Rolfing structural integration, a type of hands-on bodywork, is designed to im1 prove posture, alignment, flexibility and movement as well as to ease tension and pain. A side benefit of the therapy is that it becomes easier to breathe—and typically that occurs after the first session.

Rolfing releases areas of restriction in the myofascial tissue, the weblike connective tissue that wraps around muscles, organs and bones. (Think of the thin white film you see just beneath the skin of a chicken breast as you prepare it for cooking.) Using fingers, hands and elbows, a certified Rolfing practitioner applies firm, steady pressure-slower, deeper and sometimes more uncomfortable than, say, a Swedish massage-to this tissue to stretch and loosen it.

Typically there are 10 hour-long sessions in a Rolfing series. Ida Rolf, PhD, who developed the Rolfing technique more than five decades ago, believed that, to prepare the body for this type of intense therapy, it is important to open up the ribcage. So at the initial appointment, the practitioner applies pressure to the front of the chest and the spaces between the ribs. When that first session is over, clients often find that they can take fuller, deeper breaths because their lungs literally have more room to expand.

Fight the Flu with a Humidifier

Recent evidence indicates that raising the humidity in your home will cause the flu virus to die and decrease person-to-person transmission. The humidity increase seems to deactivate airborne flu molecules, possibly by changing their size or shape. When using a humidifier, be sure to empty, dry and refill it daily to prevent the buildup of mold and bacteria.

Hum for Better Breathing

Humming may reduce risk for sinus infections. More than 37 million Americans suffer the pain, headaches and congestion caused by sinus infections each year.

Recent finding: Humming increases airflow between the sinus and nasal cavities, keeping the sinuses healthy and reducing the likelihood of infection.

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