Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

Can acupuncture help in treating diabetes?

I have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and I wanted to know if I can do some alternative therapy like acupuncture to treat my condition. Would it help at all? If yes, how exactly?

36 Answers

Too long of a answer
Make an appointment to find out more details but yes and diet management
This is an article taken from Medical News Today, February 2018 regarding diabetes and acupuncture. I have used this article as it was written because I feel it answers your question quite well. I have treated patients with diabetes and had great success working alongside Western medicine to assist in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels and maintaining good Hemoglobin A1C levels. Hope this helps.
"Studies have shown acupuncture can be helpful for relieving diabetes symptoms, in some cases better than diabetes medications.
According to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, an estimated 29 million Americans are living with diabetes. Diabetes affects 380 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organization (WHO) approximates that this number will double by the year 2030.

In modern-day China, acupuncture is commonly practiced to treat diabetes. Newer studies are focusing on the biological mechanism of diabetes and suggest acupuncture can be an effective treatment for diabetes symptoms.

Fast facts on acupuncture and diabetes:
Acupuncture is a treatment that has been practiced in traditional Chinese medicine for 2,500 years.
Acupuncture involves stimulating points of the body with thin needles.
Diabetes is a disease where the body cannot process food to use as energy.
The result of diabetes is a buildup of sugar in the blood.
Most studies find some validation in the use of acupuncture to treat diabetes, but some suggest further research is necessary.
Woman receiving acupuncture on her shoulder.
Studies have suggested that acupuncture may help to improve insulin sensitivity, helping to manage the symptoms of diabetes.
A study from researchers in Beijing, China, examined how specific acupuncture points help improve symptoms of diabetes. They found that within 3 weeks, rat models showed lower glucose levels, increased insulin levels, and improved glucose intolerance.

One 2016 literature review in the journal, Acupuncture in Medicine reviewed relevant articles from 2008 to 2015 to determine whether acupuncture was a valid treatment for insulin resistance and to assess the possibility of acupuncture as a future treatment for insulin sensitivity.

The results of the literature review suggested low intensity and low-frequency electro-acupuncture could help in reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity. Electro-acupuncture could be used alone or in combination with other treatments, including alternative therapies, such as diet and Chinese herbs.

In 2015, Acupuncture in Medicine reviewed a group of studies where electro-acupuncture was combined with an anti-diabetic medication, called metformin, to look for better glucose lowering responses and greater insulin sensitivity. The researchers found the electro-acupuncture-metformin combination did offer better glucose lowering effects and greater insulin sensitivity than metformin alone.

None of the studies appear to touch on the processes and mechanisms that may explain how exactly acupuncture works to manage diabetes symptoms."

It can absolutely help. The pancreas is connected to the Spleen energy in Chinese medicine. There are many acupuncture points to help balance that system as well as dietary recommendations to help strengthen that system. Chinese medicine uses tongue diagnosis and symptoms analysis to make the best recommendations for each unique person.
Diabetes, in most situations, can be managed through diet. When it comes to food, we look through a different set of lenses, which may be of more help to you. Acupuncture will help bring balance to whatever may be causing the imbalance (hard to discern without seeing you, what it might be). Herbal prescription would be something else we could look at as well to bring about change and balance to the body. We look at the body as a whole and affect whole change.
Acupuncture can help. However to determine how. We must evaluate you first
Yes acupuncture along with proper diet and exercise will greatly assist in reducing A1c levels and balancing the body back out. We will make dietary suggestions for you as well.
There are many different patterns for diabetes according to traditional chinese medicine. We would have to see you and ask you a series of questions to better understand what the root cause is.
Diabetes can be very tricky. Usually, herbal treatment is more effective than acupuncture.
Acupuncture can help with symptomatic relief as well as help and assist the function of the kidneys. There are times that we combine acupuncture and herbs to assist with medications already prescribed for a healthier life and to reduce side effects from medications.

