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As citizens of an industrialized nation, we often act as if we have nothing to learn from the Third World. Yet many of these cultures are doing something extraordinarily right especially in how they care for new mothers. In their classic paper, Stern and Kruckman (1983) present an anthropological critique of the literature. They found that in the cultures they studied, postpartum disorders, including the “baby blues,” were virtually non-existent.

Can you really walk your way to fitness? You bet! Get started today.

Know the benefits

Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.

For example, regular brisk walking can help you:
•Maintain a healthy weight
•Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
•Strengthen your bones and muscles
•Improve your mood
•Improve your balance and coordination

You may have walked by a physical therapist’s or chiropractor’s office recently and noticed that they were offering “dry needling,” a treatment that looks an awful lot like acupuncture and is growing in popularity.

As a massage therapist, you have likely encountered many clients whose jobs involved eight-plus hours a day of sitting at an office desk—and you’ve no doubt used your skills to address their aching shoulders, necks and lower backs.

Recent research into the negative health consequences of sitting all day has fueled the popularity of sit-stand desks, which allow employees to alternate between sitting and standing—and which might provide new challenges to massage therapists.

Your fitness routine is in full swing two months into the year: You’re eating right and you’re exercising, but you’re not yet seeing the results you want.

What’s missing? It might be sleep.

So say an increasing number of studies that show sleep deprivation causing such negative outcomes as weight gain, an increase in overuse injuries, a decrease in muscle mass and a reduction in testosterone (which has a whole host of other negative effects, including low sex drive, depression and bone loss).

Have you seen the new ad from Under Armour featuring 22-time Olympic-medal winner Michael Phelps? It is an inspiring video that shows the strength, determination, and recovery required to be a record-setting world champion. If you pay close attention starting 44 seconds into the video, you’ll see Phelps getting cupping!

People looking to fend off the winter blues may find relief by integrating massage therapy into their health maintenance routine. Shorter days and colder temperatures leave many feeling depressed and lethargic, yet studies show that regular massages improve mood and reset circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep and more energy.

As you scroll down through the blog, take a moment and think about your posture as you sit in front of your computer or on your phone. As you learned from our doctors, poor posture is one of the many causes of subluxations, stuck or displaced vertebrae, which place pressure on your nerves. Subluxations can result in pain, imbalance, fatigue and a lower resistance to disease.

Stress is not always just a result of something negative happening to us. It can be something that takes us out of our usual routines, or something that creates more responsibility or work for us—even something very positive and exciting, like planning a wedding or adjusting to life with a new baby.

Having some level of stress is a necessary and positive thing. Stress can be motivating and can enhance performance—ask any athlete or stage performer!

Research published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Ye et al.) finds acupuncture 90% effective in improving total sleep duration and sleep quality for patients with depression. Alleviation of insomnia directly correlated to improvements in the mental and physical health of study participants. Acupuncture treatments lowered relapse rates and produced similar clinical results as antidepressants. Notably, acupuncture did not produce any adverse effects.

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