Pain in your feet and legs while walking, feeling less in your feet, cold feet, tingling feet, blurry vision, a high blood sugar level: there is an answer and we’ve got the science to back us up. Reflexology can be a very effective way to regulate the insuline production and blood sugar level, relieve foot problems such as pain, and improve sensitivity in the feet and legs.
How reflexology can help when you have diabetes, how often you would need it and what kind of experience people suffering from diabetes have with reflexology, can be found in this article about reflexology and diabetes.
Diabetic foot symptoms
Due to nerve damage en damaged blood vessels in the feet and legs, loss of sensitivity, muscle weakness, a dry skin with gaps or oedema can occur in the feet. Joints in the feet can be become more stiff after longterm increased glucose levels. Due to these problems the position of the foot can change, sometimes in combination with claw- and hammertoes. This leads to an abnormal pressure, the consequence is pressurepoints, callus, blisters in which wounds can start to grow. People with diabetes often have more foot issues such as cold feet, tingling feet, pains in the feet, less sensitivty in feet and legs, wounds that don’t heal very well, discolourings on toes, feet and legs, red swollen feet (Charcot foot).
How is it possible that reflexology can help with diabetes?
By working on the reflexology zones which correspond with the pancreas, hormonal glands, and parts of the digestive tract among others, the bloodsugar level can be normalised and cells producing insuling can be stimulated to work more efficiently. In addition to a more efficient production of insuline levels and the regulation of blood glucose levels, reflexology can improve blood circulation, relieve joint pains, improve the kidney function and even prevent complications occuring with diabetes such as nerve damage, eye problemes, heartproblems, sexual and urological problems.
Relieve of diabetic nervepain
In 2014 an Indian research showed that reflexology combined with pharmaceutical therapy, is reccommended to relieve diabetic nervepain en to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy. The treatment had been set up in such a way that different systems would be stimulated through reflexology: balance of energy, the lymphatic system, the solarplexus, the adrenals, the spine, bladder and kidneys, the digestive tract, the brains, different glands, the ischiasnerve (hipnerve), the knees and hips. Besides that the patients also received the normal treatment for neuropathy. A different group did not receive reflexology, only the normal treatment and served as a control group.
Results of the research in numbers
- After six months the nervepain had decreased a lot with the patients receiving reflexology (66,6%) compared to the control group (14,2%).
- Blood glucose levels of the patients treated with reflexology dropped twice as much compared to the control group.
- Fasting blood glucose levels dropped with an average of 160,2 to 109,6 mg/dl.
- Postprandial blood glucose levels dropped from an average of 230 to 141 mg/dl.
- HbA1c dropped with an average of 34%, in the control group this was only 8,5%.
- Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and sensitivity (for warmth, cold and vibrations) notably improved a lot in coomparison to the control group. Even typical skin discolorations on the feet and reflexzones of among others the pancreas and adrenals disappeared with reflexology.
Reflexology relieves footproblems occuring with diabetes
In 2015 a Brasilian research showed that 12 participants had better scores with leg and feet problems related to skin and hair (hairgrowth, elasticity, pressure, hydration, perspiration, texture, peeling and integrity of the skin).
How often do you need reflexology with diabetes?
There is no fixed answer to this question of how often you need reflexology treatments to keep the symptoms of diabetes at bay and prevent them from occuring.
However from experience I can reccommend the following: if reflexology is applied correctly and on a regular basis (once per month) it can protect your organs of the longterm effects of diabetes and stimulate and balance the functioning of the whole body.
Experiences of diabetic patients with reflexology
The experiences written below are from my patients after having had just one or three treatments.
Henk – Diabetes type 2 with a constant blood glucose level since one year
Response after the first treatment:
The first five days after the treatment my feet and underlegs were troubling me notably less. There was also some improvement in the sensitivity in my underlegs.
Myrthe – Diabetes type 1
I don’t know exactly how it works but after I have had a reflexology treatment I feel more calm, less anxcious, more relaxed and my body seems to respond more as a whole.
Pieter – Diabetes type 2 before the treatments started his blood glucose levels varied between 5 and 7
Besides montly reflexology treatments, Pieter is also very consequent with his food intake.
Response after the thrid treatment:
I have more feeling in my feet and underlegs, as if they are present again. My blood glucose levels have dropped to a constant 5. I feel better and the position of my feet is actually slowly changing.
N. C. Magalhães da Silva, E.C.Lopes Chaves, E. Campos de Carvalho, L. César Carvalho, D. Hollanda Iunes, Foot reflexology in feet impairment of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus: randomized trial, 28 september 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623722/
K. Dalal,V. Bharathi Maran, R. M. Pandey, M. Tripathi, Determination of Efficacy of Reflexology in Managing Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial, 28 september 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3913279/
Stichting Diep, Voetproblemen, 28 september 2017, http://www.diep.info/Diabetes-educatie-Complicaties-Voetproblemen