Diabetes and diabetes treatment is an especially challenging disease to live with because of all the daily management and care that goes into staying as healthy as possible. From monitoring your diet and glucose levels to tracking your insulin, you’re constantly on alert as to how your body is going to react to the food you eat and your activity levels.
Something as simple as drinking an iced tea or going for a long walk can have a huge impact on your glucose levels, which can cause you to experience lightheadedness, fainting, or other more serious symptoms.
Given the amount of time a diabetic patient commits to following their doctor’s orders, many people living with the disease seek new more holistic ways to to make life a little easier without additional medication.
If you’re looking for natural diabetes treatments, you may be surprised to learn that therapeutic massage can actually help you manage your symptoms and augment your medical treatment plan.
What’s happening inside the body of a diabetic?
Diabetes is a condition in which your body’s ability to produce or react to the hormone insulin is impaired, causing problems with metabolizing carbohydrates as well as high levels of glucose in the blood and urine. The body needs glucose to keep running, since it’s one of the body’s main sources of fuel. But when your glucose levels are out of whack, it causes serious problems throughout the entire body.
So just how can massage help regulate this glucose rollercoaster you’re on? Let’s find out the top three ways massage can help your diabetes.
1. Massage as a treatment for neuropathy
Neuropathy is another word for nerve damage, which many diabetics experience in their hands and feet. This peripheral neuropathy can cause numbness, tingling, muscle weakness or wasting, pain, increased sensitivity, and even eventual paralysis.
While there are many drugs on the market to treat the symptoms of neuropathy, these medications come with considerable side effects that some patients would rather avoid. Studies are now showing that massage may be an effective adjunct treatment for neuropathy. According to Awandish Pandey and his research partners in their systematic review of alternative therapies for diabetes, the improved circulation caused by therapeutic massage “can do wonders for diabetic neuropathy and other diabetic-related complications.”
But why exactly does massage do such a good job of improving circulation? Massage causes vasodilation, which increases your blood flow and gets more beneficial oxygen to every corner of your body.
2. Massage Reduces Stress Hormones & Allows Efficient Use Of Insulin
The medical community has long known that relaxation reduces anxiety. In fact, massage is actually proven to reduce the levels of key stress-regulating hormones like cortisol in the body.
Because massage-induced relaxation lowers the body’s stress-regulating hormones, it may actually help the body to use insulin more effectively.
3 | Massage May Help Normalize Blood Glucose
Research indicates that massage may help normalize blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes.
Managing Diabetes Is A Multifaceted Challenge That Needs Creative Solutions
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are a top priority for the natural management of diabetes. Additional natural therapies like a professional massage can be an incredible way to live life to the fullest while living with the disease.