National Posture Institute Research Review-First-ever yoga study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds yoga to be a safe, effective therapy for heart patients
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 30, 2013 –Yoga training has always been thought of as a healthy activity, but now a study has the scientific findings to prove it. In a first-of-its-kind study, doctors at The University of Kansas Hospital evaluated the role of yoga in the management of atrial fibrillation – a common heart rhythm disorder that is a leading cause of stroke.
The study, published in this week’s Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that rigorous practice of yoga can help reduce episodes of irregular heartbeat and improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression often associated with atrial fibrillation. On average, yoga was found to cut patients’ episodes of atrial fibrillation in half and significantly improve quality of life.
“The practice of yoga is known to improve many risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, and stress and inflammation in the body,” said Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy , M.D. at The University of Kansas Hospital, and lead investigator of the study. “There are currently no proven complementary therapies that are known to help decrease the symptoms of atrial fibrillation in a noninvasive fashion with minimal side effects and reasonable safety and efficacy.”
Researchers followed 49 patients with atrial fibrillation who had no physical limitations. During the first three-month control phase, participants were permitted to engage in any type of physical activity they were previously accustomed to doing. This was followed by a three-month study phase where patients participated in a supervised yoga program consisting of breathing exercises, yoga postures, meditation and relaxation.
Forty-five minute yoga sessions were administered by a certified professional three times a week over the course of the study phase. Participants were also given an educational DVD and encouraged to practice the exercises at home on a daily basis depending on their comfort levels. All participants were new to the practice of yoga, and the program was designed to allow beginners to progress safely from basic movements to more advanced practice over the course of the study.
Data showed the yoga intervention significantly reduced the number of episodes of irregular heart beat among atrial fibrillation patients during the study phase compared to the control phase where subjects were participating in the physical activity of their choice. Yoga also reduced depression and anxiety scores and improved quality of life scores in the areas of physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health.
“These findings are important because many of the current conventional treatment strategies for atrial fibrillation include invasive procedures or medications with undesirable side effects. Success with these therapies varies widely, and they are often only modestly effective in controlling heart rhythm,” Lakkireddy said. “It appears yoga has a significant impact on helping to regulate patients’ heart beat and improves their overall quality of life. Any intervention that helps in reducing or controlling the arrhythmia burden in atrial fibrillation can have a huge impact on public health.”
Given the low cost, safety and effectiveness of yoga, the authors recommend that it be considered in the overall treatment strategy for atrial fibrillation and other complex heart rhythm disorders.
National Posture Institute-Posture Correction Workshop at the University of South Florida-Tampa, FL-March 22-23, 2013 (Earn CECs/CEUs)
Location: University of South Florida | Date: March 22-23, 2013
The National Posture Institute (NPI) will be presenting a Posture Analysis, Correction and Resistance Training Workshop is being held at the University of South Florida campus in Tampa, FL on March 22 (Fri.) - 23 (Sat.), 2013. Early Bird Registration Price Available by March 1, 2013!
Register for NPI Workshop: http://www.npionline.org/workshops/posture-workshops
NPI’s Day-1 Workshop prepares personal trainers/exercise instructors, athletic trainers, and health/medical/fitness professionals to assess and educate their clients/patients in the analysis, assessment, and correction of posture and body alignment. The workshop prepares professionals to later complete NPI’s Certified Posture Specialist™ Certificate Program/Course and Examination to receive the CPS designation.
NPI’s Day-2 Workshop prepares personal trainers/exercise instructors, athletic trainers, and health/medical/fitness professionals interested in learning a detailed process to teach, analyze, and perfect resistance training exercises/movements to correct their clients/patients posture. The workshop prepares professionals to later complete NPI’s Certified Resistance Training Professional™ Certificate Program/Course and Examination to receive the RTP designation.
This Workshop has been approved for CECs/CEUs (hours below): http://www.npionline.org/approvedcec
•Personal Trainers: ACE (0.7 CECs), ACSM (7.0 CECs), AFAA (6.0 CEUs), Can Fit Pro (4.0 PTS), ISSA (7.0 CEUs), NASM (0.7 CEUs), NCSF (4.0 CECs), NPI (7.0 CECs), NSCA (0.7 CEUs), SCW (7.0 CECs).
