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expert-perspectives

Be happy and lean; exercise green!

Exercise of any kind can be beneficial to our health and fitness, but exercise in nature, called ‘green exercise,’ can provide additional physical and mental health benefits. As we swarm the treadmills at the local gym, perhaps we should consider hitting the trails, the park or the lake, too.

“When you go outside, you have a more rich, holistic benefit to your exercise routine,” said Jean Larson, Ph.D., director of nature-based therapies at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. “Green and traditional exercises are both beneficial, but there is a bump in the satisfaction and overall impact of the experience when you go outside.”

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in-the-news

In the News: More Americans using integrative therapies

More Americans are practicing mind-body therapies, a recent survey from the  National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed.

The survey compared data on integrative therapy use in the U.S., compiled from surveys taken in 2002, 2007 and 2012. By 2012, the number of adults practicing yoga, tai chi or qigong doubled, reaching 10 percent of the American adult population. Use of massage therapy and meditation grew, too.

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expert-perspectives

How relationships affect health and wellbeing

Valentine’s Day puts love on the brain. Throughout the world, people dedicate the day to celebrating relationships. But we ought to be paying more attention to them, researchers say. Relationships are important to our health and wellbeing every day of the year – not just February 14th.

“Healthy relationships enable us to be who we are,” says Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., RN, Director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing. “They nurture us and they help us grow. They help us become better people.”

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research-and-clinical-trials

Sleepless night? Try essential oils.

A recent University of Minnesota review investigated the effects of a few deep breaths of an essential oil while drifting off to sleep. The review concluded the inhalation of essential oils is a worthwhile option to explore after a night or two of restless sleep.

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in-the-news

In the News: Experiences with nature good for your overall health

Nature can provide you with more than fresh air and a nice view. In fact, nature can enhance your overall health and wellbeing.

The Center for Spirituality & Healing’s Jean Larson, Ph.D., was featured in the December issue of Minnesota Health Care News and discussed nature’s health benefits…

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: U of M investigators find listening to music helps ease anxiety, reduces medication use in ICU

Surrounded by beeping, bustling, monitors and machines that help a patient breathe; the intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital isn’t exactly what you would call a stress-free environment. Worries proliferate easily for ICU patients who are often awake but cannot speak or act independently after having experienced anything from a severe car accident to open-heart surgery.

As they focus on recovery and hospitalization outcomes, patients in the ICU may soon be able to put some of their worries to bed thanks to new University of Minnesota research.

recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found music reduces anxiety for individuals who are critically ill and need assistance from a mechanical ventilator to breathe. Listening to music was also found to reduce the amount of medication nurses gave patients to help calm them.

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