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.
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.
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,