Taking Care with a Diabetic Client

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As a massage therapist, I work with clients who are not perfectly healthy. What I try to do is to maximize the benefits of bodywork, while minimizing risks. This may mean that I have to adapt techniques to accommodate for the fragility of a client with a compromised circulatory system, such as one of my clients who is diabetic. She has diabetes mellitus, but a fairly mild case that is controlled with only one oral medication. We have to make sure that she has eaten some protein before she gets on the massage table for her hour-long massage, or her blood sugar will dip, causing her to feel faint. When she first started coming for massage because of her very high-stress job, we talked about her activities of daily living. She hardly ever gets regular exercise, which of course would likely contribute to her overall health as well as help prevent further worsening of her condition with diabetes. She doesn’t have to take heart medication, and she doesn’t huff and puff when she climbs stairs. I use much lighter massage on her than on most of my clients, so that her blood sugar is not disrupted, and I only use light strokes like effleurage for her massage.

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