Body Sense

Winter | 2014

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Page 4 of 13—your resource for all things bodywork 3 B O D Y T A L K C O M P I L E D B Y B R A N D O N T W Y F O R D Massage May Reduce Blood Pressure A recent article gathering results from 24 clinical trials found massage may be better than antihypertensive medication for lowering systolic blood pressure (there was no significant difference in diastolic blood pressure, however) and that massage combined with antihypertensive medication was significantly more effective at reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure than medication alone. In other words, people who take antihypertensive medication may have better results if they also receive massage therapy. Read the full review at Massage, Stress, and Multiple Sclerosis In an article published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers report that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who received Swedish massage treatments for four weeks perceived improvement in their overall health, suggesting massage is a safe and effective treatment in reducing stress associated with symptoms of MS. Although the results of the controlled study did not indicate significant improvements to walking ability or leg function as a result of massage, researchers point to patients' improved perception of health as encouraging evidence that massage therapy is beneficial for stress management and quality of life. Read the full article at Easy Ways to Eat Smarter this Holiday Season The holiday season means spending time with loved ones, celebrating the close of one year and the start of a new one, and, for many, overindulgence in tasty holiday treats. That can often mean an unhealthy dose of calories, fat, salt, and sugar. But, as the December 2014 Harvard Health Letter reports, it's possible to enjoy your favorite holiday foods while minimizing the impact through smart substitutions. To lower your calorie intake significantly, use yogurt instead of sour cream for dips; lemon juice and spices in place of sweetened dressings and sauces; and low-fat milk instead of cream in mashed potatoes. Simple changes like these, as well as baking instead of frying, allow diners to enjoy those large holiday meals with fewer calories. If you do decide to indulge over the holidays, that's OK, too— just remember, as in everything, moderation is key. As Debbie Krivitsky, registered dietician at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, says, make sure it's "the exception rather than the rule, and it is for a finite period of time." Read the article in its entirity at

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