Really? The Claim: Long Work Hours Can Cause Depression – NYTimes.com

Photo by Bob B. Brown from Flickr.com

On first moving to Portland, Oregon, I heard the phrase “work-life balance” again and again. It is a philosophy that Portlanders hold sacred, knowing that on the few beautiful days granted to them per year they need the freedom to be outside and enjoy as much sunlight as possible. To me it became synonymous with the city’s fantastic happy hours. Running daily from 4pm to 6pm, and starting again after 10pm, wonderful bars and restaurants serve great food at a fraction of their normal prices, reason enough to work less and play harder.

And now, we have scientific proof linking overtime with increased risk of depression. Don’t take a chance people, leave work early to eat, drink and be mellow.

How Massage Heals Sore Muscles – NYTimes.com

Photo by Nick J Webb from Flickr.com

What’s more mellowing than a massage? Researchers have placed this luxurious treat into the category of ‘good for you,’ right where it belongs!

Scientists have found that massage reduces the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a role in muscle inflammation and soreness. Soothing hands also stimulate mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair.

Read the New York 

Times‘ article “How Massage Heals Sore Muscles,” and schedule your next massage STAT!

Vogue Looks at Food as a Natural Alternative to Treat Depression

In April’s Vogue, writer Ginny Graves looks at how nutrient therapy targets the underlying problem of depression and can help keep people off antidepressant medication for good. She mentions a clinic in Mill Valley, California just north of San Francisco — the Recovery Systems Clinic — whose executive director Julia Ross, M.A. says antidepressants can be a helpful tool but “The trouble is, they don’t cure anything, so when you go off them you risk becoming depressed again.”

Even worse, more and more patients are being prescribed combination of drugs that can have varied and adverse effects. Ramin Mojtabai, M.D., Ph.D. coauthored a study showing that doctors routinely prescribe two or more medications during a single office visit 60% of the time. From a Science Daily article about the study:

“While the evidence for added benefit of antipsychotic polypharmacy is limited, there is growing evidence regarding the increased adverse effects associated with such combinations,” the authors write. For example, some combinations have resulted in increases in body weight and total cholesterol level, whereas others may be associated with an increase in fasting blood glucose level.

Graves mentions the National Center for Whole Psychiatry in Chevy Chase, Maryland where doctors prescribe antidepressants for patients only when “absolutely necessary”. Instead the clinic focuses on identifying and treating nutrition deficiencies, hormone disorders, and allergies, all of which can effect state of mind.

Unfortunately, the Vogue article is not available online, but is still available on newsstands.