We've heard this from many a Zeel Expert before-that massage isn't just a luxury anymore; it's an important part of health and wellness. Now, researchers are beginning to understand why, thanks to 11 macho men who agreed to have their muscle tissues biopsied for the sake of science. We break the study down for you in the simplest of terms.
In short, you'll still be sore, but for a shorter time. And massage just feels good!
The hypothesis. Massage decreases muscle inflammation, improves blood flow and releases muscle tightness after vigorous activity.
The experiment. Researchers rounded up a group of 11 men who were willing to have their quads biopsied at rest, immediately after engaging in exercise, 10-minutes after massage treatment, and again after a two-and-a-half hour recovery period. Only one leg was massaged, and the other thigh served as a control.
The results. A decrease in cytokines-compounds that cause inflammation-and an increase in mitochondria, those cell powerhouses you may remember from middle school science. Mitochondria
Blog Posts by TheDailyZeel
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Bodywork Breakthrough: Massage is the New Advil
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Can Acupuncture Help Me?
Having practiced acupuncture for more than 25 years, Bruce Mandelbaum, a "true sports acupuncturist," has seen patients come and go at his Upper West Side office with aches and ailments of all kinds. Acupuncture, a traditionally eastern practice, has been seeping into western ideals more prominently in recent years-so much so that, as Bruce explains, it's hardly considered an alternative means of therapy any more.
Can acupuncture fix it?
We asked Bruce, an avid endurance athlete and running coach, what kinds of clients he most commonly treats at his Manhattan-based practice. Here's what we found.
Myofascial origins. Most pain is related to the fascia, or tissues that surround every muscle from head to toe. A lot of the discomfort we feel can actually be traced back to this underlying structure.
If you've ever gotten out of bed in the morning, for example, and felt a pesky neck or back twinge, it may not necessarily be a slipped disc or other serious injury. More often than
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Meditate: A How-To on Self-Healing and Health
As many a massage therapist will tell you, meditation is one of the best ways to prolong the benefits of your session and to enhance that overall feeling of, well, ahh. Contrary to what you may think, however, meditation doesn't require a whole lot of time, a silent dark room or even crossed legs. All it takes is a commitment to yourself-to your body and health-to feel more relaxed and at ease.
Rest. Breathe. Release.
Madeline Michaels, a powerful healer once dubbed Manhattan's best massage therapist by Vogue and Allure, gives us instruction on simple ways to meditate in the comfort of home. Find yourself an empty space and a bit of intention. Enjoy.
Sit or lay down quietly where no one can bother you, and close your eyes. Take a deep breath from way down in your belly (use your imagination to make this easier) and allow your belly to fully extend. Exhale. Do this three times slowly.
Now, scan your body with your mind and take inventory. Ask yourself where you feel tension in the body.
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Swamped: Staying Healthy when Life Gets Busy
Eating sensibly would be so much easier if it weren't for all those social obligations, work functions and family dinners. But since those probably won't be going away any time soon, Laura Cipullo, a registered dietitian, Zeel Expert and blogger behind Mom Dishes It Out, has been chiming in now and again with her welcomed advice on how to moderate dietary habits despite the daily grind. Here, we round up strategic ways to be a hard-working martini-loving mom. Dig in!
Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, Mom
On snacking. Vending machine calling your name? Don't ignore your midday cravings, Laura says. "I actually encourage snacking," explains Laura. "I think it helps you to prevent overeating at other meals." Learn more on how to snack without wrecking your waistline here.
Alcohol: Yay or nay? It's no secret that social savvy urbanites love happy hours and fine dining. Restaurants, bars and the occasional cocktail or three are simply a part of living in a thriving city. Laura emphasizes the importance of
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Good Eats: Your Pre-Acupuncture Repast
Right before the New Year, we introduced you to the increasingly popular treatment known as acupuncture. At the guidance of acupuncture pro Bruce Mandelbaum, we touched upon eight tidbits for first-timers, one of which was "eat lightly."
Still, many of you continued to wonder what this meant. Does that mean 10 minutes before? An hour before? Three hours before? A cracker? A cracker and cheese? A cracker and cheese with a sandwich? You asked, "Is it OK to eat before an acupuncture session?" Experts in the Zeel Network unanimously respond.
Qi will flow better if you're properly nourished first
Bruce Mandelbaum, New York, N.Y.
"It is perfectly fine to eat before acupuncture, as long as it is at least an hour before the appointment and it's a very light meal," says Bruce. Furthermore, it's even more critical for a patient to consume some sort of sustenance if the session falls near lunch or dinner, allowing them to be "present" and receptive to the treatment by avoiding low blood sugar levels.
