“You’ll hate me in the beginning but you’ll love me in the end” -Running
Nike’s marketing department got it right. We all hate running at first. Delayed gratification can really feel like our snarkiest best friend, until numbers start shrinking on our waist or on the weight scale. And while delayed gratification has many benefits, sometimes you need a little instant gratification. And that’s when you hit the spa. Here’s the best part: A new study suggests that when Adult Weight Loss Retreats and other centers combine exercise with holistic treatments, there are maximum medical benefits. Say hello to the new approach to living healthy!
Exercise isn’t just for weight loss, and holistic treatment isn’t just for illnesses. Often, exercise and holistic treatment overlap. The best adult weight loss retreat will offer combinations of exercise, traditional medicine and healthy food. This is sometimes referred to as Integrative Medicine.
- Traditional medicine, called CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) in the medical community, falls into four categories:
- 1) Manipulation: These include anything that takes a manual, hands-on-body approach, including massages, reflexology and hot stone treatments
- 2) Mind-Body: Any medicine that links the body to the mind and visa versa falls in this group. Aromatherapy, meditation and dancing are some examples
- 3) Energy: This includes anything that taps into energy fields, such as Reiki and Electromagnetic Energy
- 4) Biological: This involves intra-body approaches, for example ingesting vitamins or herbs
SHIATSU AND EXERCISE
Recently, China conducted a study in which they combined the traditional motions of Chinese and Japanese massages–rolling, rubbing, tapotement, pushing, and oblique-pulling–with core stability exercises performed every day for eight weeks. Core stability exercises used were plank, side-plank, bridge, straight leg raised, and modified push-ups. The second group of people received massages but did not combine exercise.
Both groups received massages for eight weeks, and then returned a year later. Even with a whole year of not receiving treatment, the group of people who did not combine core exercises with their massages were four times as likely to have back pain again. Only five out of 46 people who received both massages and core exercises every day for eight weeks had back pain again a year later.
When you combine shiatsu with core exercises, you have your back (and your back will thank you).
This regimen of combining exercise with traditional medicine for living healthy lives doesn’t stop at Chinese and Japanese massages. While few people have actually studied the difference between groups that only use alternative medicine and groups that use both alternative medicine and exercise, there have been countless studies that saw have proven they are extremely effective when combined.
AROMATHERAPY AND MASSAGES COMBINED
- It is well-documented that exercise reduces anxiety and depression, due to increased endorphins. Several groups have studied the effects of both massages and aromatherapy, another alternative medicine offered at many Adult Weight Loss Retreats. The following has been found:
- A) Special Needs Children: Aromatherapy and massage encourages tactile development, improves sleep patterns, increases endorphins, and provides pain relief. It has also been suggested as effective for neurological muscular disorders and for anxiety.
- B) General Anxiety: When comparing anxiety “scores” before receiving aromatherapy and before receiving massages, to scores measured after either treatment, in both cases levels of stress significantly dropped
- C) Weight Loss: In two different studies, aromatherapy, in particular the smell of citruses such as grapefruit and lemon, decreased abdominal fat. In these studies, massages were not included in the tests.
While aromatherapy is beneficial for anxiety in both children and adults, and has shown to release endorphins in children, it has no proven effects on depression in adults, unlike with exercise. Aromatherapy reduces anxiety, and exercise reduces fat, while aromatherapy aids fat reduction and exercise helps lower anxiety and depression. Can you smell the roses? When you combine aromatherapy and exercise, you give yourself the best of both treatments.
A different study recently conducted on Reiki has proven what many did not think was provable: Reiki. Reiki works with human energy, significantly lowers recorded EEG brain indicators for frustration, anger, worry, anxiety, sadness and fear, and significantly increase indicators of calm, relaxation and happiness. Reiki, for perhaps the first time, has been proven to have a very real impact on human emotions and brain activity. This could be due to both energy and psychological will, a combination that may help with weight loss too. While there is no scientific proof of Reiki’s direct effect on weight loss, this may simply be because Reiki is an emerging science.
Exercise and alternative medicine work hand-in-hand. Both are non-chemical, natural methods of treating the body’s illnesses and losing weight, and they achieve a maximum impact when combined. The best health spas for weight loss integrate alternative medicine with exercise, because the connection between the two is clear and valid.
So clear your head, cleanse your body, and let’s go to the spa!