12. November 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Blood Pressure

A brief walk in the forest can elicit physiological and psychological relaxation effects in hypertensive middle-aged individuals, according to Japanese researchers. In a pilot study, twenty hypertensive participants were instructed to walk predetermined courses in forest and urban environments (as control). Course length, walking speed and energy expenditure were equal between the forest and urban environments. Heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate were used to quantify physiological responses. The high-frequency component of HRV (which reflects cardiac parasympathetic modulation) was found to be significantly higher, and heart rate significantly lower, when participants walked in the forest compared with the urban environment. Questionnaire results indicated that, compared with the urban environment, walking in the forest increased ‘comfortable’, ‘relaxed’, ‘natural’ and ‘vigorous’ feelings and decreased ‘tension-anxiety’, ‘depression’, ‘anxiety-hostility’, ‘fatigue’ and ‘confusion’.

Effect of forest walking on autonomic nervous system activity in middle-aged hypertensive individuals: a pilot study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Mar 2;12(3):2687-99.

 

12. November 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Chinese Herbal Medicine, Infertility

A systematic review by Australian authors suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) can improve pregnancy rates two-fold within a three to six month period, compared with Western medical fertility drug therapy (WM). Forty RCTs involving 4247 women with infertility were included in their systematic review. Meta-analysis suggested a 1.74 higher probability of achieving a pregnancy with CHM therapy than with WM alone amongst women with infertility. Trials included women with PCOS, endometriosis, anovulation, fallopian tube blockage and unexplained infertility. Mean pregnancy rates in the CHM group were 60% compared with 33% in the WM group. (Chinese herbal medicine for female infertility: an updated meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2015 Feb;23(1):116-28).