ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Winter Is Tough on Feet
CANCER
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
CAREGIVING
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Holiday Eating
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
EYE CARE, VISION
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Any Old Cane Won't Do
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does

Massage can reduce anxiety, but no better than a cheaper approach -- simply relaxing while listening to soft, soothing music.

A new study shows that patients, on average, had half the symptoms of anxiety three months after getting a series of 10 hour-long massages. But researchers were surprised to find that massages didn't reduce anxiety anymore than lying down and listening to enjoyable music.

"We were surprised to find that the benefits of massage were no greater than those of the same number of sessions of ... listening to relaxing music," Karen J. Sherman, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute, said in a news release from the institute. "This suggests that the benefits of massage may be due to a generalized relaxation response."

The study is the first to examine the effectiveness of massage as a treatment for patients with generalized anxiety disorder.

The researchers randomly assigned 68 patients with anxiety to one of three treatments. Some received 10 one-hour massages as music played, while others breathed deeply while lying down and listening to music. Patients in a third group had their arms and legs wrapped with heating pads and warm towels as they listened to music.

The groups didn't show any difference in their level of relief after three months.

"Treatment in a relaxing room is much less expensive than the other treatments [massage or thermotherapy], so it might be the most cost-effective option for people with generalized anxiety disorder who want to try a relaxation-oriented complementary medicine therapy," Sherman said.

SOURCE: Group Health Cooperative, news release, March 2010

Last Updated: March 19, 2010