Acupuncture For Diabetes: Can Acupressure Help Neuropathy?

There has been growing interest in acupuncture to manage complications associated with diabetes.

The practice of acupuncture has been around for more than 2,500 years, with its origins in traditional Chinese medicine. 

Acupuncture involves placing tiny needles into specific sites on the body, known as acupressure points. 

These points are carefully chosen based on their connection to the digestive, endocrine, and other vital systems.

As recognized by the World Health Organization for its usefulness in treating over 100 different diseases, acupuncture has various benefits. 

Discover the benefits of acupuncture for diabetes.

Benefits of acupuncture for diabetes

There is a lot of evidence supporting the idea that acupuncture may be beneficial in the management of diabetes. Recent research has proven that it can help treat diabetes and its complications. 

1) Regulates blood sugar levels

Studies on people with diabetes have found success with acupuncture in controlling their blood sugar levels. 

Targeting specific diabetes acupressure points related to the digestive and endocrine systems can aid in balancing glucose levels.

According to a 2019 study, incorporating acupuncture into routine diabetes treatment can reduce fasting blood glucose levels and aid in weight management. 

2) Helps with insulin resistance and sensitivity

Insulin resistance is another significant challenge for individuals with diabetes. 

Research has demonstrated that acupuncture reduces the body’s workload in producing insulin, improving blood sugar regulation overall. 

Using acupuncture along with medications like metformin has shown better results in improving insulin sensitivity. 

Researchers from the University of California have also discovered that acupuncture can be extraordinarily effective, whether alone or in combination with other modalities such as physical exercise regimens and Chinese herbal medicine. 

3) Reduces stress

Research shows that acupuncture can assist in regulating cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone known for its ability to increase blood sugar levels. 

Such effective stress management via acupuncture can significantly contribute to more favorable outcomes in diabetes management. 

4) Reduces pain sensation

Researchers have shown that acupuncture helps reduce some of the severe symptoms of diabetic complications, including neuropathy. 

Some recent research indicates that it may also assist with diabetic foot issues.

5) Boosts mental well-being

Diabetes can have a profound impact on mental health. It is believed that acupuncture induces the synthesis of endorphins, a neurotransmitter associated with boosting mood and reducing anxiety and depression. 

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Is acupuncture safe for people with diabetes?

Yes. Because of its low risk of adverse effects, acupuncture is often seen as safe for people with diabetes to use.

People should seek acupuncture from qualified practitioners for personalized treatments, especially for those with diabetic neuropathy. 

Also, specific acupuncture sites may need special care, emphasizing the importance of professional advice.

Potential side effects of acupuncture

Clinical research has shown no notable adverse side effects of acupuncture, making it a mainly safe choice for treating diabetes. But one should be careful of a few minor side effects.

While most people won’t feel a thing, a small percentage may have temporary, minor soreness or bruising where the needles were inserted. 

Potential risks with acupuncture

While it has no side effects, there are some precautions you should take regarding acupuncture treatment in general.

Chances of infection

Although acupuncture-related infections are uncommon, they can occur due to using non-sterilized equipment or damaged needles. So, getting it done by a professional is recommended. 

Certain medical conditions

People with specific medical issues who are on blood thinners or who have a blood clotting disorder must talk to their doctor before beginning acupuncture. Acupuncture may not be recommended for them. 

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What acupressure points are used for diabetes?

Traditional body acupuncture

Traditional body acupuncture involves inserting needles into specific locations along the body’s meridians. 


Electroacupuncture is the most commonly used method for diabetes management. This kind of acupuncture procedure involves the administration of mild electrical currents via acupuncture needles. But now, only electrodes can also be used.

Auricular acupuncture 

This is a traditional Chinese medicine that targets particular acupoints on the ear that connect to different bodily systems. 

Wrist-ankle acupuncture

Diabetes can also be managed with this sort of acupuncture by stimulating the nerves in the wrist and ankle. It is considered a safe method for providing relief from the discomfort caused by diabetic peripheral neuritis because it does not involve inserting needles near sensitive organs. 

Herbal acupuncture

This is a modern kind of acupuncture. In this procedure, the acupoints are injected with herbs or biological substances. 

Even though acupuncture shows promise, it should not be used standalone from traditional medicine but rather in conjunction with it and under the supervision of trained medical experts for the best results.


As we seek out practical approaches to diabetes management, acupuncture emerges as a potentially effective alternative. 

Combined with other diabetic treatments, such as medicine, a balanced diet, and physical activity, it works wonders.

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