Remedial Massage for Diabetics: What You Need to Be Aware Of

Approximately one million people in Australia have diabetes, meaning it is classed as a common ailment. One of the symptoms of diabetes is a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, wherein the extremities (primarily the feet when it comes to diabetes) suffer from reduced sensation, or even mild pain. Excessive blood sugar tends to gather in the extremities, reducing the ability of nerves in the area to convey messages to the brain. Remedial massage that targets the affected area can be highly beneficial to those suffering from diabetes. Manipulation of the affected areas can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by peripheral neuropathy. Here are some considerations for those with diabetes who are considering receiving remedial massage therapy.

Massage and Blood Sugar

The relaxation effect of massage is important for diabetics. Your body goes through more stress than those without diabetes, and your changing levels of blood sugar strains your system as a whole. Massage does a small part to reduce this stress. Massage also increases your blood circulation, meaning that excessive blood sugar will not gather in your extremities as much, since your improved circulation allows it to be more evenly distributed throughout your body.

Massage and Peripheral Neuropathy

When receiving a remedial massage to relieve the symptoms of diabetes, you need to talk to the massage therapist about the severity of your peripheral neuropathy. There are varying degrees of peripheral neuropathy, and in extreme cases, it can result in a foot that is almost entirely numb. A remedial massage will target the tissues and nerves of your foot, so the massage therapist needs to be aware of how much feeling you have in your foot. Intensive massage can aggravate the nerves in your foot, and you would ordinarily be able to gauge this as you are receiving the massage. Reduced sensation in the feet can mean that you're not able to register the depth of the massage. Informing the massage therapist about your condition allows them to employ a special, lighter (and yet still effective) touch.

Before and After the Massage

Massage can be so relaxing that it promotes digestion. This is a particular concern with diabetics, as a massage can cause blood sugar levels to drop as these compounds are digested. Those with severe diabetes might wish to check their levels prior to a massage and dose themselves with insulin if needed. You might experience a feeling of lightheadedness after a massage, so it can be important to have an appropriate snack on hand to normalise your blood sugar levels after a massage.

Remedial massage can be fantastic for relieving some of the symptoms associated with diabetes. It's important to remember that the condition means you need to take extra care when it comes to receiving a remedial massage.