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If you’re interested in good health and pay attention to the media, it’s likely that you see a steady stream of news items regarding recent health-related discoveries and new theories on various illnesses. It can become overwhelming trying to digest all this information. So, here are some health basics that may simplify your pursuit of a vital, happy life.

When your goal is to be as healthy as possible, staying aware of how your body operates so you can help it along is a smart move. Your body is in a rapid state of change at the cellular level. These apparently subtle changes are actually shaping your future.

We tend to think in terms of body parts or systems, such as experiencing a tense neck or an upset stomach. Realize that the body you have today is literally a completely different collection of cells than the body you had a few short years ago. For instance, your stomach lining is replaced every five days; your skin, every five weeks. It only takes a few months for virtually every cell in your skeleton to be replaced. **

Since your body is constantly recreating itself, doesn’t it make sense to do what you can to help rebuild the best “new you” possible? The development of your new cells is dependent on the conditions provided for them. Anything you can do to improve these variables may enable these new cells to be healthier. And these collections of new cells become the latest versions of your new heart, lungs, skin, etc.

Consider the various challenges your body faces during its rebuilding process. Living in today’s world means dealing with environmental risks like pollution, toxic substances, pesticides, and additives, as well as stressful situations and other negative influences. Your body is further burdened to the degree these things impact on your life.

Positive influences that are within your control include improving your nutritional program, getting enough rest and exercise, and drinking plenty of pure water, while limiting your intake of sugar, caffeine, etc.

Of course, massage can play a big part in your body’s proper function as well. One of the biggest challenges your body faces in its pursuit of optimum health is stress, and massage reduces tension and stress. When stress is reduced, your body can spend its time and energy creating a new, healthier you rather than battling the stressors that take their toll on your health.

Bodywork also helps to free the physical restrictions that can prevent your body from performing to its full capacity. All those developing cells need to get proper nutrition from the blood and to dispose of waste materials, actions aided by massage. The nerve signals that direct the body’s countless processes also can benefit from massage. As you run down the list of your body’s functions, just about every aspect of your health seems to benefit from receiving regular massages!

One other noteworthy benefit massage offers you—minimal effort. All you have to do is relax and enjoy!

** (Reference: Deepak Chopra MD Perfect Health - p12)

Looking For Research On Massage?

If you want to find out if a certain condition can be improved by massage, or want to explore the studies done regarding massage, you may want to visit the Touch Research Institute website: www.miami.edu/touch-research. Below is an excerpt from their home page:

“The Touch Research Institutes have conducted over 90 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy on many functions and medical conditions in varied age groups. Among the significant research findings are enhanced growth (e.g. in preterm infants), diminished pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), decreased autoimmune problems (e.g., increased pulmonary function in asthma and decreased glucose levels in diabetes), enhanced immune function (e.g., increased natural killer cells in HIV and cancer), and enhanced alertness and performance (e.g., EEG pattern of alertness and better performance on math computations). Many of these effects appear to be mediated by decreased stress hormones. ...”

The Effects of Multitasking

“There’s a reason that trying to do several things at once makes you feel like you’re losing your mind. You are. Part of it, anyway. Multitasking reduces the amount of brainpower a person has for each task, says a study in the journal NeuroImage. Marcel Just of Carnegie Mellon University asked subjects to listen to sentences while comparing two rotating objects. Although these two tasks use different parts of the brain, the resources available for processing visual input dropped 29 percent when a subject tried to listen to words at the same time. Brain activation for listening dropped 53 percent if a person was trying to process visuals at the same time. If two tasks used the same part of the brain, the results were even worse. The study joins a growing body of evidence that juggling tasks actually reduces efficiency. ‘It doesn’t mean you can’t do several things at the same time,’ Just tells The Wall Street Journal. ‘But we’re kidding ourselves if we think we can do so without cost.’ ”

The Week; Vol 3; Iss 96

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