Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Massage Article in New York Times

New York Times ran an article about a study on the benefits of massage.I have already written about massage on another post. I would not mind having two or three a week. You need a massage after you work out or dance for several hours. The study was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The lead author was Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. A total of fifty-three adults were randomly assigned: 29 of them to a 45-minute session of deep-tissue Swedish massage and 24 of them to a session of light massage. Blood samples were taken before and up to an hour into the massage intravenously. 
Each massage had its benefits. The Swedish group experienced significant decreases in levels of  stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginin vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Their number of lymphocytes increased. The light massage group experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment and larger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/health/research/21regimens.html?_r=1

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Katherine Schwarzenegger's Body Image Book

Katherine Schwarzenegger wrote Rock What You’ve Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty. Even she could not escape feeling bad about herself. Maybe she was self-conscious knowing her Dad's training history. She thinks that being close to one's Mom fosters high self-esteem and it is important to appreciate and be proud of what you have.

Million of Americans have eating disorders. Most of them are young women. They hear other women complain about their bodies, and see skinny, touched-up magazine photographs. The author gives examples of her life and those of others where they were dissatisfied with their bodies, and turned it around. Katherine inspires woman to see beauty in and to rock what they have!







British Reality Television Show

In the October/November issue of Metro Source New York, Paul Hagen writes about a new London reality show on diets. I like some reality shows, like of course Dancing with the Stars :), but others seems to have us be voyeurs in the calamities and miseries of others. That is how this show sounds. People are put on three extreme diets ad endure things like freezing showers, in attempts to lose weight. As I have written, you don't need to be on a diet to lose weight. This is often extreme to yo-yo dieting and to really knowing how to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

This show may lead to the impersonalization that sometimes occurs from too much violence on television, emailing or texting instead of calling and getting together. It also done nothing for the participants or audience to learn to have a healthy lifestyle.

The diets are: a. A Victorian diet of protein that includes weird animal body parts; 2. a 1920's diet of severe caloric restriction; and c. a Edwardian era diet where you have to chew each bite 30 times, lift their heads back and swallow what goes down, and the spit out the rest. The bites and spitting out are counted. This is insane, and more a means to humiliate people and for those, perhaps with low self-esteem, to earn a little cash.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

I read another great article in Yoga Journal (October 2010, Issue 232). The author is Roger Cole, PhD, a certified Iyengar yoga instructor and research of sleep in Del Mar, California. This one is about thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), when pain spreads for the neck to the arm and hands. It is caused by compressing or overstretching nerves or blood vessels near the top of the rib cage. This usually develops form repetitive action such as playing a musical instrument or using the computer. I was surprised to see that the top rib attaches to the first thoracic vertebra. The magazine advocates certain yoga movements and an emphasis on good posture. For instance, when typing, do not put your head forward.

The thoracic outlet is the oval space atop the rib cage. It is bordered by: the breastbone, the uppermost ribs, and the first thoracic vertebra. The subclavian artery and vein, and the nerves that serve your hand cross over and through the thoracic outlet, between the first rib and clavicle on the way to the arm. Tight muscles, misaligned bones or scar tissue cause TOS when they squeeze or pull o blood vessels or nerves enough to cause pain or numbness. Yoga can loosen the scalenus anterior and scalenus medius, the muscles that connect the sides of the neck to the top of the rib cage. Here is a stretch to loosen up these muscles, open the thoracic space and alleviate pain.

There is an interesting stretch:

Lie down on a mat. Put open wooden block under your pelvis and open under your shoulder girdle. Place your head on a folded towel. Turn your head to the right so that your chin touches (or tries to touch) the towel. With your hands, push down on the left side of your upper rib cage. Hold for a minute. Breathe. This loosens your left scalenus muscles. Do the same for your right scalenus muscles. Turn your head to the left so that your chin touches (or tries to touch) the towel. With your hands, push down on the right side of your upper rib cage. Hold for a minute. Breathe.

Disclaimer: This is not a very scientific post. More information on this may follow. None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

Friday, September 03, 2010

What You Want

I recently read Lynn Grabhorn's Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings. She writes about how feelings ad the thoughts attract what we want - or not. I do not believe this 100 percent. I think some things just happen and we do to know why. But I have see how my being and feelings attract people or things to me. There are signs you are coming close to getting what you want.

You must know what you want, or have your intuition know where you are going. Part of this is feeling better as you get closer. If you get what you don’t want, feel how you would feel if you had it, at least for 16 seconds and say "not that" without making it wrong. If you are being all this and inspired, versus fix it, action, and you don’t see results yet, keep the faith ad trust in God and the Universe, and sit back, relax and have fun.

Often people say "I want more money" This implies lack. "I want to be skinny" implies not loving or accepting your miraculous body. Feel healthy, fit, thin or however you want to be, for at least 16 seconds according to her. Appreciate yourself and whatever steps you take in fitness. Observe the difference this makes in several weeks' time. Share your goals with a trusted friend. Listen to each other. Get out your bad emotions and complain to get to what you want. Have your goal in fitness, do what you have to do, have fun, love yourself and see the results unfold.

Disclaimer: This is not a very scientific post. More information on this may follow. None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.LouizaPatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.BarbesandNoble.com and http://www.Amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.