At Holistic Pain we love to research and share information with our readers. It has been a wonderful year at our blog and we want to showcase some of the stories we’ve posted throughout 2014.

1. The Health Benefits of Volunteering

“People who support their favorite causes or organizations by volunteering undoubtedly help others. However, a growing body of research suggests that donating time actually improves the health and well-being of the person who volunteers.” 

At the beginning of the year we shared a number of reasons that volunteering not only helps those in your community but also provides a number of personal benefits. Some of the benefits that we described include:

  • Boosting your mental health
  • Helping you live longer
  • Reducing chronic pain
  • Lowering your risk of heart disease
  • Making you feel healthier

We encourage families to volunteer regularly to teach their kids about these benefits starting at a young age.

2. The Health Benefits of Drinking Red Wine

“Kicking back with a nightly glass of vino may be just the ticket for a healthy ticker.”

Of course, for every virtue there is a vice and later in January on Holistic Pain, we discussed how a glass of red wine can help you stay healthier. There is strong evidence that red wine, in moderation, is good for our hearts. Not to mention, it is also quite tasty. We shared information about the specific anti-oxidant properties in red wine and how those work to help the heart. However, we also want to stress that this is not an invitation to begin drinking or to drink irresponsibly. Consuming alcohol is not a one-size-fits-all health solution.

3. The Negative Effects of Sitting

“There are some simple fixes to this problem. The first is movement.” 

We live in a culture where a significant percentage of our population earns a living by sitting at a desk. This sedentary lifestyle is affecting our overall health. In February we took a look at all the ways sitting is bad for us. Our bodies are designed to stand and, more importantly, move around. And, as it turns out, many of us are really bad at sitting. Our posture is poor and this causes more stress on the muscles in our back. But there are solutions, which we discuss in the blog post.

4. How Pets Reduce Stress

“Petting animals leads the brain to secrete feel-good hormones and reduces levels of stress hormones, researchers discovered.”

One of our favorite topics at Holistic Pain is pets. We believe that the benefits of sharing your life with a furry friend can’t be overstated. In April we wrote this post about the stress reducing nature of your relationship with the animal members of your family. As it turns, out there is actual science behind the way our pets make us feel. On top of that, they are great company and can help keep us active and engaged as a family or as an older adult.

5. Meditation for Depression and Anxiety

“Researchers reviewed 47 clinical trials involving 3,515 participants and found that 30 minutes of ‘mindfulness meditation’ daily eased symptoms of anxiety and depression.” 

Also in April we explored another of our favorite subjects: meditation. There are so many benefits to this practice that we can’t possibly include them all. However, so many people suffer from depression and anxiety who have a hard time finding relief through conventional methods. We feel very strongly that everyone could benefit from meditation. On top of that, chronic pain conditions can lead to increased depression and anxiety so treating just the physical symptoms does not help the underlying issue.

6. Recipe for Sweet Potato Fries

“Want to get a serving of all 3 of these ingredients in 1 dish? Try these baked sweet potato fries, alongside a creamy avocado dipping sauce!”

In July we took a bit of a detour and provided this recipe for sweet potato fries seasoned with cumin and paired with a creamy avocado dipping sauce. While we revel in the deliciousness of the food we also stress the positive, healthy aspects. This recipe includes potassium, calcium, and beta-carotene, all of which help balance our nutritional intake. They can also have benefits for individuals with chronic pain conditions.

7. Bromelain for Chronic Pain

“In treating chronic pain conditions, specialists have most often seen bromelain’s effective in patients with osteoarthritis and knee pain.”

For a fun summer twist and a look at the scientific evidence for the supplement bromelain, we took a look at the flavorful pineapple in July. As it turns out, the pineapple itself doesn’t have enough of the compound bromelain to be effective but adding it as a supplement can help reduce the symptoms of chronic pain. We shared scientific studies published this year that describe the ways in which bromelain can benefit the body. And while eating pineapple doesn’t give you everything you might need, it sure doesn’t hurt.

8. Energy Balance and Thoughtful Living

“It is equally important to acknowledge the intangible parts of your being as well. To only focus on one aspect doesn’t restore the body’s natural balance.”

In August on Holistic Pain, we shared a study that demonstrated that the missing health piece for many people was not taking a holistic approach. There is positive evidence that shows health is not only about our bodies but also our minds and spirits. Paying attention to curing symptoms doesn’t help with mental, emotional, or spiritual health so it is important to find balance.

9. Active Aging Week

“The annual event was started by the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) to promote the idea that you don’t have to take aging lying down.”

In September we told you about Active Aging Week. We think it is essential to not only care for our bodies while we’re young but also protect our health as we age. Combatting common conditions, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, is just one aspect of active aging. Understanding our emotional health, the effects of loneliness, and the importance of community are also all critical.

10. Hot Tea for Cold Weather

“Curling up on a cold winter night with fuzzy slippers, a purring cat, and a warm cup of chai tea can be a great way to beat the mid-winter blues, but there are plenty of practical health applications for tea as well.”

Last but not least, in November we dove deep into the world of hot tea on Holistic Pain. We explored all of the various types of teas that are available from all over the world. We encourage everyone to determine not only the tea that tastes the best to them but also what can provide the most health benefits and then design a routine to include more of those in your life.

What are your favorite posts from Holistic Pain this year?

Image by akzidenzsetzer via Flickr


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