uses certain hormones.

weight-loss

So what can you do to decrease your cancer risk? Although the research on weight loss and its effect on cancer risks is still in its infancy, overall health risks associated with obesity are certainly well-documented, so it’s beneficial from multiple standpoints to try to eliminate obesity. Here are some things that might help aid in weight loss:

 

  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace.
  • Increase consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Cut down on foods that are high in sugar and fat.
  • Consume healthy oils like olive oil instead of animal-based oils.
  • Work with a trained diet or nutritionist who can help create a diet and exercise plan that might work best for your lifestyle and body type.

To learn more about how Houston Concierge Medicine & Wellness Center can develop personalized diagnostic and treatment plans using integrative medical care, call 713-333-6464 or schedule an appointment online.