Are massage chairs good for diabetics? In short, YES! Read on to learn 5 ways diabetics can benefit from massage chairs.
Diabetes is a chronic disease of deranged glucose metabolism. Decreased synthesis of insulin (type 1) or decreased sensitivity of insulin receptors (type 2) are the underlying causes of diabetes.
The endocrine gland pancreas produces the hormone insulin that promotes the movement of glucose from the blood into the cells. The cells consume and metabolise glucose to generate energy for daily activities.
Decreased insulin function renders a build-up of glucose in the blood. The extra glucose gets accumulated in and thickens the blood vessel walls. It narrows the lumen of the blood vessels impeding the flow of blood through the vessels.
The decreased blood flow (and reduced oxygen delivery) to organs is what leads to complications of diabetes (blindness, foot damage, kidney diseases, and neuropathies).
Diabetes has no permanent cure. It can only be managed with appropriate measures. People with diabetes need to infuse insulin shots and other medicines regularly. Other changes like eating habits and an active lifestyle become crucial to manage diabetes.
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While diabetes treatment and management may be harsh and demanding to follow in the long run, massage chairs are fantastic tools that can significantly help prevent diabetes complications.
1. Improved Blood Flow
The massage therapy chairs accrue a fortune of benefits for diabetics. The pressure and movement by gentle massage can improve the blood circulation in the body. It de-constricts the blood vessels and widens their lumens to increase the blood flow through them. It enhances the oxygen delivery to different cells of the body.
The legs and foot are the most affected regions by decreased blood flow in diabetes. That's why foot ulcers and amputations are common in people with diabetes.
Leg massage by massage chairs promotes the blood vessels in the legs and foot. Therefore, it might be an effective way to prevent foot complications in diabetes.
In fact, a 2011 study on the effects of foot massage in people with diabetes showed that it reduced the severity and frequency of the leg and foot complaints in diabetes patients.
This infers that a massage chair for foot massage can be an incredible addition to the daily routine of diabetics.
2. Reduced Blood Glucose Levels
The main problem in diabetes is the higher than normal blood glucose levels. Massage chair therapy can effectively reduce blood glucose levels helping in the management of diabetes.
In a 2019 study, people with diabetes who received massage therapy for 12 consecutive weeks showed significantly lower concentrations of HbA1C than those who only received routine treatment for diabetes.
HbA1C is a type of hemoglobin which gives an estimate for average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months.
Study results infer the implementation of massage therapy in conjunction with regular diabetes treatment. It can aid in lowering blood glucose levels in the long run.
Best yet, there is another way massage can help lower blood glucose levels. It can increase insulin effectiveness in diabetics.
As stress hormones decrease the efficacy of insulin in the body, and massage therapy chairs can relieve stress and calm your mind, there is a strong link that massage therapy can increase insulin sensitivity.
This way, massage therapy has dual actions for lowering blood glucose levels.
3. Improved Muscle Mobility
High blood glucose levels can also thicken the connective tissue and muscles in the body. The muscles, tendons, and joints get stiffer with time limiting the range of motion in people with diabetes.
Moreover, the reduced blood supply due to narrowed arteries of the muscles reduces their oxygen and nutrients delivery. Without enough oxygen and nutrients, muscle cells get weaker.
Massage chair therapy can gently stretch the muscles and connective tissues curbing their thickness. It also improves blood to the muscles making them stronger and healthier.
Owing to both these factors, massage chairs help improve muscle mobility in diabetics to keep them moving on their own.
4. Offsets Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is the nerve damage that is often associated with poorly treated chronic diabetes.
The consistently high blood sugar levels on diabetes damage the nerves in our bodies. The occlusion of small blood vessels supplying those nerves also adds fuel to the fire.
The damaged neurons can't send to and receive signals from the brain. The symptoms may include limb weaknesses, numbness, pain, tingling sensation, and decreased touch and temperature sensations, etc.
Most massage chairs offer reflexology massage, which is a boon for the diabetics. Foot reflexology massage can help relax nerves, improving their functionality, and can aid in the recovery of the damaged nerves. This helps restore the sensations and also relieves pain.
5. Stress Relaxation
Perhaps stress relaxation is the most significant benefit a massage chair can offer for people with diabetes. The mental and physical implications of dealing with a lifelong disease salted upon by stress of daily life can worsen the condition itself. Stress worsens diabetes by further raising blood glucose levels.
As massage chairs therapy is proven to relieve physical and mental stress in the comfort of your home, it may be a useful tool for diabetes management.
In a recent 2020 study, researchers found that back and neck massage significantly promoted stress relaxation and rest quality by activating PSNS(parasympathetic nervous system) of the body.
Why Massage Chairs?
That's a valid question. Why get a massage chair when you can Go To Nearest Massage Centre by yourself? The answer lies in your question.
To get a massage, first, you will need to get an appointment at the massage centre, adjust your busy schedule accordingly, drive through stressful traffic to the massage centre, get a 1-hour massage session, and then drive back to your home all by yourself. Worst yet, you will have to repeat the whole process every single time you want to get a massage.
On the other hand, massage chairs offer you the opportunity to enjoy as much massage as you need just at the tap of a button within the comfort of your home.
Now you don't need to book appointments, drive to and back from the centres, and still get massage services for a limited 1-hour time. Massage chairs can offer the best return on investment in terms of saving your time and money, and above all, helping in the treatment and management of diabetes.
Massage chair therapy is an excellent tool for diabetics to help them manage their disease. It can improve blood flow, muscle mobility, reduce blood glucose levels, repair damaged nerves and also relieves stress in people with diabetes. Getting a massage chair can be a life-changing step in the course of your journey with diabetes.