The short answer is yes. However, each client is unique in their symptoms and reactions to bodywork and there are some critical components to understanding if it is safe for your client to receive Ashiatsu massage or not.
Communication is key, and finding out as much information prior to treating them is essential to providing a safe and productive Ashiastu Treatment. When in doubt withhold treatment until you obtain a doctor’s clearance. Our number one priority is to do no harm.
Below are the top 5 questions we recommend asking:
1. How long have you had type 1 diabetes? Even though this is considered juvenile diabetes many grown adults get diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
2. Have they experienced any side effects with Diabetes? Such as neuropathy, vascular issues, kidney issues or skin issues like bacterial or fungal infections. These side effects of diabetes may inhibit you from providing Ashiatsu and getting a doctor’s note would be appropriate.
3. Ask the client how well they can control their blood glucose on a day to day basis and if they have recently eaten? Do they suffer from wide ranges of high and low blood glucose level or is it more stable? This is important to understand for you as the practitioner because most times diabetics will experience their blood glucose levels falling while receiving massage. If they suffer from large ups and downs all day, it may be best to avoid giving deep tissue massage until they can get a handle on their sugars and keep them more stable for at least one month along with discussing this issue with their doctor and keeping a dialog open with the doctor. If, they keep their blood glucose levels stable all day long you can feel confident in providing Ashiatsu. Normal blood glucose levels for a diabetic tend to be around 120 two hours after eating. I would request to know what their numbers are and what they consider to be normal two hours after eating. This is important for you as the practitioner to understand because you will both want to agree on a number their blood glucose will be when they come in for their service.
4. Ask them if they have devices on them for monitoring their blood glucose levels continuously? Also, if they have a device for providing them with insulin. These are two important questions because we will need to understand where they are located so you don’t accidentally step on any devices and rip them out of their skin. These devices cannot be reinserted without seeing a doctor and cost a good amount of money.
5. What are the signs they experience when they are having low blood sugar? When do they have their sensors trigger a low blood sugar alert? Common signs of low blood sugar can be sweating, irregular heartbeat, nausea, shakiness, and hunger. It will be important to understand their signs of low blood sugar and come up with a plan to manage their low blood sugar together. Please do not underestimate how dangerous low blood sugar can be for diabetics. Every time they experience a low the next time they experience signs and symptoms of low blood sugar is lower than the last time.
Once you understand the answers to these five questions you and your client can work together to make a comprehensive treatment plan for them with Ashiatsu. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep clear communication and understanding their numbers. When I’m massaging someone who suffers from Type 1 Diabetes we keep their constant glucose monitor near me so I can check their numbers throughout the massage to ensure myself and them that I’m doing everything I can to keep them safe. It’s always best to have fruit or glucose tablets on hand and available for client’s who may be experiencing low blood sugar levels.
If you do know someone who has been recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and is an adult UCSF has an amazing study they are conducting. https://diabetes.ucsf.edu/type-1-research
If you have children and have a family member who suffers from Type 1 Diabetes there is a great program UCSF is doing https://www.trialnet.org/our-research/risk-screening and they are currently enrolling.
Please remember we are here to do no harm to others verbally or physically. Asking questions, gaining knowledge, and knowing your personal boundaries is the most important thing to keep you and your clients safe.
Written by: Lynn Smett, LMT
Authorized DeepFeet Instructor