"Every child, no matter the age, should be massaged at bedtime on a regular basis.” So says Tiffany Field, PhD, of the Touch Research Institute (TRI) in Miami, Florida. Field and her associates at TRI have worked diligently over the past decade to prove the benefits of massage for children. But this is not a new concept. Infant massage has long been a common practice in many cultures. Many indigenous tribes use some form of bodywork to soothe, relax, and heal their little ones, sometimes including scented oils and herbal remedies as part of the experience.
If you’re like the vast majority of American adults, you may be taking one or more medications on a regular basis to help manage your health. And, if you’re like a lot of American adults, you would also like to incorporate massage therapy into your healthcare strategies.
Prior to European colonization of the Americas, diabetes was virtually unknown in indigenous peoples. It is now epidemic, having taken a firm hold in this population over the past century and increasing at an alarming rate. It is estimated approximately 15 percent of Native Americans and Alaska Natives under care by Indian Health Services (IHS) are diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes, type 2, more than twice the national average. Statistics are higher in some groups, with a 50 percent incidence for adults between ages 30 and 64 in one Arizona tribe.1
Heart disease, nerve damage and kidney failure are long-term effects of Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body no longer can make enough, or doesn’t respond to insulin — the body’s blood-sugar-regulating hormone. Research presented at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting suggests those complications associated with Type 2 diabetes can be minimized simply by exercising, which, in turn, regulates blood sugar by sensitizing muscle and liver cells to insulin.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease of impaired carbohydrate metabolism that results from inadequate production or utilization of the hormone insulin. This vital substance is necessary to convert food into energy by facilitating the transfer of glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. Of the 16 million people in the United States with diabetes, most can be categorized into one of the following types: