Exercise provides relief for back pain + The scent of plants can affect your health

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Back pain: why exercise can provide relief – and how to do it safely
https://theconversation.com/back-pain-wh...ely-162888

INTRO: After many months in lockdown, a lot of us are finding that we’re experiencing back pain that we hadn’t been bothered by before. There could be many reasons for this, including increased stress during the pandemic, moving less and spending more time sitting in one position.

But while you might think you should rest your back if it hurts, being active can actually help relieve your pain and protect you from getting back pain again in the future. This is because our spines are designed to move, bend and lift, which keeps our bones and soft tissues strong and supple.

Regular movement and exercise can help improve and restore strength, endurance and flexibility, and help us recover more quickly from a bout of acute low back pain. This is why staying physically active is one of the most consistent and widely recommended ways of managing low back pain.

Why physical activity works. Although exercise and physical activity are widely recommended for people in pain, researchers are still examining how and why it works, and what dose is best for pain relief... (MORE)


The scent of plants can affect your health
https://sciencenorway.no/psychology/this...th/1921450

INTRO: Smells affect us. They can make us wrinkle our noses and feel nauseous. They can also make us feel good.

Research from Canada shows that soothing scents in stores help consumers relax and make them more inclined to purchase something. And researchers from Germany are now investigating whether it would work to add baby fragrance to nasal sprays to relieve depression – because many people find sniffing babies’ heads so comforting.

It turns out that scents from plants can have a similar effect.

Swedish researchers believe that the new study shows how scents from nature evoke associations, feelings and physical reactions in people who struggle with stress-related illness.

According to Hans Nordahl, a professor of medicine at NTNU, stress-related illnesses have several variants. “Examples of stress-related disorders include anxiety, pain syndromes, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, headaches, muscle pain and acute stress disorders,” he says.

[...] Although the study is an intervention study that has been going on for a long time and includes a relatively large number of participants, it still has some limitations.

It is not easy to know what is cause the participants to become less stressed. The nature-based therapy also consisted of other things than just taking in the smells. “It isn’t particularly clear what causes the effect,” Nordahl says about the study.

Nordahl wonders for example: Is there something very special about the smell of flowers that helps with stress? Or is it that patients focus more on things outside themselves and are actively seeking other experiences that support their well-being? Or could it be the associations from childhood that help reduce stress?

The researchers involved in the study do not claim that the stress reduction is solely due to the participants' experiences with smell. However, they believe that the study tells us something about how people's mental health can be affected by the experience of smell... (MORE - missing details)
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