6 Benefits of foot reflexology for diabetes

By Floor Tuinstra

6 Benefits of foot reflexology for diabetes

Foot reflexology massage for diabetes

Pain in the legs when walking, less feeling in the feet, cold feet, tingling feet, blurred vision, high blood sugar levels, shooting pains in the feet, there is now an answer. For diabetes patients, foot reflexology can be a very effective way to regulate insulin production and blood sugar levels and relieve foot problems such as pain and improve sensitivity in the feet and lower legs. How foot reflexology can help with diabetes, which research shows that a diabetic foot can be alleviated with the help of reflexology, how often you need it, what the experience is of people with diabetes and foot reflexology and you can read more in this article.

foot reflexology diabetes

Diabetes foot symptoms

Foot problems with diabetes are also called diabestos foot. Nerve damage and damaged blood vessels in the feet and legs can cause loss of sensation, muscle weakness, dry skin with cracks or fluid accumulation in the feet. The foot joints can become stiffer after prolonged elevated glucose levels. These problems change the position of the foot, sometimes with claw or hammer toes. This leads to an abnormal pressure load, resulting in pressure points, calluses and blisters, in which wounds can develop. People with diabetes also often suffer from even more foot problems such as: very cold feet, tingling feet, shooting pains in the feet, less feeling in the feet and also the lower legs, wounds that are difficult to heal, discoloration of the toes and foot, red swollen feet (in the Charcot foot).

How is it possible that foot reflexology can help with diabetes?

By working on the reflex zone points that correspond to the pancreas and the endocrine system, insulin production is stimulated by allowing the cells to work as efficiently as possible. By applying pressure to reflex zone points that correspond to the organs responsible for carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar levels can be normalized.
In addition to maintaining insulin production and regulating blood sugar levels, reflexology can also improve kidney function, blood circulation, relieve joint pain and even complications that can occur with diabetes such as nerve damage, heart problems, eye problems, sexual and prevent urological complaints.


Diabetic nerve pain relieved with foot reflexology

In India, 2014 research shows that reflexology, in combination with pharmaceutical therapy, is recommended to relieve diabetic nerve pain and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy.
The treatment was designed in such a way that various systems were stimulated via reflex points: the energy balance, the lymphatic system, the solar plexus, the adrenal glands, the spine, the bladder and the kidneys, the digestive system, the brain, various glands, the sciatic nerve ( sciatic nerve), the knees and the hips. In addition, the patients also received standard treatment for neuropathy.
Another group received no reflexology, but only the standard treatment, and served as a control group.

Five significant improvements

  • After six months, nerve pain had decreased more in the patients who received reflexology (66.6%) than in the control group (14.2%). After six months, their blood sugar levels had fallen twice as much as in the control group.
  • The fasting blood sugar level fell from an average of 160.2 to 109.6 mg/dl and the blood sugar level after the meal fell from an average of 230 to 141 mg/dl.
  • Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) decreased by an average of 34%, while in the control group this was only 8.5%.
  • Nerve conduction and sensitivity (to heat, cold and vibration) also improved remarkably compared to the control group.
  • Even the typical skin discolourations on the feet at the reflex points of the pancreas and adrenal glands, among others, disappeared due to reflexology. diabetes-relieving-foot reflexology

Foot reflexology relieves foot problems caused by diabetes

In 2015, a Brazilian study found that participants who received 12 foot reflexology treatments showed better scores in foot and leg problems related to the skin and hair (hair growth, elasticity, pressure, hydration, perspiration, texture and skin integrity and molting).

How often do you need reflexology treatments for diabetes?

If done correctly and regularly (think of once a month), foot reflexology can protect your organs from the long-term effects of diabetes and stimulate and balance the entire functioning of the body.

How much does foot reflexology treatment for diabetes cost?

Foot reflexology therapists are active throughout the Netherlands and may or may not be reimbursed. The rate varies per practitioner. Find someone you feel comfortable with.
There is a wide range of foot reflexology therapists who are partially reimbursed within the additional health insurance package. An overview of therapists who are reimbursed can be found, for example, at www.vnrt.nl

Experiences of diabetes patients with foot reflexology

The responses below are from patients of mine who have undergone one or more foot reflexology treatments.

Henk – Type 2 diabetes with constant blood sugar levels for a year

Reaction after the first treatment:
The first five days after the treatment I had significantly less pain in my feet and lower legs. There was also some improvement in lower leg sensation.

Myrthe – Diabetes type 1

I don't know how it works exactly, but every time I come away from you I feel calmer, more relaxed and my body seems to behave more as a whole again.

Pieter – Type 2 diabetes with fluctuating blood sugar levels between 5 and 7 prior to the first treatment

In addition to a monthly treatment program for diabetes, Pieter is also consistently concerned with his diet.
Response after the third treatment:
I have feeling again in my lower legs and feet, as if they are present again. My blood sugar level is now constantly around 5. I feel better and the position of my feet is also slowly adjusting.

NC Magalhães da Silva, ECLopes 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 , September 28, 2017, https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623722/

K. Dalal,V. Bharathi Maran, RM Pandey, M. Tripathi, Determination of Efficacy of Reflexology in Managing Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial , September 28, 2017, httpss://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC3913279/

Diep Foundation, Foot Problems , September 28, 2017, https://www.diep.info/Diabetes-education-Complications-Voetproblems