If you’re feeling guilty about overdoing it during the holidays, medical researchers have identified an easy way to shed unwanted pounds and help relieve some of the stress of the season: Visit a health spa.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital researchers found a week-long stay at a spa not only lowers visitors’ stress levels, but can help boost health and encourage lifestyle changes that lead to weight loss and an increase in overall physical and mental health.
For the study, researchers evaluated 15 participants before and after their visit to a health and wellness spa in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.
The results showed the program was not only safe but helped to improve the participants’ general health, diet, and sense of emotional well-being.
The week-long program included dietary modification and colonic hydrotherapy, along with a very low calorie diet of approximately 800 calories per day. Stress management was provided through daily meditation and yoga programs.
The participants, between the ages of 21 and 85, had no history of significant medical, neurological, or psychological conditions. Each underwent a physical evaluation before and after his or her spa visit.
The results showed that the spa program resulted in an average weight loss of 6.8 pounds, a 7.7 percent decrease in diastolic blood pressure, a 5.2 percent decline in cholesterol levels, and a reduction in mercury, sodium, and chloride levels.
Improvements in anger management, tension, vigor, fatigue, and confusion were also noted, as well as significant improvements in anxiety and depression levels measured by standard psychological testing.
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