Reflexology can help in treating the symptoms of Diabetes
Firstly, to explain a little about this disease. Diabetes is a condition where the circulating glucose (sugar) is too high because the body cannot utilise it properly. Whenever we eat or drink, a lot of our foodstuff is broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. This is then circulating around in the blood and needs a hormone called Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, to break it down and let it be absorbed by the cells to produce energy.
Typical symptoms of Diabetes are:
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Passing urine more frequently, especially at night
- Feeling tired all the time
- Unexplained weight loss
- Cuts or wounds that are slow to heal
- Blurred vision
- Frequent episodes of thrush
There are 3 types of Diabetes:
Type 1 – this is where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the Pancreas that produce Insulin. As the body is unable to produce Insulin the glucose levels increase, which can seriously damage the body’s organs. Someone suffering Type 1 Diabetes will need Insulin injections for the rest of their life.
Type 2 – is where the Pancreas does not produce enough Insulin or the body’s cells do not react to Insulin. This condition can be helped by lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and careful monitoring of blood glucose levels or medication, like Metformin, which helps to lower blood glucose levels.
Type 3 – gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that affects women during pregnancy, usually occurring in the second or third trimester. It rarely produces symptoms and is diagnosed by routine screening. It may be controlled by diet but sometimes Insulin is given just for the duration of the pregnancy, if needed.
What can Reflexology to do help
Reflexology can be incredibly beneficial for circulation and great for localised symptoms of neuropathy (a tingling or numbness) in the feet. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that can be caused by chronically high blood glucose levels. High blood glucose levels damage the small blood vessels which supply the nerves, this prevents essential nutrients reaching the nerves and thus the nerve fibres become damaged or disappear. Diabetic Neuropathy is one of the long-term complications of Diabetes and therefore it is so important to keep a check on circulating blood glucose levels. Once the nerves in the feet become damaged exercise can be painful, which affects general circulation and the whole system. Reflexology can help reduce the discomfort in the feet, increase circulation and help soothe the damaged nerves.
Having regular Reflexology sessions is very helpful for Diabetes, not only for the neuropathic aspect but also due to the effect it has on all the organs in the body. It can help with:
- the functioning of the Pancreas and Kidneys. By working on the Pancreatic reflex and all the reflexes of the endocrine system, Reflexology can encourage the production of Insulin in Type 2 Diabetes and encourage the system to function as efficiently as possible.
- stimulating the digestive organs such as the Stomach, Small intestine (which absorbs glucose after digestion) and Liver
- help sooth all the organs which may have been adversely affected by high levels of glucose
- relaxing the whole body when stress is a factor
Reflexology has a healing effect on the:
- Pituitary gland
- Thyroid gland
- Adrenal gland
- Small intestine
- Muscle cells
Regular sessions of Reflexology are not only beneficial in the condition of Diabetes but also for the maintenance of good health and wellbeing.