According to the American Diabetes Association, every single day 3835 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. Chances are, the disease directly affects you or someone in your family. Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. This in turn can wreak havoc on your body if it goes untreated. Sometimes diabetes is controlled by diet and exercise, others control with various forms of insulin.
How can massage help with diabetes? Let’s talk about stress. Dealing with diabetes is a stressful situation, as are any health problems in general. Stress in turn can cause damage and instability in your already upset health condition. Massage can help calm the nervous system and in turn, reduce the stress hormones (like cortisol) that your body produces. This in turn can have significant effects on how your body handles your diabetic state. Your outlook on how you deal with diabetes can also be improved.
Do you realize that because of elevated blood sugar, diabetics can experience thickening of the connective tissue around the joints. This results in stiffness in muscles and joints and can certainly make it harder for a diabetic person to walk, run or handle daily activities. Think of a healthy joint such as a knee. In a perfect world, it should move freely, without pain and without any sort of restrictions. However, with a diabetic person, imagine a few pieces of gum stuck in their knee. All of sudden, the fluid movement becomes inhibited and difficult to manage. Stretching and massage can help manage the “stickiness” of the joints and make getting around and doing daily activities less difficult.
Circulation! Circulation! Circulation! I can’t stress this enough. Our bodies thrive on the ability of our blood vessels to carry lymph and healthy blood to every single part of our bodies. Once this stops, then nerve/tissue death will eventually ensue. This improved circulation also helps cells to process insulin more efficiently. Diabetics typically can experience decreased circulation to their hands and feet, while massage can be especially beneficial.
Enjoy the holidays and make a decision for the New Year that you’ll make small changes to improve your overall health. We are certainly living longer and living longer means we need to seek a better quality of those extra years. If you’re going to the bathroom a lot and can never seem to quench your thirst, check with your doctor to see if there’s a risk of diabetes. Once you learn the answer, make it your priority to manage your health and live the best quality of life. You deserve it. Happy New Year!