Back in the 1980s, Zhu toiled as a coach for the socialist state. His salary? The equivalent of $6 a month in today’s money. Current diving royalty enjoy far richer lives. The state may claim a chunk of athletes’ endorsement contracts in return for years of government-funded training. But diving gold medalists have celebrity status. One such retired diver regularly stars on lucrative reality TV shows. Another married the former Hong Kong Financial Secretary, more than a quarter century her senior. Still another wed the grandson of a Hong Kong tycoon.
How it works: According to Dr. Edwards, stress produces chemicals in the body that increase inflammation. “With relaxation techniques, you have stress reduction and therefore decreased inflammation and less pain,” she says. Meditation also relaxes muscles that tense up with pain. Dr. Edwards suggests meditating for 20 minutes once or twice a day. For moments of acute pain, she also recommends “meditation minutes.” For example, take four to five deep breaths, counting to 10 with each inhalation and exhalation. “Just doing that four to five times a day can decrease depression and improve outlook,” she says.