ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
Vitamin E Helps Treat Common Liver Disease
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
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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