Do Massages Help w/ Neuropathy?

w/in the past year i started getting some neuropathy in my lower legs and feet. its not painful at this point, just very uncomfortable. pricking and tingling and feeling sometimes like my foot has “fallen asleep.” and, there are parts of my left foot that i cannot feel at all.

i try to rub the muscles in the areas, but not certain it can really make a difference. do any of you get massages on a regular basis to relieve some of these symptoms? i am too afraid to take any of those RX Meds b/c of their unwanted side-effects

any suggestions that do not include the RXs? Accupuncture, maybe?

My Tai Chi teacher also practices acupuncture and I have had treatments to help with arthriitis pain in my knees. After I was diagnosed with diabetes, I asked him about this and he says that acupuncture can help with neuropathy. My teacher has a master’s degree in Chinese medicine from an accredited college. You want to find a practitioner who is truly qualified!

i live in NYC and there must be a plethora of acupuncturists available here, but over all my years of having one incredible one (she retired), i was stuck w/ her referral to one down in the SOHO district of manhattan. this one was not for me. i have since tried about 4 diff ones w/out feeling i was getting my needs met. (i suppose i was jaded by my first one and the great experience i had w/ her.

so, i figured why not go down to Chinatown, for certainly there MUST be some really good acupuncturists down there. but unfortunately, no one spoke english and i had a very difficult time expressing my needs, despite the fact that they always check your “pulses.” i had some very very bad experiences down there, and am now at a loss as to what i should do. i LOVE acupuncture; not just for D, but for my sense of well-being.

does anyone know of an acupuncturist in the NYC area who they would recommend???

i know that that was off topic, but i am glad that you provided me w/ a very positive solution.

As to your original question, if what you have is indeed nerve damage, then no, massage will not do much for it.

By definition massage is interested in the muscles, not the nerves per se. The AMTA office in NYC could have someone with expertise in Diabetes, or medical massage certainly, but you’d have to email them and ask. Highly unlikely they will have anyone for potential neuropathy specifically though.

There are several acupuncture SCHOOLS in NYC. Guarantee they will have a list… and speak multiple languages very fluently. See if I can find the cards in my desk somewhere… New England School of Acupuncture is based in Watertown MA, can’t remember who their sister school in NYC is at the moment. Let me dig through the desk, see if I can find the cards…

Massage won’t help. Consider Lyrica

would love any acupuncturist in the NYC area who comes highly recommended. thanks.

too many side effects for me.

I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 58+ years. I have Neuropathy in both feet and legs; just the numbness not pain.

I purchased from Costco a MEDI massager. It has 11 levels of vibration. What it does, is breaks the feeling of extreme numbness. Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up and the first thought I have is Wow, my feet and legs woke me up. I place my feet on the massager and use only level 1 for 60 to 90 seconds. What it does for me is breaks the brain connection to the numbness and lets me get back to sleep. I also use it three or times during the day if I am at home.

If I use it longer than 2 minutes, it draws too much blood and leaves me with an itchy feeling in my feet.

i get the neuropathy all the time in my legs, feet and hands and lower arms. its prickly but dead feeling at the same time. it doesn’t hurt at all. just uncomfortable and weird. i shake it off and massage with my fingers or jump up and down on my feet or try and squeeze my muscles together to “liven up” the dead feeling. it can last ten minutes to an hour. sometimes more than once a day. i get really frightened that i will have amputations. my A1c is 6.2 and my BGs are under excellent control. i eat right, i exercise, drink tons of water, etc etc. i am on a pump for the past 15 yrs, which i love. before that i used needles. everything is so high tech these days, which i greatly appreciate. but i wonder if i have done damage from the years before the pump.

thanks for your suggestion.

I have a small portable recharging TENS unit. Occasionally I use this on bottoms of feet, up to 20 minutes – like you would for muscle soreness. It seems to help. But I don’t know if it is recommended.

It doesn’t cure it, though.

Lifting my legs over my head while rolling on my back seems to help too. This must be a yoga pose, but I have no idea what it would be called

Good luck!

when i get the neuropathy (hands, lower arms, feet &lower legs) it feel like pins and needles, but at the same time, it feels dead; as if there isn’t any limb there at all. i try massaging but basically, i just have to wait it out. it does eventually go away, but i have it often enough to have some concern. b/c i always pass the (needle/prick) test that my endo does on my feet, he isn’t worried. my latest A1c is 6.2 (i am a T1 on pump) so this # is very controlled for me. have i done damage to myself during early years of D, or is this just the random nature of D ? should i be scared? i have been dx for about 30 yrs.

any reply welcomed. thx.

I shake mine off and massage it as well. it usually only last for about 10 minutes to half an hour. it also wakes me up during the night, and if it is in my feet and legs, sometimes i can fall over b/c i have no “real” sensation enough to stand on. does this happen to you as well?

This may sound funny, but just to be on the safe side, I keep my
slippers at the side of my bed. Put my feet in them while still sitting on
the edge of my mattress and rock them back and forward to check for
feeling. I spread my feet about 12 - 15 inches apart before standing up to
give me better balance.

I’m an aromatherapist & herbalist. I have recently been suffering quite severe complications of my Type 1 diabetes, including diabetic neuropathy & immobilization of my right foot & ankle due to foot drop from the nerve damage. My life instantly changed, as I am unable to drive at this point. And the neuropathic pain becomes unbearable at times - a combination of burning, electrical shocks, & the feeling of bees stinging up & down my legs & feet. A dear friend & extremely knowlegeable aromatherapist informed me of studies & a patent for the use of a very strong dilution of Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) essential oil in Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu oil). I started using a 40% dilution in a rollerball along the nerve lines at the onset of symptoms & decreasing the diution gradually each week to find the lowest effective dilution. I’m currently using a 15% dilution with the same positive results. A 10% dilution did not give me the same duration of relief, so I went back up to 15%. You can read more about the study & patent at or at

I will not take Lyrica due to the side effects.