Can a Diabetic Get a Deep Tissue Massage?

Last Editorial Review: 6/6/2017

Ask the experts

Can a person with diabetes have a deep tissue massage?

Doctor's Response

A patient with well controlled diabetes has no limitations on what they can do provided they have suffered no damage from their diabetes, and other commonly occurring conditions (such as hypertension) are well controlled.

If you are interested in a deep tissue massage, there is no contraindication, but you should observe certain precautions. Stay well hydrated before during and after your treatment, notify your therapist of any particular areas that are bothering you, and make certain your blood sugars are controlled before the treatment. If you plan on delaying a meal because of scheduling, make certain you eat something before going into your treatment so you do not become hypoglycemic during your massage.

If you have wide blood sugar swings, or if your diabetes is poorly controlled, you should see your primary physician before considering any activity such as massage therapy.

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Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.