Are you happy in your fitness career? If you are, you have no doubt found your calling in helping others reach their full potential. Accompanying them as they persevere through difficult times and break new ground is heartwarming and meaningful to you.
Women who are coping with menopause are looking to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for ways to manage their symptoms, according to a review of surveys conducted between 2000 and 2012 among women worldwide. Researchers from the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine in Daejeon, South Korea, and the University of Exeter in Exeter, United Kingdom, noted that among the 26 surveys identified internationally, many were of poor methodological quality.
A recent study is shining positive light on how to nurture the human potential for kindness and compassion. Future applications could include helping kids to reduce school bullying or aiding people with antisocial behavior problems.
Growing numbers of people are turning to alternative approaches to complement or reduce the use of medication for controlling blood pressure. To guide physicians on the variety of complementary therapies, the American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement entitled “Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure,” available in the AHA’s journal Hypertension (2013; 61 , 1360–83; doi: 10.1161/HYP.0b013e318293645f).
Demonstrating the power of the mind-body connection, familiar music can lower stress and reduce sedative use among intensive-care-unit patients requiring ventilators, says a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2013; doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5670).
For older adults, volunteering may be an effective activity that not only helps their communities but also promotes personal health. Carnegie Mellon University researchers in Pittsburgh found that older adults who volunteer at least 200 hours per year in any type of activity decrease their risk of hypertension by as much as 40%.
Massage therapy after open-heart surgery can improve patients’ mood and may reduce medication use to curb stress and anxiety. Reducing stress is an important consideration in preventing exacerbation of a heart condition after surgery.
Like people who regularly engage in moderate-intensity exercise, men who practice tai chi consistently for approximately 5-6 hours per week enjoy a reduced risk of earlier death, says a report in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2013; doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt050).
Focusing the mind on the body is the starting point for all mindful practices. Many professionals engaged in mind-body training have observed the mental, and even spiritual, changes that emerge from prolonged practice of focusing on physical sensations.
New research involving the Pilates centering technique will be of particular interest to Pilates pros and other instructors who emphasize engaging core muscles while doing exercises that challenge arm and/or leg movements.