As anyone with depression or anxiety will tell you, life is full of dips and valleys. And during those dark days, one of the last things you probably want to do is get out of the house to hit up a crowded fitness class. But rather than embarking on an epic Netflix binge from the comfort of your couch, a number of new studies say cuing up a home yoga video or hitting your favorite hot studio may actually alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.

The world's largest randomised controlled trial of the use of acupuncture in emergency departments has found the treatment is a safe and effective alternative to pain-relieving drugs for some patients.

Led by RMIT University, the study found acupuncture was as effective as pain medicine in providing long-term relief for patients who came to emergency in considerable pain.

But the trial, conducted in the emergency departments of four Melbourne hospitals, showed pain management remains a critical issue, with neither treatment providing adequate immediate relief.

Just when you think you’ve perfected an eating plan that’s good for your gut and won’t cause inflammation, along comes a new buzzword linked to disease and weight gain—and it’s hiding in your salad. (Salad! Is nothing sacred anymore?)

The patient

A 49-year-old woman (let’s call her Jane), who had been healthy all her life. So healthy, she said, that she hadn’t even taken a physical in the last six years.

The issue

All of a sudden, she was starting to feel tired, foggy, sad, and forgetful. Her sleep was poor, and she would wake up at night. She felt bloated and had sugar cravings. Her mood wasn’t great and she felt sad for no particular reason—and all these things were new to her.

Her habits

Relatively unknown to most people living in the West until recently, cupping therapy is an alternative therapeutic method that has been popular in China since around 1000 B.C. Some records show that variations of cupping practices might actually be much older — possibly dating as far back as 3000 B.C. (1)

And for good reason. Cupping therapy has a host of health benefits that can often outweigh modern medicine techniques.

There are loads of science-backed ways to battle inflammation, from far-reaching tactics like hopping in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, to downing a daily ginger shot, to even trying to change your partner’s sleeping habits. But a new study published by the American Psychological Association in the journal Emotion says it may be as simple as staying 16 shades of positive.

Having a stressful week? Don't bring it into the weekend! Massage is an awesome way to help that stress just melt away...

Athletes of many stripes are turning to acupuncture for an effective method of injury treatment and prevention. Professional football players from the ranks of the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers and more have embraced acupuncture to manage pain, speed injury recovery, and achieve peak physical performance in their sport. A review of research studies on the use of acupuncture in sports confirms its efficacy at increasing muscle strength and power in athletes.1

Sure, it can help you relax. But massage therapy can do much more than that. Here are six healthy reasons to book an appointment.

1) It counteracts all that sitting you do

“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”

One in five Australians live with chronic pain — its health burden costs Western society almost equal to diabetes and cancer combined. Despite its prevalence, there's still stigma attached to chronic pain among medical professionals and the community which can have a lasting impact on sufferers.

Psychology student and model Isabella, 22, has experienced pain so intense her body went into shock and she was unable to walk. She developed the "excruciating pain" throughout her whole body at age 15 and at first doctors thought it was "all in [her] head".