Friday, July 11, 2014

Massage Therapy for Diabetics

Massage Therapy for Diabetics - Academy Massage Therapy - Winnipeg - Manitoba - Canada
A 2013 Statistics Canada report revealed that nearly 2 million Canadians aged 12 and older suffer from diabetes. More disturbing is a report from Health Canada which states that incidents of diabetes are on the rise, due largely to obesity and physical inactivity - and even genetic susceptibility.

Diabetes is one of the most chronic diseases in Canada. In fact, according to the International Diabetes Association, diabetes is a global epidemic accounting for 4.16 million worldwide deaths annually.

Diabetes occurs when there are problems with the production and use of insulin in the body, which ultimately leads to a dangerous increase in blood sugar levels. Symptoms include weight loss, excessive thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue. Long-term complications may include kidney failure, diminishing or total loss of vision, loss of feeling in the limbs, and cardiovascular disease. 

There are three types of diabetes and each requires a specific treatment:
  • Type 1 (or "insulin dependent") diabetes is the most prone to complications and requires daily insulin injections.
  • Type 2 (or "non-insulin" dependent) diabetes can usually be controlled through proper diet and exercise and, if necessary, oral medications.
  • Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after the baby is born.
Besides traditional medical treatments and/or changes in lifestyle, massage has become a popular and beneficial therapy both to prevent and improve the potential risks associated with diabetes. At Academy Massage our qualified therapists are knowledgeable in the correct treatment procedures to help one manage diabetes.

Diabetics are at risk for serious circulatory problems. While circulation is a crucial component in maintaining good health, healthy blood flow may become compromised in the person who is diabetic. High blood sugars can result in a hardening of the arteries. According to a number of research studies, massage therapy has been shown to improve circulation, promoting a better flow of oxygen and nutrients through the body and organs, including the extremities, hence improving insulin distribution within the cells.

Muscle and other tissues can be adversely affected by high blood sugar levels. Stress and improper circulation can cause the tissues around the muscles and tendons to become thicker. This can decrease a diabetic's movement and range of motion. Massage therapy addresses this problem directly by allowing positive chemical changes to occur in the body which, in turn, reduces stiffness and encourages flexibility and mobility. The importance of this treatment is that with improved body movement the diabetic is able to follow a sensible exercise plan that is necessary in the prevention of further complications connected with the disease.

Massage therapy is also effective in providing relief for diabetic neuropathy, which may include any number of troubling symptoms, ranging from numbness or tingling of the extremities to speech impairment. These symptoms are often alleviated with gentle massage.

Of course there are the relaxation benefits of massage, which is important in dealing with the stress people living with diabetes often experience. Diabetics must monitor blood glucose levels daily and those who experience anxiety are at risk for poor blood sugar control. Massage therapy calms the nervous system, thereby promoting a release of stressful emotions that otherwise may prove detrimental to one's physical, emotional and psychological well-being.

The benefits of massage can help a diabetic continue to maintain and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Therefore the professionals at Academy Massage recommend that regular massage therapy should become part of the treatment for diabetics.

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