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YTN #3

Massage Therapy Helps Reduce Stress at Work (no kidding!)...

Talk about no brainers. Researchers wanted to find out if a massage during work would help reduce stress. They found 52 lucky guinea pigs and gave them each a 15-minute seated massage at work one day. They took their blood pressure before and after the massage. And guess what? Analysis showed a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after the massage. "Massage therapy as a workplace intervention for reduction of stress," by S.H. Cady and G.E. Jones, Department of Management, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, in Percept Mot Skills, February 1997.


Budget for Alternative Health Research Up to $20M...

The budget for research into alternative health therapies at the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine was up $8 million in fiscal 1998, bringing the total to $20 million. The Office of Alternative Medicine was formed in 1992 with an initial budget of $2 million. Among the research project underway are:

$4 million for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Clinical Centers ($1 million each) in HIV/AIDS, addictions, cardiovascular diseases, and pediatrics;

$1.5 million for pilot studies on acupuncture and a clinical trial on acupuncture for osteoarthritis, a painful condition of the joints that affects millions of Americans;

$1 million to be distributed through the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) nationwide system of oncology groups for trials of shark or bovine cartilage as treatments for cancer, plus one other intervention yet to be identified.

 

Yoga for Rehabilitation: An Overview...

The use of yoga for rehabilitation has diverse applications. Yoga practice benefited mentally handicapped subjects by improving their mental ability, also the motor co-ordination and social skills. Physically handicapped subjects had a restoration of some degree of functional ability after practicing yoga. Visually impaired children children showed a significant decrease in their abnormal anxiety levels when they practiced yoga for three weeks, while a program of physical activity had no such effect. Socially disadvantaged adults (prisoners in a jail) and children in a remand home showed significant improvement in sleep, appetite and general well being, as well as a decrease in physiological arousal. The practice of meditation was reported to decrease the degree of substance (marijuana) abuse, by strengthening the mental resolve and decreasing the anxiety. Another important area is the application of yoga (and indeed, lifestyle change), in the rehabilitation of patients with coronary artery disease. Finally, the possible role of yoga in improving the mental state and general well being of HIV positive persons and patients with AIDS, is explored. "Yoga for rehabilitation: an overview," by S. Telles and KV Naveen, Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Banglore, India, in Indian J Med Sci, April 1997.

 

Meditation Helps You Shoot Straight...

Probably not what Patanjali had in mind, but it provides more evidence on the overall benefits of meditation. Researchers found that meditation helped improve the performance of a group of competitive sharp shooters. "The effect of meditation on shooting performance," by E.E. Solberg, K.A. Berglund, et al., in British Journal of Sports Medicine, December 1996.

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