For diabetics, it can be a dizzying array of strict diets, supplements, and drug therapy depending on the stage of diabetes. One thing is for sure however, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics can benefit from not only the relaxing effects of massage therapy; it’s also an effective tool in regulating the disease as well.
Massage is useful in reducing stress which is no secret, however for diabetics, lowering the heart rate and blood pressure while increasing endorphins. For many diabetics with poor circulation, a few different types of massage therapy will promote increased and proper circulation. Deep Muscle Therapy and Stone Massage are particularly effective. A Swedish massage will help move the blood through congested areas of the body, flushing lactic acid from the muscles and allowing more oxygen-rich blood to flow in.
Stress hormones also contribute to chemical changes in connective tissue causing stickiness between the layers of tissue. Massage therapy along with stretching and regular exercise is important to help encourage flexibility and health.
Neuropathy is a painful side effect for some diabetics. The burning, stinging sensation on the tops of feet and hands can be debilitating, and only grows worse. Massage has proven helpful in triggering endorphin release to raise a patient’s threshold. Also, Trigger Point Therapy along with Sports Massage releases serotonin and oxytocin in your body. Both of these chemicals are known to relieve chronic pain.
Massage works directly with the muscles and connective tissues in the body helping to facilitate greater mobility in the body. Because elevated blood sugar causes the thickening of connective tissue, a diabetic may be affected by mobility and elasticity of the myofascial system. Stiffness in muscles, tendons, and ligaments or a decreased range of motion will benefit greatly by a regularly scheduled massage.
It’s important to note however, that the deep, restful relaxation of massage may cause hypoglycemia. Talk to your massage therapist about your history if you have one with hypoglycemia and how you’ve dealt with it. Check your blood sugar before and after your massage to keep the calm and relaxing effects of your massage session continuing on long after you’ve left our center.
Along with all of the physical benefits of massage, massage will also give you a wonderful psychological boost; helpful to those who live and suffer from diabetes. If you would like more information on how we can plan a regularly scheduled massage therapy for you, please visit our center. Our massage therapists will sit down with you to discuss your diabetes, your aches and pains and choose the most appropriate therapy for you.