It’s not news that diabetes is prevalent; what is news is this: Researchers in Spain have found that connective-tissue massage improves blood circulation in the lower limbs of Type-2 diabetic patients, and may be useful to slow the progression of peripheral arterial disease.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million children and adults in the United States—7.8 percent of the population—have diabetes.

In “Connective Tissue Reflex Massage for Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease: Randomized Controlled Trial,” 98 Type-2 diabetes patients with stage I or II-a peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were randomly assigned to a massage group or to a placebo group treated using disconnected magnetotherapy equipment, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

PAD “occurs when blood vessels in the legs are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, and blood flow to [the] feet and legs decrease,” according to the American Diabetes Association.

For this study, peripheral arterial circulation was determined by measuring differential segmental arterial pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, oxygen saturation and skin blood flow. Measurements were taken before and at 30 min, six months and one year after the 15-week treatment.

At six months and one year, the groups differed in differential segmental arterial pressure in upper third of left and right legs.

The research was conducted by researchers at the Universidad de Almería and is published in Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

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