Massage and Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that affects many of the body’s systems and is prevalent in societies with diets high in sugar content.  Creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary for optimal wellness including balancing proper nutrition, adequate exercise, blood glucose monitoring, appropriate use of medications and stress management.  There are many symptoms of diabetes, and massage therapy provides holistic support to conventional treatments.

Though diabetes pathologies may differ, the common symptom of elevated blood glucose has many short- and long-term ramifications.  Fatigue is common since cells are essentially starved for energy when blood glucose is elevated and cells are insulin resistant.  Symptoms of frequent urination and excessive thirst are due to excess sugar spilling into the urine. Long-term damage at the cellular level often affects the eyes, kidney, heart, blood vessels and nervous system.  Diabetics becomes more vulnerable to retinopathy and neuropathy, as well as heart and kidney disease without good blood sugar control.  Connective tissue may also be affected leading to thickening or stiffening of the fascia surrounding muscles and organs.

Massage is a beneficial complementary therapy with a variety of positive physical and emotional effects.  One of the best documented effects of massage is improved blood & lymphatic circulation which encourages efficient transport of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body improving cellular insulin uptake.  One study shows that injection-site massage can improve conventional insulin therapy by increasing the bioavailability of insulin in the postprandial (after eating) state.  Others suggest that massage drops blood glucose levels.

Massage stimulates endorphin release, calmingImprove heart health with massage the nervous system and decreases stress hormones promoting relaxation.  Anxiety and depression are also often reduced by manual therapy.  Myofascial thickening of connective tissue caused by increased blood sugars will be helped by massage, increasing mobility and tissue elasticity with the value-added benefit of  proper stretch coaching.

Registered Massage Therapists offer support for the general population including those affected by diabetes; call Eleanor Hayward RMT, Holistic Practitioner at 905.825.9996 to schedule your appointment today!