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  Chat Transcript
Managing Holiday Stress Sharon Spear, C.D.E. and Lynda Campbell, R.N., L.M.T., November 28, 2012
 Sharon@Unity:

 Welcome to the Unity Diabetes Online Community! I’m Sharon Spear, a certified diabetes educator at the Unity Diabetes Center. I’ll be hosting today’s chat with Lynda Campbell, a registered nurse and licensed message therapist. We’re glad you could join us today and we’re excited to answer all of your diabetes-related questions.

Before we get started let me just tell you how we’ll address your questions and comments today. I answer questions one at a time, in the order that they

 Sharon@Unity:
 Hello Everyone. Our topic tonight is managing stress for the holidays. Lynda Campbell a liscensed massage Therapist has joined me.
 lyndaeac:
 My personal favorite has always been taking a nice slow, deep breath. It helps us to feel more centered and relaxed, and brings much needed oxygen to our brains and muscles. Meditation, exercise, music and laughter all are helpful also.
 lyndaeac:
 Sharon, what would you like to add to this list?
 Sharon@Unity:
 Doing something that you enjoy, a hobby volunteer work, writing, crafts or exercise to get those endorphins going.
 Sharon@Unity:
 Does anyone have things that work for you?
 lucyblue:
 Exercise is good for me, especially if I can be outside - in nature, on trails walking or running.
 Sharon@Unity:
 For people with diabetes, stress management is important to keep their blood sugars in control.
 sassy35:
 What is it about being stressed that makes BGs go up?
 lyndaeac:
 Blood sugar is elevated by stress due to the hormonal effect of adrenaline for immediate stresses and cortisol for chronic stressors. Each effects our body by raising heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and blood sugar.
 Sharon@Unity:
I always call that that flight hormones, Lynda. What about cortisol?
lyndaeac:
 Cortisol is the chronic stress hormone that many of us have constantly if we are worried, anxious, fearful or have a lot of pressure on our minds. Sounds like holiday preparation doesn't it? This is why it is so important to find ways to slow our nervous system down = relaxation.
 Sharon@Unity:
 How can message therapy help this Lynda?
 lyndaeac:
 Thanks for asking Sharon. Massage is wonderful for anyone, but for those with diabetes it actually can lower blood glucose about 40 mg/dl after a 1 hour relaxation massage. The fluid massage strokes we use can improve circulation, increase the immune system, improve edema and lymph flow, clear toxins from tired or sore muscles and cause a deep sense of well-being.
 sassy35:
 How often do you recommend massage for people with diabetes?
 Sharon@Unity:
 Some of my favorite resources for stress and diabetes can be found on dlife.com, especially Dr. Richard Rubin, and Dr. Plonsky. Check them out!
 lucyblue:
 Wow! That's amazing.
 lyndaeac:
Our brains do not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, so if you can picture yourself in a favorite place, relaxing, feeling peaceful and happy your brain rewards you by reducing those stress hormones just as the massage will do.
 lyndaeac:
The frequency of massage is really up to the individual. I personally try to have at least one a month. The positive effects last awhile and don't just end when you walk out the door. Massage can also decrease depression and anxiety.
 lucyblue:
 Thank you Linda and Sharon - really good to know how beneficial massage and relaxation techniques can be!
 lyndaeac:
 My practice is called Innervisions: Massage and Bodywork. You can call me at 585-719-6477 if you have any other further questions. Breathe deeply and smile. Thanks. Lynda
 Sharon@Unity:
 That’s all the time we have for today. We’ve really enjoyed our conversation and hope that we were able to provide some insight for you. If we didn’t get to your question today or if you think of another question later on – feel free to jump into the conversation in the forum, or submit a question using our “Ask an expert” feature. Be sure to join us for our next chat Wednesday, December 5 with Elva Parker, C.D.E. Elva will answer all of your diabetes questions and share diabetes-friendly baking.
 
 
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