A guide to Treatment of Diabetes using massage


Massage therapy was not really popular as an alternative technique that aids in treatment of diabetes over history but now this various researches have proved that massage therapies complement the conventional methods of treating diabetic patients. Various studies and tests have been carried out over a group of people and those who experienced massage therapies along with the medical treatment of diabetes showed positive results and improvements in their condition. Massage therapy also aids in maintaining certain level of blood sugar thus addressing diabetes problem. Massage therapy not only is a technique that helps people suffering from diabetes but it is one of the safest methods of addressing health related issues.

Benefits of Massage for Diabetic Patients:

Here we have listed some of the many benefits that massage therapy has for diabetic patients:

  • Improved Blood Circulation: Diabetic patients usually have bad circulation or damaged system for circulation. Massage therapy when performed over various parts of their bodies especially hands and feet prove beneficial as it improves circulation of blood. This full body massage therapy could be performed in a sitting position or laying down position. It should be according to client’s preference and feasibility. Diabetic patients also witness a better circulation and absorption of insulin when they are experiencing regular massage therapies.
  • Reduced Stress and Relaxed State of Body and Mind: Massage is a relaxation and soothing therapy that improves health and wellness of a human body and mind. The effect of massage is such that proper technique of massaging has positive effect on your body composition and it tends to reduce the stress relate negative hormones from your body. Massage therapy increases the level of good hormones and these good hormones in turn maintain your level of glucose in blood. Stress and fatigue are harmful conditions for a diabetic person as it increases the level of blood sugar. Thus massage being a relaxation therapy for your nervous system can be a great help.
  • Movements of Muscles and Tissues: Apart from thickness of blood, diabetic patients also suffer thickness of muscles and tissues. Massage therapy eases up stiffness and thickness of these muscles and tissues and thus improves movement to make these parts more flexible in a human body.

Diabetes and Massage Therapy:

There are various ways of performing massage therapy on a human body and a therapist can use different techniques including long straight strokes, circular movements, tapping, vibration, pressing, kneading and other ways to improve physical and psychological wellbeing of a diabetic patient.

Diabetic Neuropathy: The condition termed as diabetic neuropathy is a common condition that occurs in human bodies suffering from the disease of diabetes. This complication is termed as a peripheral nerve dysfunction that diabetic patients suffer from. This condition can also benefit with a massage therapy that is termed as a neuromuscular massage. This massage therapy involves use of gentle strokes and pressure on trigger points. This kind of therapy proves beneficial for controlling blood sugar level with patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy. Even if you do not witness improvement with symptoms, you will be able to control your condition from getting worse. Not only massage but a proper diet and regular exercising would ensure that your symptoms of this condition reduce.

Massage Tips for Diabetic Patients:

  • A diabetic patient must ensure to tell his/her therapist about your conditions and needs.
  • Your feedback regarding a massage therapy must be honest and don’t be afraid to share feedback with therapist. This feedback would be a learning process for both therapist and you and together you will be able to make your next session a better experience.
  • Any concerns or fears that you might have, share them with your therapist.
  • If you wish to take a break during therapy, don’t be afraid of taking one.
  • Alone massage therapy would not work, if you are not eating right and are not performing regular exercises.
  • It is important to talk to your doctor before opting for any kind of massage therapy.
  • You should get your blood sugar level checked regularly in order to keep a check on effects of a therapy.

Tips for Massage Therapists Dealing with Diabetic Patients:

  • Make sure that you are well aware of all the precautions that should be taken for massaging a diabetic patient.
  • A particular massage technique must be adopted only after studying complications of this disease.
  • Avoid overdoing pressure techniques and anything that you are doubtful may make patient’s condition worse.
  • A gentle touch technique would be better in most conditions.
  • Some common techniques that are used with diabetic patients include Swedish, Comfort Touch, Shiatsu, Therapeutic Touch, Lymph Drainage and Deep Tissue Therapy. Make sure that you choose therapies according to specific condition of your individual client.
  • Feedback of a client should be given priority and therapist must listen to it carefully.
  • Any modifications in massage session must be performed according to feedback of client.
  • Do not force techniques if client is facing any kind of discomfort during session.
  • You must encourage your client to talk about disease and personal care. Be receptive of what he/she has to share with you. This is the key to becoming a professional successful massage therapist.
  • During therapy, blood sugar level of your client may drastically change. Your client may or may not be able to realize these changes occurring in their body as it relaxes during massage session. It is thus important for you to learn other symptoms of a decreasing level of blood sugar in a human body and should be alert about such symptoms occurring in your client’s body. 


Massage therapy can give physical and psychological benefits for all those who are suffering from this disease. However it is important to look after other factors as well such as eating habits, physical activities, medication and consultation with doctor. A proper monitoring of your blood glucose level along with management of these factors and a relaxing massage therapy routine would enable you to maintain a healthy lifestyle even with this chronic illness.

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