•Athletic Trainers: NATA-BOC-ATC (7.0 CECs)
•Kinesiotherapists: AKTA (0.7 CEUs)
•Registered Dietitians/Dietetic Technicians, Registered: AND (formerly ADA) / CDR (7.0 CPEUs)
◦Florida Physical Therapy Association (7.0 CECs)
◦Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (0.7 CEUs)
◦Illinois Physical Therapy Association - IPTA (7.0 CEs)
◦State of Illinois - IDFPR (7.0 CEs)
◦Louisiana Physical Therapy Board (7.0 Clinical Hours)
◦Maryland Board of Physical Therapy (0.7 CEUs)
◦Mississippi State Board of Physical Therapy-MSBPT (7.0 Clinical Hours/CCH)
◦Texas Physical Therapy Association (7.0 CCUs)
◦Virginia Physical Therapy Association (7.0 CEs)
◦Pending Approval for the following states: NV
To see the updated extensive CEC/CEU list: http://www.npionline.org/approvedcec
Register for NPI Workshop: http://www.npionline.org/workshops/posture-workshops
Ken Baldwin is a full-time Assistant Professor, Certified Posture Specialist™, and the Executive Director for The National Posture Institute (NPI). Ken is the Senior Editor, content expert, and lead author for ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer Textbook (2nd Edition), former Chair of IDEA’s National Personal Trainer Committee, and served on national committees with organizations that include the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), AAHPERD, and the Medical Fitness Association (MFA). He’s been awarded Boston’s Best Personal Trainer three times and is the Recipient of IDEA’s National Personal Trainer of the Year Award.
National Posture Institute Research Review-Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to High Risk of Premenopausal Breast Cancer
A prospective study led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has found that low serum vitamin D levels in the months preceding diagnosis may predict a high risk of premenopausal breast cancer.
The study of blood levels of 1,200 healthy women found that women whose serum vitamin D level was low during the three-month period just before diagnosis had approximately three times the risk of breast cancer as women in the highest vitamin D group. The study is currently published online in advance of the print edition of the journal Cancer Causes and Control.
Several previous studies have shown that low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of premenopausal breast cancer. “While the mechanisms by which vitamin D could prevent breast cancer are not fully understood, this study suggests that the association with low vitamin D in the blood is strongest late in the development of the cancer, “said principal investigator Cedric Garland, DrPH, FACE, professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego.
Analyses of vitamin D levels measured more than 90 days before diagnosis have not conclusively established a relationship between serum levels and risk of premenopausal breast cancer in the present cohort. However, this new study points to the possibility of a relevant window of time for cancer prevention in the last three months preceding tumor diagnosis –a time physiologically critical to the growth of the tumor.
According to Garland, this is likely to be the point at which the tumor may be most actively recruiting blood vessels required for tumor growth. “Based on these data, further investigation of the role of vitamin D in reducing incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, particularly during the late phases of its development, is warranted,” he said.
The new study drew upon 9 million blood serum specimens frozen by the Department of Defense Serum Repository for routine disease surveillance. The researchers thawed and analyzed pre-diagnostic samples of serum from 1,200 women whose blood was drawn in the same time frame – samples from 600 women who later developed breast cancer, and from 600 women who remained healthy.
A 2011 meta-analysis by Garland and colleagues estimated that a serum level of 50 ng/ml is associated with 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer. While there are some variations in absorption, those who consume 4000 IU per day of vitamin D from food or a supplement normally would reach a serum level of 50 ng/ml.
Garland added that a consensus of all available data has shown no known risk associated with this concentration of vitamin D, which is measured as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. But he urges patients to ask their health care provider to measure their serum 25(OH)D before substantially increasing vitamin D intake.
“Reliance should not be placed on different forms of vitamin D, such as vitamin D2, and megadoses should be avoided except those ordered by a doctor for short-term use,” Garland added.
Contributors to this study include first author Sharif B. Mohr, PhD, and Edward Gorham, PhD, Naval Health Research Center and UC San Diego; Christopher Kane, MD, J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, and Deborah L. Wingard, PhD, UC San Diego; John E. Alcaraz, PhD and Carolyn Macera, PhD, San Diego State University; and Ronald Horst, PhD, Heartland Assays, Ames, Iowa.
National Posture Institute News Story: Female knees and ACL ruptures very different from men’s
Sports training and ACL reconstruction should focus on unique characteristics of the female knee
ROSEMONT, Ill.—Female athletes are three times more likely to suffer from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures, one of the most common knee injuries, compared to male athletes. The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur (upper leg bone) to the tibia (lower leg bone). Recent research highlights the unique anatomical differences in the female knee that may contribute to higher injury rates, and should be taken into consideration during reconstructive surgery and sports training, according to a review article in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).
“As female athletes have increased their participation in sports, many studies have shown the vulnerability of female athletes to ACL ruptures,” said Karen Sutton, MD, assistant professor, Yale University Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, and lead author of the review article. “This devastating injury has a long recovery period and a slow return to sport. Thus, research has been done focusing on why women are more vulnerable to ACL injuries and how to prevent them.”
Multiple, recent research studies also have found that preseason and ongoing neuromuscular training programs as part of an overall sports training program aimed specifically at improving knee stability when jumping, landing or pivoting can significantly decrease ACL injury risk among girls and women.
