Getting a massage can be a great way of relaxing, relieving stress, and pampering yourself. If you are diabetic, you can experience the same benefits of a massage. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before showing up for your massage therapy appointment.
Low Glucose Levels
Most of the time, you are worried about how high your blood glucose level is. Because a massage can lower your stress and make you relax, it has also been shown to lower your blood glucose level by 20 to 40mg/dl. If you haven't eaten, or your glucose is already at a low point, you need to take some type of candy, juice, or other sugary substance with you. As soon as you feel your glucose is dropping, be sure to eat or drink the sugar. Talk to the therapist before the session and inform him or her of your condition. Most therapists have been trained on how to respond to emergency situations.
If you suffer with peripheral neuropathy due to your diabetes, be sure to explain this to the therapist. Show him or her where you have the most problems, and ask that any treatment to the area be gentle and to avoid deep tissue massage there. Because of the loss of feeling, you will not be able to tell the therapist if something hurts, and there could be bruising or other damage to the area you may not feel until later. However, the therapist may notice a sore or break in the skin in an area where you have limited feeling. Having someone inform you of such can be a big help. If left alone, you may never know about the issue until there is an infection that has spread. Not knowing about an open wound in the skin is a major factor in why many diabetics need to have their toes and/or feet amputated. In addition to an extra set of eyes, when done right, massage will help restore some of the circulation to the feet, helping any sores to heal faster.
If you have your diabetes under control, there is no reason you should not enjoy regular massage therapy. If you are unsure, talk with your doctor about it. The key to having a safe massage is being honest with yourself and the therapist. Make sure he or she understands your condition and your concerns. Then you can just lie back, relax, and be pampered.