ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
CANCER
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
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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