Diabetics Benefit from Massage Therapy

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to use sugar. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 24 million Americans are presently suffering from diabetes. Although treatments are available, diabetes is still a leading cause of death in the United States, ranked 6th by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease can go undiagnosed for years and can lead to an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, loss of limbs and blindness. Symptoms are marked by unusually frequent urination, weight loss, lack of energy and extreme thirst. Advances have been made in treating diabetes and doctors are now able to provide long-term therapies that work to control blood sugar.
Therapeutic massage can have a variety of benefits for those with diabetes. Massage relaxes the nervous system and reduces anxiety. Relaxation inhibits the release of stress hormones, which in turn aids the body’s ability to use insulin efficiently and regulate fluctuating blood glucose levels. Poor circulation also afflicts those with diabetes because of the adverse effects high blood sugar levels can have on cells. Massage improves circulation, which helps tissues absorb much needed oxygen and nutrients. Increased blood sugar levels also have an effect on the myofascial system by causing connective tissue to thicken, which reduces the elasticity and mobility of those tissues, resulting in a diminished range of motion and stiffness. Massage reduces stiffness in tendons, ligaments and muscles, allowing increased range of motion and fostering feelings of physical and emotional well-being.
Living with diabetes can present challenges and it is important to keep a positive outlook after the diagnosis. Making the necessary changes to keep your body healthy and keeping stress levels at bay can greatly enhance your quality of life.

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