Massage for Type I Diabetes – Part 1: Evaluation & Management

March 13, 2018   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

This is part one of a two-part article.

Although massage has many  benefits for Type I diabetics, there are specific evaluation and management protocols that must be respected and performed to avoid complications and/or patient harm. This information can be used in both subjective and objective charting areas.

Evaluation and Management:

  1. During intake, establish diagnosis as Type I or Type II. Well-managed Type I may not require every caution or contraindication about to be discussed. Red flag the client chart to help you remember to ALWAYS ask this patient evaluation questions before administering a massage treatment on them.
  2. Impress the patient with advice (verbal, written or both) detailing a need to inform you of any changes in their diabetes.
  3. Update medication and symptom information at regular intervals, especially if you haven’t treated the patient in a long time.
  4. Guard against pathogen exposure. If you’ve been sick or the client before your diabetic patient is sick, you may want to warn them or reschedule them entirely. Ask all patients who use the room before your diabetic patient about their health status.
  5. Ask the diabetic client to check blood glucose before the massage. If below 100 mg/dl, defer massage until the client has consumed a carb snack.
  6. Avoid extreme pressure, temperature or chemical heat creams.
  7. Examine skin carefully before massaging, especially feet and hands. Are there ingrown nails? Cuts in skin? Record information. Avoid massaging open sores of any kind. Stay a hand-width away.

Check out the detailed article in Massage Magazine at