Reflexology for Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes. There are three types of diabetic neuropathy; peripheral, autonomic and focal. Peripheral nerves sense pain, touch, hot and cold. They affect movement and muscle strength. The nerves in the feet and legs are affected most often and can lead to serious foot problems. The autonomic nervous system controls functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, sweating, digestion, and urination. Focal neuropathy usually only affects one nerve and happens suddenly.
Reflexology improves diabetic neuropathy firstly by increasing circulation.
When firm pressure is applied to the body, especially the lower extremities, it manually pumps blood, water and lymph to and from the area. The increased blood flow dissolves sugars, salts, proteins and fats, and brings nutrients to heal surrounding tissues.
Secondly, reflexology restores nerve integrity. The pressure used increases the chemicals sent along the nerve pathway to the brain. Clinical trials done by the Touch Research Institute have shown significant improvement in the regeneration of neural net pathways in just six 45 minute treatments.
And lastly, reflexology helps balance the endocrine/hormonal system. The pancreas is the organ of the endocrine systems which produces the insulin hormone. When the blood has too much sugar in it, the pancreas has to make more insulin to help cells process the excess sugar. Reflexology helps the pancreas not to have to work so hard.