Unique anatomical features of female athletes such as a larger quadriceps angle (“Q angle”)—the angle at which the femur meets the tibia—may cause a greater pull of the knee muscles during physical activity, and contribute to more ACL injuries among females.
Anatomical differences in the female knee should be taken into consideration during ACL reconstruction, said Dr. Sutton. Females are more likely than males to have a smaller, A-shaped intercondylar notch (the deep groove between the rounded ends of the femur bone), making ACL reconstruction more challenging, and possibly requiring altered surgical techniques.
“All female athletes, starting in adolescence, should learn appropriate training techniques,” said Dr. Sutton. “This includes the appropriate way to land from a jump, increasing the strength of muscles that could have a protective affect on the ACL—core, gluteal, quadriceps and hamstring muscles, as well as working on the body’s reaction to change of direction and change of speed.”
Watch the CNN Interview (Jan 19, 2013) with Desirée Nathanson, MS and current National Posture Institute Certified Posture Specialist student discuss NPI’s Four Points of Posture™ Program (Posture Correction Techniques) during her interview. Desirée also attended the National Posture Institute’s Posture Analysis and Correction CEC Workshop that took place at the State College of Florida this past weekend.
Desirée’s CNN segment: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2013/01/19/exp-endurance-while-standing.cnn
Thank you to the State College of Florida (SCF) and all of the future NPI Certified Posture Specialists and NPI Certified Resistance Training Professionals that attended the National Posture Institute's Posture Analysis and Correction CEC Workshop at (SCF) this past weekend!!!
To Register: http://npionline.org/workshops/SarasotaFL
This two- day onsite workshop developed by the National Posture Institute (NPI) teaches personal trainers/group instructors (Aerobic/Strength/TRX/Pilates/Yoga etc…) and allied health/medical professionals to assess and educate their clients/patients in all areas of posture and body alignment.
Attendees that register for the workshop can also register for NPI’s Certified Posture Specialist Program™ or NPI’s Certified Resistance Training Professional Program™ to complete their education via our online course site (3-months access) and take either examination following the workshop.
Continuing Education Credits/Units (CEC/CEU): http://npionline.org/approvedcec
National Posture Institute Research Review-Spending on vegetable and fruit consumption could reduce all-cause mortality among older adults
Few studies have evaluated the linkage between food cost and mortality among older adults. This study considers the hypothesis that greater food expenditure in general, and particularly on more nutritious plant and animal-derived foods, decreases mortality in older adults.
This study uses the 1999--2000 Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan and follows the cohort until 2008, collecting 24-hr dietary recall data for 1781 participants (874 men and 907 women) aged 65 y or older. Using monthly mean national food prices and 24-hr recall, this study presents an estimate of daily expenditures for vegetable, fruit, animal-derived, and grain food categories. Participants were linked to the national death registry.
Of the 1781 original participants, 625 died during the 10-y follow-up period. Among the 4 food categories, the fourth and fifth expenditure quintiles for vegetables and for fruits had the highest survival rates. After adjusting for co-variates, higher (Q4) vegetable and higher fruit (Q4) food expenditures referent to Q1 were significantly predictive of reduced mortality (HR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.39-0.78 and HR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.42--0.99, respectively) and the risk decreased by 12% and 10% for every NT$15 (US$0.50) increase in their daily expenditures. Animal-derived and grain food spending was not predictive of mortality.
Greater and more achievable vegetable and fruit affordability may improve food security and longevity for older adults.
Yuan-Ting Lo, Yu-Hung Chang, Mark L Wahlqvist, Han-Bin Huang and Meei-Shyuan Lee
Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:113 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-113
Published: 19 December 2012
National Posture Institute News Story: Public obsession with obesity may be more dangerous than obesity itself, UCLA author says
Much has been made about who or what is to blame for the "obesity epidemic" and what can or should be done to stem the tide of rising body mass among the U.S. population.
A new book by a UCLA sociologist turns these concerns on their head by asking two questions. First, how and why has fatness been medicalized as "obesity" in the first place? Second, what are the social costs of this particular way of discussing body size? “What’s Wrong with Fat”, to be published Jan. 3 by Oxford University Press, Abigail Saguy argues that "obesity" is far from a neutral scientific fact. Rather, it is a discrete perspective — what sociologists call a "frame" — that draws attention to certain aspects of a situation while obscuring others.
"The very term 'obesity' suggests that weighing over a certain amount is pathological," says Saguy, an associate professor of sociology. "This perspective shuts out other interpretations of fat as, say, potentially healthy, an aspect of beauty, or even as a basis for civil rights claims resulting from discrimination, which has been well documented."
In discussing blame and responsibility for the so-called obesity epidemic, scientists, journalists and politicians alike tend to focus on individual responsibility, she argues. And in doing so, they gloss over the ways in which body size is tightly controlled by genetic factors and shaped by social factors, such as socioeconomic status and neighborhood limitations, including poor access to healthy food outlets, a high density of fast food restaurants and a lack of open space for exercise.
"What's Wrong With Fat?" shows how debates over the best way to discuss body size — including as either a health or civil rights problem — do not take place on an even playing field. Saguy contends that powerful interests benefit from drawing attention to the "crisis," including the International Obesity Task Force (a lobbying group funded by pharmaceutical companies), obesity researchers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On the other hand, fat-acceptance groups, which try to reframe fatness as a civil rights issue, are at a disadvantage because they have considerably less economic power and cultural authority, she says.
Saguy is careful to point out that she doesn't deny the health risks associated with higher body mass. The clearest case is Type 2 diabetes, which becomes more likely as an individual's weight goes up. Yet she cites medical research showing that even this association may not be causal.
"It's not clear whether obesity per se causes diabetes, whether diabetes causes obesity or whether both conditions are caused by a third factor, such as poor nutrition, stress or genetic factors," she says.
Saguy also points to evidence that obese patients with heart disease or diabetes have been shown to have lower mortality rates than their thinner counterparts, a phenomenon scientists have dubbed the "obesity paradox." Yet, she says, "To listen to the media, you'd think that there's unanimity on the need to lose weight."
In the book, Saguy explains how "confirmation bias" — a term used by sociologists to explain why people tend to give more credence to arguments that are consistent with their existing beliefs — leads scientists, journalists and politicians alike to downplay the complexity and scientific uncertainty surrounding body size and health.
But beyond the incomplete and misleading information on the issue, America's obsession with obesity is itself unhealthy, she argues.
Saguy cites studies demonstrating that fat women are reluctant to get medical care for fear of being chided about their weight or treated insensitively by their doctors. In fact, research has shown that obese women are more likely to get cervical cancer because they are less likely than thinner women to get pap smears.
Meanwhile, Saguy's own research shows that people who read news accounts of the "obesity epidemic" are more likely than people who have not read such reports to perceive fat people as lazy, unmotivated, sloppy, and lacking in self-discipline and competence.
Those attitudes have been shown to play out in a variety of socially damaging ways, Saguy says, including in increasingly widespread weight discrimination. Recent research has shown, for example, that bias against fat people in employment, education, health care and other areas is now comparable in prevalence to reported rates of racial discrimination in the U.S.
Heavier women in particular, Saguy notes, are less likely to be hired and less likely to earn a higher salary, compared with their similarly qualified but thinner peers.
"American attitudes about fat may be more dangerous to public health than obesity itself," she says.
"What's Wrong With Fat?" encourages readers to step back from taken-for-granted assumptions of an obesity epidemic and to consider fatness in a new light.
"It's possible to reframe 'fat,' and doing so can have profound implications in people's lives," says Saguy.
National Posture Institute News Story: For the holiday weight-gain season: The chemistry behind calorie counts and nutrition labels
WASHINGTON, December 17, 2012 — With the holiday season a high-risk period for packing on unwanted pounds, the American Chemical Society (ACS) today posted a new video that may lend perspective on this year's battle of the bulge. Produced by the world's largest scientific society, it explains the science behind the calorie counts and other information on those Nutrition Facts Labels on food packages. Available at www.BytesizeScience.com, the video tells the story of how scientists first determined the calorie content of food in the 1800s, and how scientists determine fat, protein and carbohydrate levels in foods today.
The video explains that the calorie content of food was determined in the late 1800s by chemist Wilbur O. Atwater. Atwater built a four-by-eight-foot device called a respiration calorimeter, which was big enough to allow a person to step into it. It measured the amount of heat they released, the amount of oxygen they consumed and the carbon dioxide they gave off after eating a variety of foods.
Using this device, Atwater was able to measure the precise amount of energy contained in thousands of food items. He found that carbohydrates and proteins were worth 4 calories per gram and fats about 9 calories per gram, which is about 1/28th of an ounce. This 4-9-4 rule remains embodied in today's Nutrition Facts Labels.
The video, from the award-winning Digital Services Unit in the ACS Office of Public Affairs, is based on an article in the latest issue of ChemMatters, ACS' quarterly magazine for high school students.
ChemMatters has been connecting chemistry to our everyday lives for the past 28 years. Published quarterly by the ACS Office of High School Chemistry, each issue contains articles about the chemistry of everyday life and is of interest to high school students and their teachers.
For additional entertaining video podcasts from ACS, go to www.bytesizescience.com. The Bytesize Science series is produced by the ACS Office of Public Affairs.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.