ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
CAREGIVING
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
Six Healthy-Sounding Foods That Really Aren't
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
What you need to know about swine flu.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
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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