In this edition I talk about :

a) psychoimmunology the study of how the immune system and the nervous system interact to cause chronic disease and inflammation

b) How to stay fit with a minimum of exercise and stress.

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Massage and herbal medicine news

Issue: Spring Edition 2018

In this edition I talk about :

a) psychoimmunology the study of how the immune system and the nervous system interact to cause chronic disease and inflammation

b) How to stay fit with a minimum of exercise and stress.

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) - Linking the mind and the body

PNI  is the interaction between the nervous system and immune system. Research shows chronic disease involves an inflammatory porocess and there is  overwhelming evidence that inflammation and depression are linked. Also, poor immune function is a key component in depression. This occurs via cytokine molecules that are either pro -inflammatory or anti inflammatory. So, in prolonged periods of  chronic stress pro-inflammatory cytokines increase. 

Today research is being done on telomeres - they protect your chromosomes from damage and deterioration and telomerase the enzyme that nourishes the telomeres. Shorter telomeres are a sign of ageing! So the rate of telomere shortening increases with increased stress, inflammation and chronic disease and at the same time enzyme activity decreases.

Recent studies suggest that meditation,improved diet, exercise, social support and relaxation may improve the health of telomeres. 

Neuroscientists, doctoirs, psychiatrists and researchers increasingly recognise that  psychological stress can affect inflammatory processes, chronic disease and biological markers of health and ageing. As massage therapists we can reduce stress, pain and fatigue which in turn can decrease inflammation and psychological conditions such as depression. 

On the herbal medicine front we have Cucurmin and Boswellia to help reduce inflammation and of course Echinaceae which helps the immune system to behave itself!

How much exercise do you need to do to stay fit with a minimum of stress?

This is a shortened  version of the ABC documentary by Dr Micharl Mosley called'The truth about getting fit'.I found the programme an eye opener.

1. So what is how fit?

You can do these 2 exercises to see where you are at.

a) Squat to just sit on a chair, arms on chest crossed over for 10X. How long did it take you?It tests leg muscle strength.


Age Men- Secs or < Women - secs or <
<35 10 or < 13 or <
<55 13 or < 15 or <
>55 18 or< 19 or <



b) Step ups - tests aerobic capacity

Step ups on a step, one leg then the other. Step down one leg then the other. Do 10X. Measure pulse immediately after step ups - 






Age Men - beats/min Women - beats/min
<35 <105 <110
<55 <110 <115
>55 <115 <120


How to get fitter?

a) Walking

3X10 mins of brisk walking a day. Equals 3000 steps. Easier to do than 10,000 steps and just as effective.

Goal is 150 mins a week.

b) High intensity training ( H.I.T.)

Done on special bikes in the gymn. Cycled 20 secs flat out x2, 3X a week.. Plus a cool down. Did for 5 weeks. An amazing 24% of glycogen was broken in the muscles. Equivalent to 45 mins of running! Also an 11% improvement in aerobic fitness. 

If you want a home programme for this if you are not a gymn goer let me know and I will email it to you. 

c) Strength training to decrease the loss of muscle mass as we get older

In the experiment they put light weights on one arm or leg and heavier weights on the other. 2. sessions a week for 6 weeks. Lift the weight until you cannot lift any more. 


No difference between the heavy or light weights. Had a 25 % increase in strength over the 6 weeks!

Impact of dancing on the brain

Doing the Salsa had the following benefits:

- Decision making -  Increase of 11%

-Concentration - increase of 13%

- Working Memory (holding lots of ideas) - Increase of 18%

Runners High

I have always thought that a runners' high was to do with endorphins. Apparently not. Another substance called Endo-cannabinoids  give you more of a runners' high. They have a similar structure to cannabis and there is an increase of 30% of them after a run. 

Quote of the Quarter

" Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment" - by the poet Rumi

Wishing you  a wonderful Spring.  Perhaps I have given you thought for a new exercise regime , some massage to reduce stress and improve your immune system and telomeres or some herbs to reduce inflammation.


Kind Regards

Penny Wade

Massage Therapist and herbalist


Penny Wade

About Penny

Penny has been practising massage since 1987 and Herbal Medicine since 1996. She has also taught massage since 1989.

Penny's commitment to you is to make a difference to your health and wellbeing.

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16A Grafton Ave, Naremburn, NSW  2065
02 9436-0306
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I have relief from neck & shoulder pain from too much time on the computer at work and various sporting injuries
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