Can massage help with Diabetes?

The image shows a relaxed client lying on a massage table, receiving a neck massage from a therapist. The therapist is wearing a professional uniform with a visible Physio Connex logo, indicative of a clinical setting. The client is covered with a cozy beige towel, suggesting a comfortable and therapeutic environment. The focus is on the gentle hand placement of the therapist at the back of the client's neck, a technique likely aimed at relieving tension.

The most common complication of Diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is injury to the nerves that exist outside our spinal cord or brain such as within our hands or feet. People with Diabetes typically first notice symptoms such as numbness, pain, or tingling in their feet and lower leg.

Although more research is needed, some evidence suggests that YES massage therapy may help people with Diabetes manage neuropathy symptoms. Some studies have also found that massage may:

  • Help lower blood glucose levels
  • Decrease Haemoglobin A1C levels (which is used to monitor Diabetes)
  • Improve pain
  • Improve circulation and diabetic foot ulcers

Massage may also help manage peripheral arterial disease. Peripheral arterial disease is when plaque build-up narrows your blood vessels and decreases circulation to your limbs. It commonly occurs in people with Type 2 Diabetes and increases risk of heart attack and stroke. Massage can improve circulation in the lower limbs of people with Type 2 Diabetes.

Lymphatic drainage through massage lightly redirects lymph blockages into functional lymphatic channels; thus, limiting the “stored” fluid in the body.  Many diabetics suffer from retained fluid and this method can achieve greater relief of the neuropathy – releasing pressure on the muscle tissue and skin.

Functionally, massage of the feet and calves see significant improvements in range of motion, ability to stand up from a seated position, and foot sensation.

There are no serious complications documented regarding massage, however there is a small risk of inducing low blood sugar in patients using insulin. It’s a good idea to bring a source of sugar, such as glucose tablets or juice to take after your consultation.

It is always best to keep good lines of communication open with your therapist before, during, and after your massage. It is also important to seek consult with a qualified clinical remedial massage therapist who is trained and frequently treats chronic disease.

To book your first consultation with our qualified remedial massage therapist, please click here to book online or call 43145183.