One of my closest family members suffers from diabetes and related complications and it breaks my heart that he is on the other side of the world. I can't be there to help him, but I can help others with diabetes. Here's an interesting article about alternative treatments for the disease. There's a short section about the benefits of massage for people with diabetes:
"Massage has been recommended for diabetes for nearly 100 years. Three published results[45–47] of two trials and one unpublished preliminary study have examined the positive effect of massage on normalizing blood glucose. One trial also assess the improvement in 56% cases of diabetic neuropathy of the lower extremities by syncardial massage.
Several studies have documented the relaxing effect of massage. Massage has been demonstrated to reduce muscle tension in both subjective self-reports an objective electromyographic testing.
Relaxation from massage has been demonstrated to be greater than that brought about from rest alone. Massage can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, two features of the relaxation response.
Additionally, patient massage has been shown to decrease anxiety in a variety of patient population including people with diabetes.[45–47] The extreme stress-reducing benefits of massage have raised the possibility that massage may be of benefits of to people with diabetes by including the relaxation response, thereby controlling the counter-regulatory stress hormones and permitting the body to use insulin more effectively. By skill fully the body's, massage can stimulate better blood movement around the body. Improved circulation can do wonders for diabetic neuropathy and other diabetic-related complications. Even then it is suggested that it is necessary to consult closely with health care team before using massage therapy as a diabetic even for relaxation purpose."