Diabetes, a disease of epidemic proportions, profoundly affects the quality of life for millions. Medications are used to help with symptoms and to stabalise the blood sugar levels. Lifestyle factors also can be modified to help deal with this disease. In Australia, diabetes can only be legally treated within the western medical field, however, Massage Therapy may play an important role in the support-health care of people suffering from diabetes in the following ways:

  1. Massage and Sugar Reduction

When a diabetic client receives a remedial massage in the Newtown clinic, a fascinating study done in 2011, comes to mind. Swedish massage was given to children with diabetes mellitus. The purpose of the study was to see if the massage had any effect on blood glucose levels. The massage was done 3 times a week for 15 minutes for a total of 3 months

The authors concluded that, “Addition of Swedish massage to daily routines; exercise, diet and medication regimens, is an effective intervention to reduce blood glucose level in diabetic children.”

  1. Stress Reduction Essential For Health

Relaxation is an essential part of many, if not most health-care regimes as it is well known that stress is a significant driver of many disease processes. For example, stress increases the level of cortisol in the body and too much of this hormone has serious negative health consequences. Remedial Massage is a great way to reduce stress and tension and then the flow on effect of this is the rebalancing of stress hormones throughout the body, helping to bring about a sense of wellbeing, balance and vitality.

  1. Rejuvenate the Tissues

Type 2 diabetes patients have to take insulin. Due to repeated injections, many sites in the body develop scars and these can be quite painful. However, remedial massage therapy by experts can help revitalize these scar tissues to ease the pain in the areas.

  1. Increased Flexibility and Blood Flow

Massage therapy helps the muscles to maintain and increase resilience and flexibility and can improve the overall tone of the muscle tissue. As a result of this, blood flow is stimulated and enhanced which is essential when dealing with diabetes. Our remedial massage therapy in the Sydney clinic focus on this and treatments help not only your muscles to be in great shape but also to encourage healthy circulation.

  1. Improvement of Nerve Function

Alongside the importance of blood flow, nerve health is critical when it comes to diabetic management. Professional and experienced massage practitioners can provide treatments that may help with nerve health and function.  Blood flow is stimulated which brings nutrients to the neural tissue and at the same time, toxic metabolites are removed. Muscles around the nerves are relaxed and this will release tension on both the blood vessels and nerves. Neural receptors for pressure and temperature are stimulated with massage and this is a good thing – helping to keep the nerves healthy.

  1. Establishing Healthy Practices

As with any condition, diabetes included, maintaining and establishing healthy routines is such an important part of health-care and diabetic management. Often diabetic care is on-going and lifelong and so these routines need to be enduring. One excellent and important way to help achieve a high degree of compliance is to include things that you enjoy and are pleasurable. Eating delicious health food as an obvious one, but so to is have regular massage treatments. It is something you can look forward to every month or two. It can be your reward for keeping on track with your medication for example. And in itself, massage has so many health-benefits as already discussed.

  1. Keep Motivation High

So, leading on from point 6, massage helps in motivating patients to maintain diabetic care. Depression is not uncommon for people suffering from diabetes, and this may quickly lead to lack of motivation and then health-care compliance can reduce. Massage Therapy is just one important way to help establish healthy routines which in turn helps to keep the health-focused motivation high over a sustained period of time.

  1. Endurance

When dealing with a chronic condition like diabetes, as well as recommending massage in our Newtown clinic, clients are encourage to find different ways to nourish their physical and emotional health because you need to be in for the “long haul” dealing with condition. You need a good dose of endurance and perseverance and to be continuously feeding this so that you can keep the motivation high (point 7) but be able to sustain this for a long period of time. It’s easy to ‘be healthy’ for a week or two, but what about for a decade if you have severe diabetes.

Author's Bio: 

The author practices remedial massage in Newtown and Sydney, and is keenly interested in research and natural therapies and how to help people with diabetes. He publishes daily blogs.