You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Eating disorders are among the most common problems in the United States. As a matter of fact, a mind-boggling number of 30 million Americans suffer from eating complications, with about 13 percent of them accounting for women aged over 50. To make matters worse, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Inc. have also found out that at least one person dies every 62 minutes as a primary result of eating disorders.
Ordinarily, people suffering from this type of disorders reported that the root cause of their complications are more about the opportunity to enact a logic of personal control in a world where they can feel completely helpless rather than their choices or attitude around eating.
Paradoxically, irregular eating behaviors can immediately become embedded into the person’s will and that essence of command can be extremely overpowered by self-destructive and addictive habits. Obviously, the impact of advertisements, television, newspapers, billboards, and the fashion industry are among the factors for most people, but while everyone is exposed to media, not all have suffered from eating maladies.
Apart from that, common anxiety complications such as peer pressure, self-esteem issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, family genetics, personality traits, and environmental factors are also among the determinants of an eating disorder.
In addition, it is also worth mentioning that chemistry and internal triggers also have something to do with eating issues as studies of people with eating disorders have revealed considerable differences in the release of serotonin. Moreover, eating disorders also hold the highest mortality rate of any kind of mental illness, thus, making it much more dangerous.
Common Eating Disorders
While it is classified as an eating issue, anorexia has nothing to do with the digestive system but rather it is more of a psychological imbalance. In general terms, it is defined as a kind of condition wherein a person tries to starve herself by dramatically decreasing the consumption of calories or by eating barely enough for the body while overcompensating through exercise. Among of the common patients of anorexia are teenagers or women, who often have unrealistic expectations of themselves.
Other than that, people who are active in physical activities that require immense flexibility such as skating, gymnastics, and dance are also at high risk of suffering anorexia. In fact, about 0.9 percent of American women experience anorexia in their lifetime. Additionally, statistics have also shown that a whopping 33 to 50 percent of anorexia patients suffer from mood disorders, social phobia, and depression.
Besides women, the male population can also develop anorexia most especially athletes who are working on weight limits such as boxers, wrestlers, and even jockeys. Surprisingly, however, only 10 percent of the male population have been diagnosed with such a condition. Unlike any other eating disorder, people suffering from anorexia do not typically view themselves underweight.
On the flip side, most anorexic patients display a highly-distorted logic of their size, which could lead them in labeling themselves as fat, when in fact they might be dangerously slim. Consequently, one of the most common features of anorexia that can make it quite tough to pinpoint early is that signs of this disease cannot immediately be detected by simply just looking at the person. What makes this even harder is that anorexic people mostly hide when eating and often dress baggy clothes to seamlessly hide their mass. At present, the Standard Mortality Ratio of Anorexia Nervosa is 5.86, with one in five anorexia deaths, coming by suicide.
Bulimia Nervosa, which is also known as Ox eating, is an eating complication in which a person overeats while compensating through excessive exercise and vomiting. Dissimilar to anorexia nervosa, people suffering from bulimia primarily devour enough calories to help sustain their natural. This, however, does not mean that bulimia is not as equally dangerous as anorexia as sometimes compensation activities can result in lethal health issues. Making Bulimia even more dangerous is that at least 1.5 percent of American women suffer from this complication in their lifetime.
On the other hand, binge-eating is a pathological condition in which a person loses a sense of control of their diet because of feeling distressed or sick. Unlike bulimia and anorexia, binge-eating is far more common to men with up to 35 percent of the current population suffering from such disorder. Addedly, experts have also found out that the risk of binge-eating has something to do with genetics.
Complications of Eating Issues
The risks of eating disorders cannot be underestimated as it could rapidly result in life-threatening diseases or worse, death. Other than losing complete command of eating patterns, the aforementioned disorders can also lead to dental and esophageal damages as well as osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes, electrolyte imbalance, fatty-liver diseases, and osteopenia. Surprisingly enough, it can also result in cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and atherosclerosis, which are both the leading causes of death in the United States.
The Duty of Every Massage Therapist
The danger of massage for people with eating issues greatly depends on the type eating complications they are enduring. While it may seem unlikely for a young woman to suffer from osteoarthritis, it is worth remembering that this might come into play for people who are suffering from extreme anorexia. Meanwhile, people who are having trouble regulating their electrolytes due to constant purging are in danger of having problems regarding their heartbeats. On these cases, it is best for every therapist to have a thorough discussion with the customer’s healthcare provider in order to avoid any further complications.
Interestingly enough, the Touch Research Institute found out on their study of anorexia and massage that a sizable amount of patients with anorexia experienced an ideal or positive reaction after a session. As a professional massage therapist, it is most appropriate to foster positive, intelligent, and non-judgmental touch into the lives of people regardless of their body shapes. Put simply, it is the duty of every massage therapist to meet every client with care and compassion.
Massage therapists have the opportunity to provide educated, nonjudgmental, and educated touch towards people suffering from eating disorders — this is regardless of whether they are thin, fat, or in-between. Massage can be a great way for people to experience their bodies in a positive way, as something that is to be taken care of. The enduring touch given by massage therapists can let people with eating disorders know that they can be taken care of and they can be given compassion even in the smallest ways.