Diabetes and Massage Therapy

Diabetes and Massage TherapyMassage has been around for thousands of years, and in more recent times, massage therapy is used by professional athletes, and is an integral part of managing medical conditions, such as diabetes.

The benefits of massage therapy/therapeutic touch are long and wide. Relaxation is one of the greatest benefits of massage therapy, and it should be noted, that having to live with diabetes is very stressful both mentally (due to balancing the demands of exercise, nutrition and medication) and physically (as blood sugar fluctuations puts a strain on all systems of the body). Diabetic patients benefit greatly from massage therapy, as it not only reduces feelings of anxiety and constant worry, but it also provides a sense of overall well-being.

Poor circulation is often an infliction that affects many diabetics, and elevated, unstable blood sugar often leads to the thickening of the connective tissue of the muscles, which limits mobility due to stiff joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Improved circulation is another benefit of therapeutic touch/massage therapy, as oxygen and important nutrients travel through the body more smoothly and effectively, including the uptake (absorption) of insulin by the cells. In conjunction with regular exercise and stretching, massage therapy helps to reduce and even eliminate pain, due from muscle stiffness.

It is important to tell the massage therapist that you have diabetes, and the symptoms that you may encounter during hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), as massage is known to lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia vary from person to person, but some common signs of an individual dealing with a severe drop in blood sugar levels include: headache, excess sweating, rapid heart rate and disorientation.

In addition, it is equally important to bring a small container of juice, glucose tablets or another type of portable hypoglycemia treatment to your massage session, to ensure a totally relaxing and safe experience.

During your pre-session conversation with the massage therapist, it is recommended that you share what and when the last thing you had eaten, and also the last time insulin or other medication was taken.

Also, it is advised that you check your blood sugar levels immediately before and after your massage therapy session.

Massage therapy is a natural stress reduction remedy for many individuals, and provides diabetic patients with a positive psychological boost to better deal with their disease on a daily basis.

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