The benefits of massage are well-documented for all types of people—athletes, geriatrics, pregnant women and more. But did you know that therapeutic massage has benefits for diabetics as well? Without good blood sugar control, a diabetic can become more susceptible to complications with the disease, including to neuropathy, kidney and heart disease. Massage has a few benefits that can help prevent these issues:
Stress and anxiety reduction
This benefit is not exclusive to diabetics but could be more important for them. Reducing stress can often reduce blood glucose levels. A skilled massage therapists touch can induce calmness, which can have a very positive impact on the overall function of the body.
For Type 2 diabetics (85% of diabetics), injecting insulin is a regular practice. Great circulation, which can be greatly improved with massage, ensures that the insulin, along with more oxygen and other nutrients are circulated throughout the body appropriately.
Though Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes manifest differently, they have one very striking effect in common: they make the person incredibly fatigued and, over time, mobility and activity can take a back seat. Regular therapeutic massage can actually promote healthy muscles and connective tissues, making it easier to move and improving overall mobility. Introducing stretching and a regular exercise regimen can solidify these benefits.
Look for a massage therapist who is educated about blood glucose levels, and be sure to check your levels before the session – and again afterward.
As all diabetics are aware of, it’s always best to keep a little something sweet on-hand just in case your levels drop. If you’ve considered regular massage as a part of your health regimen, speak with your physician about these benefits to see if it’s right for you.