Campus Commons PT - February 2019

AWALK IN THE WOODS IS THE PRESCRIPTION 3 WAYS CONTACT WITH NATURE IMPROVES YOUR HEALTH Our ancestors were deeply connected to their natural environment, mostly because their survival depended on it. With no Whole Foods available, those who could best track a mammoth, find water, and forage for edible were asked to take the memory test again. Group A, the students who had walked in the arboretum, performed 20 percent better on the memory test. Group B didn’t show any marked improvement. Additional research has corroborated the memory-enhancing effects of nature. A CALMING EFFECT Research also shows that spending time in nature reduces stress. In a study conducted by Chiba University in Japan, participants spent two nights in the forest. Researchers evaluated their levels of stress hormones during and after this period and compared it to their

plants kept themselves alive and passed on their genes. Given our history as hunter- gatherers, it’s no wonder contact with nature provides us with several health benefits. A MEMORY BOOST In a University of Michigan study, a group of students were asked to take a memory test that involved repeating numbers back to researchers. Next, researchers separated the students into two groups. Group A took a walk around an arboretum and Group B walked along busy city streets. Afterward, they

normal work days in the city. Across the board, participants’ stress levels were much lower during the days spent in the forest and for several days afterward. Today, we’re less connected to our natural environment than our ancestors were. Modern comforts and technology mean we don’t have to go outside to get our food. But nature is still accessible and you don’t have to go far to find it. In many of the studies, even minor exposure to the outdoors, like adding plants to your home or looking out a window during work, showed health benefits. This winter, find ways to bring a little more nature into your life each day. Your brain will thank you.

A MOOD BOOST Observing the benefits nature has for cognitive function, scientists wondered what effects it might have on individuals diagnosed with depression. In one study from the University of Essex, participants with major depressive disorder reported an improvement in self- esteem and mood after spending time in nature. Exercising while in nature resulted in even more of a mood boost for participants.

LIVING A PAIN-FREE LIFE LASER THERAPY If you’re experiencing pain throughout your body and have been unsuccessful in getting relief no matter what methods you’ve tried, deep-tissue laser therapy could be your solution. This type of therapy is noninvasive and gives patients an alternative means to get rid of their pain without the use of surgery or prescription drugs.

Treatments are painless, quick, and

yield almost immediate results. There are usually 3–5 sessions, which last anywhere

from 5–10 minutes each. Your body will experience the best benefits from the laser treatment 18–24 hours after the procedure, due to the increase of cellular activity. During the treatment, patients will feel a warming sensation on their skin as the laser gently penetrates the tissue, boosting the body’s natural regenerative powers. Laser therapy should never be uncomfortable for the patient. If you become uncomfortable at any time during the treatment, tell your practitioner immediately, and they will adjust the treatment accordingly. People who have grown frustrated while trying fruitlessly to relieve their pain now have a pain- and drug-free solution. Contact our clinic today to learn more about laser therapy and how it can help you return to a healthy and painless lifestyle.

Laser therapy uses a process called photobiomodulation, which is the use of light to stimulate cellular metabolism and change the condition of damaged tissue. This technique is an effective treatment for pain and inflammation throughout the body, and increases the healing process, allowing the body to repair faster. By penetrating deep into the damaged area, laser therapy can treat a wide variety of pain, including both acute and chronic conditions. Our clinic uses LightForce™ therapy lasers with a patented Laser- Massage® treatment head, which allows the practitioner to deliver a steady stream of energy while manipulating underlying tissue and muscle. This treatment head enhances the effectiveness of the treatment, and provides the best results for our patients. 2

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