Diabetes and Massage Therapy

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by Shari´ Parks

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Here are some staggering figures for you. Nearly 30million adults and children in the US have diabetes. Another 86million American’s have pre-diabetes. That’s crazy to me. The American Diabetes Assoc. is launching their “America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes.” The campaign will focus on sharing healthy cooking tips and recipes designed to educate the public in preparing nutritional meals. This is ironic because in a just a few weeks American’s will sit down to have their Thanksgiving meals. Perfect timing.

So, how does massage therapy come into play for diabetic treatment? Can massage help? Yes, and here are just a few ways:

Circulation:
There’s no getting around the fact that massage can increase circulation, thereby encouraging the efficient transport of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Improved circulation improves the cells’ insulin uptake.

Relaxation:
The benefits of relaxation should not be underestimated, especially within the diabetic community. Consider the physical and psychological stresses of living with a debilitating disease and the need to self-medicate and monitor on a daily basis. As well as the burden diabetes puts on the body and its systems. That said, it’s easy to see the therapeutic correlation between massage and diabetes. With the release of endorphins, the nervous system calms, there is a reduction of stress hormones and the diabetic client can find a homeostasis with their blood sugar levels.

Myofascial Effects:
For the client with diabetes, you may likely find a thickening of their connective tissue caused by increased blood sugars. Massage will help to increase mobility and tissue elasticity that has been hindered by that thickening effect. Of course, a good exercise program — with an efficient stretching regimen — will also benefit your client.

Massage therapy can be safely enjoyed. Keep in mind it’s important to share your questions and concerns with your Massage Therapist. Be upfront about your diabetes. Clear communication is also the key to getting the most out of your massage treatments.

Resources:
Massage Therapy Magazine
The Baltimore Times

One Response

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