Combating The Pandemic Blues

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Humans are social animals. However, the pandemic has made it extremely important for us to avoid any social interactions. Ironically, social distancing though unnatural to us, has become our social responsibility to follow as of now. The isolation and physical distancing measures taken; closure of airports, stations, workplaces, schools, parks, gardens, gyms, malls, etc. have been very challenging for us. It has  curbed everything we love doing. Not just social interactions, but also travelling, going places, eating out, going to the malls, going out with friends, in fact even going across the road to meet a neighbour is understandably considered inappropriate and irresponsible. Stuck indoors, worried about an uncertain future, concerned for our family and friends, this situation is a stressful one for anyone to contend with. Continue reading

That Gut Feeling!

Gut bacteriaOur gut plays a major role not only in our gastrointestinal health, but also in the health and well-being of the entire body. There is a strong connection between the brain and the gut. Improving gut health therefore, subsequently improves not just our physical health but our mental health as well. Stomach which is part of our Digestive System, is also referred to as the gut. The importance of gut health can never be emphasised enough. There are thousands of species of gut microbes/ gut flora that live in our gut. This includes many different species of bacteria.  Continue reading

Children & Family Mealtimes

 

Regular family meals provide opportunities for good nutrition and much more. It is extremely beneficial to have family meal times and to use that time as a learning opportunity between parents and kids. Make at least one meal a day a special and a pleasant family time. Sharing family meals provides a multitude of benefits to families as a whole.  Continue reading

Do Massages Aid Weight Loss?

The weight loss industry is a thriving one. With the increase in busy schedules, hectic lifestyles and easy availability of fast foods, weight gain and obesity are on the rise. Instead of focussing on eating healthy, with a calorie-controlled diet and getting enough physical activity each day, people are looking for easy and quick fixes in order to lose and maintain weight.  

Mechanical massages and many other non-invasive body contouring and weight loss techniques have gained popularity to cater to those looking for quick fixes and immediate results. They use tools that stroke, create friction or vibrate against the skin of the area that it is working on. For example, vibration belts, ultrasonic techniques, electro lipolysis machines, radio frequency, etc. But do they really help? Experts and researchers suggest that such massages can work great as a temporary solution but are not a permanent fix. So, if you are hoping that a massage will help you get rid of  your cellulite, decrease your belly fat or shrink your arms and thighs, you are likely to be disappointed.

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Dimpling of skin is a result of accumulation of fat, better called cellulite. A massage may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Vigorous massages combined with laser energy or radio waves can improve blood circulation as well as stimulate the movement of lymphatic fluids within the treated area. This may reduce the dimpled appearance of the skin associated with cellulite, but the results are only short-lived. These massages cannot fix the problem permanently. It is believed that mechanical stimulation on the surface of the skin sends a signal deep down to the fat to provoke a physiological response like activation of lipolysis. However, based on the current research evidence, the myth that mechanical massage is an effective treatment for fat loss is busted. It may aid weight loss, provided you cut back on calories.

Improvement in the appearance of cellulite cannot be linked to fat loss. This is because, the massage is not really doing anything to break up the fatty deposit or reduce your body fat percentage. Fat cannot be targeted like in the idea of spot reduction. Massaging a certain area of the body may help to improve the contour for a short period of time, but it is not doing anything to stimulate fat loss. Reducing body fat is another story. The only way you can do this is by a caloric deficit and exercise.

Staying Healthy During the HolidaysWhen it comes to weight loss, what you eat matters the most. Losing weight  is the perfect combination of a healthy diet and a regular workout. There is no substitute to that for long term weight loss and overall health. Whether manual or mechanical, a massage does nothing to change the way in which your body metabolises food. So, you are not experiencing any increase in the calories you burn. Since calories are key to weight loss, a massage is not able to reduce the size of your waist, thighs or buttocks.

Massages simply knead your skin, muscles and other bodily tissue. There are many wonderful benefits to a massage. They are:

  • Reduction in stress levels
  • Relaxation of the muscles, lowering muscle tensionmassage 1
  • Relief from sore muscles after a workout, reducing stiffness
  • Improved blood circulation leading to better metabolism
  • Stimulating endorphins resulting in improved mood
  • Improved range of motion
  • Better sleep
  • Keeps the skin firm and supple

Massages done by trained specialists are considered safe. However, in some rare cases, they may cause nerve damage if pressure and technique used is incorrect. It is advisable that people who have a history of medical issues like osteoporosis, fractures, etc. should first consult their doctor before deciding to take any kind of massage. 

 

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