Tips to Prevent H1N1 Flu

News of the swine flu outbreak is everywhere, but there are simple things that we all can do to prevent its spread. Below are six steps from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (MTTI-WellSpring's accrediting agency) to stay healthy!

1. Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Wash your hands properly:
  • Wet your hands with warm water and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together for 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Make sure to get between your fingers and underneath your nails.
  • Rinse hands with water.
  • Dry hands using a disposable paper towel.

Wash your hands after:
  • Coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • Using the bathroom
  • Taking out the garbage
3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Then throw the tissue away. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your hands and wash your hands right away.

4. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth. This is how germs are spread and how you can get sick.

5. Consider a face mask. If you live in an area where swine flu has been identified and you cannot avoid crowded settings or close contact with others, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the use of a face mask.

6. Maintain healthy habits.
  • Sleep seven to eight hours each night.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Try to manage stress.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat nutritious foods.
More info on the outbreak is available at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/. Be safe out there!

Photo courtesy of hmerinomx on Flickr.


The Buzz on Stevia

Everyone these days seems to be cutting back on their consumption of artificial flavors and ingredients. And with good reason, it's widely known and accepted that natural foods are better for the body and make us feel better. But what about natural sweeteners? 

The buzz these days has been all about Stevia, a natural sweetener derived from the leaf of a South American shrub (shown left). Recently PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have created new products with the sweetener and more and more products are using it instead of other artificial sweeteners.

But how natural is Stevia and, like other calorie-free sweeteners, will it increase appetite? An article on MSNBC addresses that and more.

Click here to read the full article.

Photo courtesy of FrauBucher on Flickr.


Will Dropping Pounds Help Mother Nature?

Some researchers are saying that, yes, the obesity epidemic may increase the effects of global warming because a population of heavier people increases transportation and food production costs. As travelers become heavier, it takes more fuel to move them, which increases fossil fuel consumption.

In the article, researchers note that a population with 40 percent obese people requires 19 percent more food energy for its total energy expenditure than a population with 3.5 percent obese people. A 19 percent increase in food consumption equals an increase of 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The problem isn't just in America either. Body Mass Indexes around the world are increasing. According to the article, more than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are overweight.

Click here to read the full article.

Photo courtesy of SoftPIX_Techie on Flickr.


Extra Extra!

It's amazing how much goes on at MTTI-WellSpring on a daily basis. From graduations to community service events to free yoga class, it's a happenin' place! And while WellSpring Life covers some of these fun events, it doesn't get them all. So, if you'd like to sign up for The Pulse, the official e-newsletter of the school, sign up here!

And don't forget that each issue is published monthly on our website at www.mtti.net. Click here to see past issues.


Congrats to our Graduates!

MTTI-WellSpring would like to congratulate all of its spring 2009 massage therapy graduates. You guys have worked hard, and we can't wait to see where your education takes you! We expect great things!

And stay tuned for a list of the spring 2009 fitness training and wellness grads. They graduate May 1!


A Going Green Cheat Sheet

Everyone seems to be going green these days. And while we all want to help the environment and practice sustainability, navigating what products to buy and which to avoid isn't always easy. But, help is on the way! Oprah Magazine recently created a cheat sheet for just this problem! The guide breaks down what organic, biodynamic and natural means, plus it includes tips on small things that you can do to make a difference.

Read the full cheat sheet here.

Photo courtesy of aussiegall on Flickr.


Looking for a Stable Job?

Who isn't, right? Well, the latest stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics came out recently, and it's great news for our students. Jobs for personal trainers and group fitness instructors are expected to increase 27 percent between 2006 and 2016. And, as more people learn about the benefits of regular massage, employment opportunities in massage therapy are on the rise, too, with 20 percent growth anticipated between now and 2016.


Would You Like Fries with That?

When it comes to eating out, you would think that having healthy options to choose from what encourage healthy behavior, right?

Wrong. A new study shows that diners are more likely to choose an unhealthy side item, like fries, when they have the option of ordering a salad. In fact, while only 10 percent of study subjects ordered fries from a no-salad menu, 33 percent who had a salad option on their menus ordered fries. Researchers say that different options can sometimes lead to self-indulgent behavior. 


Guest Post: Healing the World Through Massage

Today, we have a special guest post all about the benefits of studying massage therapy by Courtney Slivka, a writer for CirclesOfLight.com, which is a personal-development blog and web site.

When most people think of massage therapy, they think about the physical side of the practice. Although massage certainly offers physical benefits such as increased relaxation, greater flexibility and improved health, getting a diploma in massage therapy can make an even bigger, though more subtle, impact in the world. The benefits of the healing arts has the potential to provide emotional and spiritual healing, not only to the massage practitioner and client, but also to the rest of the world.

The Exchange Between Therapist and Client
In a massage-therapy session, a very special experience occurs between the practitioner and client. Through the power of touch, the therapist helps their client gain a sense of balance, healing and relaxation. What most people do not realize is that the therapist also receives the benefit of healing as well. The transfer of positive energy works both ways, and both parties often leave a session feeling rejuvenated (making it easy to ask for client referrals).

However, this positive energy does not stay within the confines of the treatment room. After a massage therapy session, both therapist and client re-enter the external world, but they are changed. The changes may be subtle, but they have the potential to impact each and every thing they encounter in their lives. Massage therapy creates feelings of compassion and inspires a greater appreciation of life. This holistic practice also increases self-awareness for both the practitioner and the receiver. As those who experience a therapeutic session interact with others, they spread this positive energy. Though it often goes unnoticed, a wind of compassion and joy stirs through the world long after the session is over. Its power is contagious.

The Gift of Giving and Receiving
One can speak highly of the physical benefits of massage therapy, but the full effect of massage must often be experienced to be believed. Make massage a regular part of your life, as either a provider or receiver, and take note of the difference it makes in your world.

Providing healing to just one person helps to heal the entire world in quiet and peaceful ways. You can play an active role in personal and global healing and prepare to welcome more happiness and well-being into your life.

A big thanks to Courtney for this inspiring post!

Photo courtesy of stevendepolo on Flickr.