Navigation Links
1 week at a health spa improves your health, study shows

(PHILADELPHIA) Take off those Thanksgiving pounds with a week at a spa retreat. A new study shows that not only are they relaxing and nourishing, but they are safe and a week-long spa stay can correspond with changes in our physical and emotional well-being.

New research from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital evaluated 15 participants before and after their visit to We Care Spa, a health and wellness spa in Desert Hot Springs California, and found the program safe and helped to improve the participants' health. Their complete findings will be available in the December issue of Integrative Medicine, A Clinician's Journal.

"Programs such as these have never before been formally evaluated for their safety and physiological effects," says Andrew Newberg, MD, director of research at the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and lead author on the study. The authors' pilot study is one of the first to attach scientific data to the outcomes of a health and wellness spa stay.

The week-long program included diet modification, meditation and colonic hydrotherapy, voluntarily participation in low-risk hatha and Vishnu flow-yoga programs, and a juice-fast cleansing very low calorie diet of approximately 800 calories per day. Stress management was provided through daily structured meditation and yoga programs as well as time for personal meditation encouraging deep breathing, heightened awareness and a calming effect.

In preparation, participants were asked to modify their diet three to four days prior to arrival by replacing a normal diet with fruit, sprouts, raw and steamed vegetables, salads, vegetables, herbal teas, prune juice in the morning, laxative teas or herbal laxatives nightly and avoiding pasta, meat, cheese, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods.

The participants, 13 women and two men between the ages of 21 and 85, with no history of significant medical, neurological or psychological conditions each underwent a physical evaluation including weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and an EKG test. They also received a complete blood count (CBC), liver function tests, tests measuring cholesterol and triglycerides, thyroid hormone testing, and the concentration of metals such as mercury and lead. In addition, psychological and spiritual measures before and after their arrival were measured.

An evaluation of the results showed that undergoing a spa program resulted in a weight decline of an average of 6.8 lbs., a 7.7 percent decrease in diastolic blood pressure as well as a decrease in mercury, sodium and chloride levels and a 5.2 percent decline in cholesterol level and mean BMI. Cholesterol level decline seemed to be curiously associated with a decline in HDL's, the good-for-you high density lipoproteins, which is of some concern, though they remained within the range regarded as beneficial. Hemoglobin increased 5.9 percent. No statistically significant changes in liver or thyroid function and no EKG changes were noted.

No serious adverse effects were reported by any individual, but the study noted changes in the participants' sodium and chloride concentrations, suggesting that those interested in going to a spa program should check with their physician to make sure they do not have any medical problems or medications that could put them at risk for electrolyte disturbances.

Improvements in anger, tension, vigor, fatigue and confusion were also noted as was a statistically significant improvement in anxiety and depression levels measured by the Speilberger Anxiety Scale and the Beck Depression Index. Participants also reported significant changes in their feelings about spirituality and religiosity.

While beneficial, it is not possible to differentiate the effects of each of the individual elements of the program to determine which components were responsible for the changes observed. "This," says Newberg "will require an evaluation of one or more elementssuch as yoga, very low calorie diet or colonicsin isolation to determine which elements have the most significant effects." In the future Newberg and colleagues look to study the effects of a spa stay on specific disease population, i.e. diabetics. The authors also encourage spa participants to consult their physician before attending this or similar programs and research the center vigorously for safety and efficaciousness.

Contact: Lee-Ann Landis
Thomas Jefferson University

Related medicine news :

1. TGen, Scottsdale Healthcare lead worldwide study of new drug for patients with pancreatic cancer
2. The benefits of gratitude, how weight stigma affects health, and more
3. Genetic factor holds key to blood vessel health
4. Kick Off the Holiday Season With a Healthier Thanksgiving
5. Divorce Puts Women at Risk of Losing Health Insurance, Study Finds
6. Boomers Zero In on Health at Age 50 and 65, Study Says
7. University of Pennsylvania Medicine receives National Institutes of Health grant to help local communities move forward after asbestos exposure
8. Early 50s may be key time to reach baby boomers with health messages
9. Researcher: Military should reassess reproductive health care for women
10. Being neurotic, and conscientious, a good combo for health
11. Research strengthens link between obesity and dental health in homeless children
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
1 week at a health spa improves your health, study shows
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk based contact center software Q-Suite, announces ... new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the latest Java Enterprise standards. By conforming ... of software for many key components of the suite. Much of the suite runs ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Finnleo, a leader in the traditional and far-infrared sauna industry, announced a ... , For traditional saunas, Finnleo is offering 20% off all Nordic ... uses only European Grade A Nordic White Spruce from sustainably grown trees. Because of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Ministers, senior government and UN agencies, representatives from ... Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and other partners gathered today at ... Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders Meeting. The three- day meeting ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Jacksonville, FL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... treatment center, is encouraging people across the country to celebrate their sobriety and ... invites people to post “before and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm ... appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto ... Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with photodynamic therapy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Japanese ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, ... (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global Forecast ... --> --> The purpose ... and forecast of the global advanced wound care market. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: