Wellness Practices for Disease Prevention
June 20, 2017
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. –Benjamin Franklin
Many of us have regular exercise and dietary habits because we like the immediate satisfaction we feel. Eating the right foods and exercising consistently can prevent digestive issues, give us energy and keep us focused on work. Getting a massage every now and then provides relief and helps us feel pampered.
But many of us are guilty of losing sight of the bigger picture when it comes to our health and wellness routines. Regular health and wellness practices not only lay the foundation of a life full of vitality, they also help to prevent disease and disability.
Here are some of the types of wellness practices you can adopt for disability and disease prevention so you can live a stronger, healthier life.
1. Massage Therapy
Most people get massages because they need relief from back, shoulder or neck pain. However, research has shown that massage therapy has many benefits for disease prevention when received on a regular basis.
Massage therapy helps the central nervous system shift away from fight or flight mode and into a deeper, more relaxed state. This helps to lower the heart rate and reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels. These benefits can help minimize the risk of heart attack and stroke and also prevent triggering mental health problems.
Certain research has also suggested that massage therapy can improve blood circulation and vascular function, which can also help protect against heart disease.
Acupuncture is often used as a complementary medicine to treat existing conditions like headaches or allergies. But, acupuncture should also be looked to as a regular preventative therapy. In fact, this was one of the primary principles behind ancient Chinese medicine—to treat people when they aren’t sick.
Research has shown that acupuncture can lower blood pressure, which is important for protecting against many kinds of heart diseases. Additionally, people who receive acupuncture on a regular basis report feeling happier and healthier, which can improve quality of life and prevent anxiety and depression.
A traditional wellness practice that has been around for thousands of years, yoga is popular now more than ever in America. Those who are dedicated to their yoga practice can rattle off a list of reasons why they have integrated this time-old tradition into their modern lives.
But for those who aren’t anywhere near yogi status, studies are showing that it may be time to hop on the bandwagon. Early research is proving that a regular yoga practice can help reduce blood pressure and elevate mood. Evidence also suggests that yoga can lower blood glucose levels, which indicates a possible link to diabetes prevention.
Additionally, yoga helps stretch and strengthen muscles, which is especially important as we age so that we can maintain active lifestyles.
Countless studies have been conducted on the benefits of meditation for improved cognitive function. At this point, it’s virtually scientifically conclusive that meditation helps improve concentration and increase productivity. A regular practice of meditation can also help inspire creativity and problem-solving, two very important skills in today’s society.
But meditation also has important benefits for disease prevention. Meditation has been proven to help lower stress—an important preventive health measure. Lowered stress levels reduce the risk of developing heart disease, digestive diseases, respiratory illnesses, skin disorders and depression.
One study conducted by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed that participants who practiced yoga and meditation for two hours per week had less brain atrophy than the participants who didn’t implement these wellness practices. These are promising findings that indicate that meditation may help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
5. Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional deficiencies are a widely under-recognized problem that can have a significant impact on a person’s overall health. Many people aren’t aware of their nutritional deficiencies, which is often the cause of underlying, chronic conditions.
Taking nutritional supplements is one significant way to address deficiencies and prevent disease. Antioxidant supplements can help lower the risk of two particularly egregious chronic diseases: cancer and cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants protect the body from harm caused by an abundance of free radicals that damage DNA.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements also help protect the body against chronic disease. These natural anti-inflammatories help to lower rates of system-wide inflammation. While acute inflammation helps the body heal, there’s evidence that low-grade, chronic inflammation actually leads to an increased risk of age-related diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Practicing Disease Prevention
Just as we benefit from the immediate effects of a massage session, a yoga class or a meditation timeout, our bodies are also reaping long-term benefits of our continued wellness regimes. Putting these wellness habits into regular practice is critical to ensuring we live long, healthy and disease-free lives focused on quality of life and wellbeing.
Start your disease-prevention wellness routine today by booking an appointment for a massage therapy, acupuncture or reiki and gemstone chakra balancing session at Aquarius Wellness. We also offer esthetic services, including a range of relaxing facials.
Emily Rodgers is a freelance health and wellness writer and editor. Dedicated to covering topics about natural alternatives, Emily strives to educate readers how to live healthier, more balanced lives. Emily believes that information empowers people to take charge of their wellbeing so they can become the best versions of themselves. Contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website HealthyContentAgency.com