Try to Look Pretty Without Poisoning Yourself!
Common ingredients in beauty products you should be aware of:
Parabens – especially ethyl,methyl,propyl, and butyl pareben – are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics, soaps, and many products marketed widely to spa audiences. A 2004 study, however, noted the presence of parabens in breast cancer tumors, and others indicate that they mimic the hormone estrogen. One troubling aspect of the 2004 study was the fact that the parabens had penetrated the skin and entered the body’s tissues without being broken down in any way.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
A common ingredient in soaps, moisturizing creams, and many other cosmetic products, SLS is also used as an industrial detergent and degreaser. It is actually a skin irritant that dries the skin and in extreme cases causing redness and itching. Also, while SLS itself has not been found to cause cancer, some studies have found frequent contamination of it during manufacturing by I,4 dioxane, which is a known carcinogen.
Hydroquinone is one of the most toxic cosmetic ingredients out there. A common skin lightener, hydroquinone has been linked to cancer, and has been banned in Europe and Asia. Today you may find it in prescription lighteners and in medically offered skin care lines – most do not know that in 2006 the FDA moved to ban the drug entirely, even though the effort was later shelved.
A known carcinogen, you aren’t likely to find this one spelled out on the back of the bottle, but it shows up all the same quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl(DMDM) hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and bronopol are all chemical compounds that release formaldehyde. The EPA considers it a probable carcinogen, even in very low concentrations.
Pthalates are a family of chemicals with a wide range of uses – and a wide range of names. The most common is probably dibutyl phthalate. One study found over 70% of personal care products contained these in some form, but some studies have linked pthalates to hormonal eruptions including early puberty, birth defects, and even low sperm-counts. Pthalates are so ubiquitous that a study of more than 200 people by the United States Center for Disease Control found every one of them had pthalates in their body.
Massage and Healthcare
Massage therapists received more referrals from healthcare professionals in 2011.
In July 2011, more than 39 million American adults (15 percent) had discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care providers.
Of those 15 percent, 31 percent of their health care providers strongly recommended massage therapy, compared to 35 percent in 2009. While physicians led the way in recommending massage (52% vs 50% in 2010), chiropractors (50% vs. 35% in 2010) and physical therapists (49% vs, 38% in 2010) also recommended massage therapy when their patients discussed it with them. The number of nurses recommending massage doubled in 2011, with 26% of nurses recommending massage in 2011 versus 13% in 2010.
Almost all massage therapists receive referrals from healthcare professionals. 96% of massage therapists received at least one referral every six months from a hospital or medical office in 2011. On average, massage therapists received about four referrals per month, twice as many as in previous years.
Massage therapists and consumers favor integration of massage into healthcare.
More than half of adult Americans (59 percent) would like to see their insurance cover massage therapy.
The vast majority of massage therapists (96 percent) believe massage therapy should be considered part of the health care field.
Massage therapy Research
The therapeutic benefits of massage continue to be researched and studied. Recent research has shown the effectiveness of massage for the following conditions:
- Cancer-related fatigue.
- Low back pain.
- Osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Reducing post-operative pain.
- Boosting the body’s immune system functioning.
- Decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Reducing headache frequency.
- Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- Decreasing pain in cancer patients.