Swedish Massage and the AMEN Factor


Most of the time I don’t know what’s going on, and that’s okay. This afternoon my massage therapist arrived and my blood sugar was 497; when he left after an hour of Swedish massage, my blood sugar was 391. Swedish massage can lower glucose 106 points? Well, who’da thunk?

D’ya think somebody ought to run out and tell the doctors at Upstate Medical Center’s Joselin (Diabetes) Clinic? You think they’ll listen? Nah, I don’t think so either.

This morning, before I went to church, my glucose was 483; after church it was 508; an hour later, after lunch it was 424. Anyone want to take a shot at figuring this out? Nah, I didn’t think so. Church raises my glucose 25 points and lunch lowers it 84 points?

The short form of this story is that I should have lots of massage, eat lunch and stay out of church, but that’s not going to happen. You want to hear another one that defies the standard explanations? Yesterday I received craniosacral therapy from a physical therapist and it lowered my glucose 152 points. Seriously.

At the Joselin Clinic, the attending physician told me that people have high blood sugars that they cannot explain. Do they also have lows that they can’t explain?

From MedicineNet.com (“We Bring Doctors’ Knowledge to You”):
“If you are interested in a deep tissue massage, there is no contraindication, but you should observe certain precautions. Stay well hydrated before, during and after your treatment, notify your therapist of any particular areas that are bothering you, and make certain your blood sugars are controlled before the treatment. If you plan on delaying a meal because of scheduling, make certain you eat something before going into your treatment so you do not become hypoglycemic during your massage.

“If you have wide blood sugar swings, or if your diabetes is poorly controlled, you should see your primary physician before considering any activity such as massage therapy.” (In other words, ask daddy; you are not a competent to figure these things out yourself.)

The American Diabetes Association published a research paper written by four people with eight degrees: 2 MsT’s, MPH, PhD, MD, BA, PA-C, BS, and they said that “randomized, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm any short- and long-term benefits of massage as a complementary treatment for diabetes . . .” (And what the hell do you use as a placebo for massage—a fake massage?)

Then they went on to say that “Massage has been recommended for diabetes for nearly 100 years.” And “From 1990 to 1997, the proportion of U.S. consumers using massage jumped from 7 to 11% of the population . . .”

Then AMTA, the American Massage Therapy Association, reported that “According to the 2011 AMTA consumer survey, an average of 18 percent of adult Americans received at least one massage between July 2010 and July 2011 . . .” And you know what else? Fewer people were asking their doctors about massage, and fewer doctors were recommending it. There is an increasingly wide divergence between what people are doing and what their doctors want them to do. Do you suppose that the consuming American public is finally standing up on its hind legs and taking charge of its own health care?

The National Institutes of Health reported that in 2007, 38% of Americans were using some kind of alternative therapy. Cathy Wong, ND, published at About.com Alternative Medicine, wrote “According to a new nationwide government survey [done by the CDC], 36 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM is defined as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. When prayer specifically for health reasons is included in the definition of CAM, the number of U.S. adults using some form of CAM in the past year rises to 62 percent.”

Holy catfish, Batman—you mean people are PRAYING for better health?

Um, well, yeah. This morning I made it back to my church–Isaiah’s Table—which has been praying for me these last nine months. How much do you think that had to do with my recovery? I WALKED in, boys and girls, on my own two feet. No wheelchair. I thanked them for their prayers, then noted that the chief medical officer of Crouse Hospital, when asked about God, said “Well, if you believe in that sort of thing.”

And, as I said to the congregants, “WE BELIEVE. AMEN.”

And in the ninety minutes that I have been writing this since my Swedish massager left, my blood sugar has dropped to 322—a total of 175 points. That’s the lowest it’s been since I got the glucometer 21 days ago.

And the people all said AMEN.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Swedish Massage and the AMEN Factor

  1. maieliiv says:

    AMEN and a big hug – my blood sugar does strange things when I am stressed!!! Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2014 22:45:11 +0000 To: maieliiv@sympatico.ca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s