September 2017 Health Newsletter

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» Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Could Help Your Low Back Pain
» Slow and Steady Is the Best Way to Lose Weight

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Could Help Your Low Back Pain  

If you struggle with back pain, you may be surprised to learn that there’s a very popular, nonintrusive practice that could help you realize real relief. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs have grown in popularity lately, but they’ve been in use all over the world for decades. As a mind-based approach to the problem, MBSR can also be used as a complement to other physical methodologies for improving back pain.

What Is MBSR?

MBSR is a mental practice whereby people discipline themselves to only focus on the present moment, not the past or future. It’s an offshoot of mindfulness meditation that shares certain tenets with cognitive behavioral therapy. Practitioners use meditation to practice “staying present” and then incorporate this ability into their everyday lives. This form of treatment usually involves some version of yoga, as well.

Does MBSR Work?

Dennis Anheyer of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and a team of researchers looked at seven previously published studies on MBSR. In total, these studies involved 864 patients. They concluded that participants enjoyed small improvements after MBSR treatments for short periods of time. Some studies even resulted in patients experiencing meaningful improvements to their mobility, though they didn’t necessarily last for the long term. When MBSR was paired with yoga, the results for those with disabilities and other physical limitations were even better than when MBSR was used on its own. Dr. Judith A. Turner from the University of Washington in Seattle has also studied MBSR’s benefits. She points out that, compared to other low back pain treatments (e.g. opioid medication and surgery), MBSR involves minimal risks. It can also teach patients new ways to approach their chronic pain that can help lower its perceived severity. While more research into MBSR may be necessary, there’s certainly no reason not to try it. Countless other people have over the past several decades and, as Dr. Anheyer mentioned, it’s certainly safe. He did add, though, that if you meditate or exercise, you should do so regularly.

Spinal Manipulation Helps Relieve Back Pain

Another way you can definitely experience pain relief in your low back – or any area surrounding your spinal column – is to visit your local chiropractor. Spinal manipulation is proven to work, so, after just a single adjustment from a chiropractor, many experience reduced pain and improved mobility, in many cases even after struggling with chronic pain for years.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Annals of Internal Medicine, online April 25, 2017.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Slow and Steady Is the Best Way to Lose Weight  

We all know about the story of the tortoise and the hare and how steady and consistent pacing wins the race.  Well it turns out that applies to long-term weight loss as well. Individuals who lose small amounts of weight over a consistent period of time show more sustained overall weight loss than those who crash diet.

Successful Dieters Lose Consistent Amounts of Weight Weekly

Researchers out of Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA examined data on 183 overweight and obese adults who were participating in a weight loss program. The program offered meal replacement and structure for calorie monitoring and exercise. Over the course of the two-year program, the most successful dieters were those who showed a steady, consistent weight loss in the first three months, as opposed to those participants who had more variable weight loss on a week-to-week basis.

According to psychology researchers at Drexel, some participants go into the program trying to lose as much weight as possible right way. However, despite showing big losses one week, they are typically hungry and anxious and unable to sustain the diet program for more than a week or so. Frustrated, they regain some of the weight, get upset and try to lose as much as they can again, creating a cycles of losing and gaining.

Those dieters who set more modest goals typically were able to sustain their calorie and exercise goals over a prolonged period of time, leading to greater weight loss and improved health.

Consistent Behavior May Be the Key to Success

The study further showed that participants who were emotional eaters, binge eaters, or preoccupied with food at the beginning of the program tended to have greater weight loss variability and generally lost less weight overall. This suggests that effectively losing weight may have more to do with steady consistent behavior than changing one’s relationship with food.

While sometimes the best you can do is get back on track, it may be better in the long run to set modest, attainable goals rather than try to completely change beliefs and ideologies in the pursuit of improved health.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Obesity. September 2017. Volume 25, Issue 9, Pages 1461–1640.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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