Sunday, April 15, 2007

Health, Well-Being and Massage

Anyone who has enjoyed a good massage can remember the peaceful, euphoric, even sensual feelings it aroused. Your body felt relaxed and refreshed. A sense of well-being and energy had been restored.
However, the benefits of massage may last beyond the afterglow with a continuing positive effect on your health. For instance, with tight muscles that are a result of disease, injury, stress, and the like.
There are massage techniques that are very effective in releasing knotted muscles, lowering toxins in the system and improving circulation. When the tightness has been caused by stress, a good massage can be especially beneficial in restoring feelings of well-being and health. There are many factors - physical and emotional; internal and external - that cause stress. How you perceive and react to these factors can affect the impact they have on your body. Massage helps you to deal with the effects of these different factors and helps to prepare you and, in particular, your body, to cope with the stressors which you experience as stress and tension.
When preparing for massage, mood is important. Create a soft, ambient mood with dimmed lighting and maybe soothing music and perhaps some pleasing scents. These help to deal with the external stressors that impinge on you by creating a comfortable relaxation zone. The therapist will then work on your body, paying special attention to relieving tension in the back and neck muscles, which are often tightened when you are under stress.
The improved physical feelings naturally lead to an elevated mood and a chance to unwind and forget about stressful events. This helps to deal with the emotional elements that contribute to stress. Circulation is improved when the therapist attends to those areas that trap fluids. Increasing the flow leads to better fluid distribution and aids the elimination of toxins that can build up, as well as encouraging the inflow of fresh nutrients. This also assists in the repair of muscle and other tissue damage and enhances the overall feeling of well being. Additionally, digestion can also be improved. As both stress and poor circulation inhibit good digestion, massage relief facilitates a much better response in stomach and intestinal areas.
One of the more obvious benefits is improved athletic ability and motion. Those who participate in sports massage will often see this but it can also be found with other techniques. The tightening of muscles can interfere with free movement and the action of limbs. Once the tight muscles have been relaxed and the joints become more limber, the stiffness will dissolve. The result is greater freedom of movement. Proper massage techniques may also be used as part of an overall treatment plan to deal with particular diseases and injuries. For instance, those with arthritis; patients who've recently had surgery, and many others, will frequently find that their condition improves more rapidly if their physical treatment includes massage therapy. However, when used as an aid in medical treatment, massage needs to be used with care, as there are some conditions, such as an undiscovered broken bone, which may be aggravated by the massage therapy. Also there are some external conditions, including lesions and inflammation, which need to be dealt with before massage methods can be used. However, it is not difficult to find wide-ranging benefits of massage. Those professionals who work on bodies have long known of the healing power of touch and many manipulative techniques have been developed that lead toward optimum health. Though miracle cures are often exaggerated, there is ample evidence to justify claims that massage can be of real benefit.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Diabetes and Exercise - An Important Combination!

When anyone learns they have diabetes one of the first things the doctor will tell you is the need for lifestyle changes. Lack of exercise and obesity are some of the reasons for the disease. The symptoms of adult diabetes, also known as Type 2 Diabetes, is becoming more common with the increasing number of elderly Americans, along with the lack of exercise and increasing obesity rates.

It is well known that Type 2 Diabetics have had complete symptom remission after achieving a significant reduction in weight typically due to exercise and diet improvement. After living the life of a couch potato it is hard to get up and exercise, as we should. But you must understand that it is a must that you get up and start. Remember this is your life we are talking about, so this should be the biggest motivation you need to get up and move.

Unlike type 1, Type 2 Diabetes can usually be controlled with diet, and exercise. We don't exercise as we should. Most health care providers recommend good nutrition and exercise as treatment for those in early stages of Type 2 Diabetes. When exercising, the body needs extra energy or fuel in the form of glucose for the exercising muscles. Research shows that with continued moderate exercising, however, you muscles take up glucose. This lowers blood glucose levels. This is because exercise helps to get glucose into muscle tissue, because contracting muscle does not need insulin to absorb glucose. With moderate exercising, your muscles take up glucose at almost 20 times the normal rate compared to short burst of exercise, such as a quick sprint. You may also consider Chromium supplements, which can improve insulin resistance in muscle cells.

When the blood glucose levels begin to rise, it is the insulin's job to push muscle and fat cells to absorb whatever glucose they need for future activities whereas any surplus will be stored by the liver. Insulin stimulates muscle cells and other body cells to remove glucose from the blood and convert the glucose to glycogen, a kind of starch, and then store the glycogen.

As always you should check with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Start your exercise program slowly with a low-impact exercise such as walking, swimming or biking. You should exercise at least three to four times per week for 20 to 40 minutes each session. It would be best for you to exercise every day. A good exercise program should include 5 to 10 minutes warm-up and at least 15 to 30 minutes of continuous aerobic exercise, followed by 5-minutes cool down. One of the side effects you'll have is you'll sleep better and feel more rested than before you started exercising. So come on get up and move!