If you’ve been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, then you’re likely experiencing a wide range of emotions.
On one hand, you’re grateful for answers to the symptoms that you’ve been experiencing. With a solid treatment plan in place, there is a good chance that you’re already feeling better.
On the other hand, you have lifestyle changes that need to be made. Because diabetes affects nerve endings and can put the health of your feet at-risk, there are certain questions about diet, exercise, and massage that are often asked.
Every situation is unique, but there are some general conclusions that can be made with a foot massage and a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.
You Should Be Getting a Foot Massage with Type 2 Diabetes
One of the biggest challenges that diabetes causes is its impact on the circulatory system. The reason why Type 2 diabetes puts a person’s feet at risk is that full-pressure circulation doesn’t always make it to your extremities. Lower circulation levels create the potential to have a cut that doesn’t heal.
A prolonged cut creates the opportunity for an infection to set in. That infection can spread because the white blood cells from the immune system response can’t reach it due to the lower circulation levels. Over time, serious medical complications can arise from a simple injury, like from nicks caused by a nail clipper.
With a foot massage, even if you’re using a simple foot massager, there is the potential of increasing circulation to the extremities. With increased circulation comes better oxygen transport capabilities. In return, there is a greater potential for improved insulin uptake. When combined with diet and exercise changes, it becomes possible to limit or even begin to reverse the damage that Type 2 diabetes can cause.
What Are the Advantages of Massage with Diabetes?
When all factors are equal, a 40-minute foot massage can lower a person’s blood glucose levels by up to 40 points. If a massage is received every day, that offers the potential of lowering the critical A1C readings.
It can also lower the sensitivity experienced over time when damage to the small nerves in the feet occurs. Instead of a forceful foot massage when tingling or numbness is present, comforting and light touches may be just as beneficial. Touch in any form can act as a form of acupuncture.
There are safety concerns which must be watched for when receiving a massage, however, because everyone responds a little differently to the stimulation. This includes individuals using a foot massager.
In particular, pay attention to the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia. If you suspect low blood glucose levels, stop the massage and administer whatever therapy seems important. For those who know their body patterns with this disease, communicate your experiences to your masseuse before starting any massage.
Type 2 diabetes can be a scary disease because of its unpredictability. Incorporate a regular foot massage if approved by your treatment team and hopefully you’ll begin to experience positive results in the near future.