Michael Julien, Solana Beach,
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Breaking Bread: When Carbs Call
So you're sitting at lunch with co-workers, thinking about how "good" you were, you know, eating a healthy breakfast and all, when down it comes: the bread basket-a scapegoat among table dressings. You try to resist, but the lure of deliciously outlawed carbohydrates is drawing you in more powerfully than you can ignore. What's a patron to do?
Craving some baked goods?
Rather than turn to the angel and devil to your left and right, check out these answers from top Zeel nutrition experts Natasha Uspensky and Shantih Coro to the question, "What can replace the craving for bread?" If you're a proponent of baked goods, we promise, you'll love what you find.
Natasha Uspensky, New York, NY
"Cravings for bread usually arise when carbohydrates are being needlessly limited," says Natasha, a holistic nutritionist in New York City. "Bread is not an unhealthy food!"
Weight gain can be pinned on white breads and processed carbohydrates. Opt for whole grain bread, pastas made from quinoa, and whole
- TheDailyZeel | Shine Food – Fri, Jan 27, 2012 11:29 AM EST
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Health Hoarders: Maximize the Vitamins in Your Veggies
Steamy but not soggy is the ideal, for texture, taste, and nutrients!
Do vegetables lose vitamins and minerals when cooked? One Zeel member wanted to know if, for example, a vegetable that is abundant with vitamin C like red bell peppers lose their nutritional value when stir fried or heated in some other delicious way.
Kathy Shattler, a registered dietitian based out of Owosso, Michigan and a professional member of the American Dietetic Association, explains that vegetables lose nutrients in the water they are cooked in. Healthful (and flavor-conscious!) chefs will often save this water to make savory soups and other palatable recipes that require vegetable stock to regain some of the nutrients lost.
To preserve nutrients in your kitchen, try using a vegetable steamer. Steaming is one of the best ways to capitalize on a vegetable's taste, color, and most importantly, its nutrients. Vegetable steamers, like this simple one from kitchen bigwig Cuisinart ($34.95), work great, though you can also purchase smaller and flatter ones that fit
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from Ask the Expert: Pilates for Injury Prevention
Exercise smart with Pilates
When most people think of injuries, they're wondering how to recover after incurring one. What's less common is to take the initiative to perform those activities that actually prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
Halle Clarke, a highly respected Pilates instructor and Zeel Expert, is no stranger to injury. A former dancer, Halle has experienced and recovered from multiple injuries throughout her career, lending to her current fascination with anatomy, muscle coordination, neuromuscular re-patterning and all that scientific jazz.
At Mongoose Bodyworks, her private Soho-based studio, Halle doesn't merely help clients recover from injury; she goes one step further, equipping them with the right tools to avoid future injuries too. Here's how Pilates can be integral in doing so.
Increased body awareness. Pilates enhances an individual's sense of alignment and body awareness. There's a constant intention throughout the practice to create physical awareness,
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from 5 Ways to DASH Your Way into 2012′s Top Diet
Better later than never
A new year typically brings with it a whole new slew of diet phases and fads. Yet while we're only two weeks into 2012, it looks as though the DASH diet (no relation to the reality stars' clothing store) will again reign supreme, according to US News and World Report.
Developed to fight high blood pressure, DASH may very well be one of the more moderate diets available, encouraging its adherents to stick to nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat milk products (take that, dairy hating Harvard researchers), fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts. Foods that aren't permitted (save for special occasions)? The same ones mom forbade from the grocery cart too: sweets and sugar in addition to salt-laden products and red meat.
Adapting to the DASH diet is easy; we revisit these five practical tips for getting started.
1. Determine your calorie intake. The DASH diet doesn't restrict calories in the traditional sense. It instead helps men and women
- TheDailyZeel | Healthy Living – Tue, Jan 17, 2012 1:24 PM EST
By: StacyAtZeelRead More »from What's Your Flow? Readers Reveal Their Favorite Yoga Poses
If there's one thing we can learn from the recent influx of yoga-related media outbursts (if you haven't heard the buzz around the New York Times article on the perils of posing, read it here) it's that every studio, student and teacher brings their own ideologies and preferences to their daily, weekly or monthly practice. And whatever they are, well, we're just fine with that.Variations on a theme
Upon skimming the article, I was immediately reminded of a recent class I took at Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City, during which an instructor actually encouraged me not to get into a headstand. As she explained, I wasn't ready for it; and there are many steps I need to perfect-pre-poses, if you will-before I can even think about mastering this Holy Grail of inversions.
Sure, try to contort your body into a position it's not meant to be in (yet), and you may very well injure yourself, as implied by the NYT. But there are many positions in yoga that are really good for you-so good that