Yes, absolutely, acupuncture would help in balancing blood sugar and supporting the organs that regulate digestion and blood sugar. I’ve personally seen diabetic patients in my own practice whose signs and symptoms began to turn around quickly, if they were committed to eating well for their condition.
Yes, acupuncture can help with diabetes a few different ways. One is through life style recommendations. The second is through acupuncture. The third is through herbs. Particularly if you have been diagnosed with diabetes type 2, life style changes can actually reverse the diabetes. Acupuncture can help regulate blood sugar, the physiological process has yet to be discovered but clinical tests have shown that when blood sugar is checked before and after acupuncture, it is lower than before acupuncture. Herbs help regulate the body the same way mediation does, just much more gently.
It depends on the severity of diabetes and also any complications due to diabetes. Acupuncture usually helps for the diabetes control. It helps to improve the blood sugar level, appetite and peripheral circulation problem. Some cases may need to combine acupuncture and herbs for better results.
Acupuncture and herbal treatment together
Yes, acupuncture can help glucose control. Acupuncture stimulates pancreas function and increases the sensitivity of cell membranes to insulin.
Diabetes is not a disease that responds readily to acupuncture in my experience. However, some forms of diabetes do respond well to Chinese herbal therapy. Diabetes is broken into 3 types in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and your provider will ask you the "Bigs" to determine your type; that is, big thirst, big hunger, big urination. You may be one or a combination. From there, a proper herbal formula will be developed for your case.

Travis Buckmaster, L.Ac., PC
Acupuncture can absolutely help treat diabetes. Through treatment and proper diet, acupuncture can lower blood sugar levels and your A1C. Acupuncture can also work in conjunction with any medications you are taking to treat the diabetes and may be able to lower your doses.
Acupuncture can help balance your blood glucose, but if you are serious about not wanting to have to use pharmaceuticals, you will also have to carefully and faithfully control what you eat. Exercise can also play a very big part in controlling the disease so meds are not necessary.

So, the bad news is that with diabetes, we are our own worst enemies, and we often cause the disease by what we eat. The good news is that this means that we can have a great deal of control over the disease by lifestyle changes, and acupuncture can be part of that lifestyle change.

Good luck!!
Yes, if the neuropathy is caused by diabetes.
Yes, acupuncture can help your diabetes. With diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin or doesn't respond to it properly. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause serious complications if untreated, including blindness, heart attack, kidney failure, and nerve damage.
Theoretically ok
Acupuncture can improve the function of the kidney, which can help some diabetes symptoms.
Yes, but it will be a long-term plan.


Amy Gendron, AP
Yes. Diabetes comes from a spleen/pancreas function problem. Acupuncture treatments help balance the spleen & pancreas functions.
Acupuncture can help with some of the symptoms and usually for diabetic patients, we combine the acupuncture with herbal medicine. It is not a cure, but a good management.

Dr. Maryam Mansouri, Lac. OMD.
Acupuncture help treating Diabetes by helping your organs to function better. Get them to reset and start over. In order for you to get the full benefit of the treatments, you MUST consider two more components.
1. you need to exercise 4-6 time a week.
2. You Must change your diet to a vegetarian diet. eating lots of green vegetables and drinking their juice. remove all processed sugar and limit your carb intake to once a week.
Acupuncture helps with diabetes. There are many causes of diabetes. First, get a diagnosis and get directions from an Eastern doctor.
Hello. Usually acupuncture treatment is excellent help however there much more to your treatment then sole acupuncture. Some lifestile and food habits should be modified to help you maintain health. Acupuncture will work as detox with hormon system activation (acu will stimulate your body to produce certain hormines to help with your condition.
The answer to your question is yes. You could use acupuncture to address your condition, however keep in mind that acupuncture does not treat the Diabetes per say, but treat the imbalance in the sytstem that created the condition to begin with. That would be known as the root cause of the condition, as well as the connecting signs and symptoms associated with that condition. Acupuncture works very well to bring the body back to balance, but complicated to explain how. I would suggest that you do your own research on the subject and then decide if this is the route you want to take. In addition lifestyle changes will be pertinent to your outcome of managing the Diabetes. Find a licensed Acupuncture Physician in your area and schedule a consultation so he or she may be able to explain more to you in person and help you in making your decision. Also, it would be wise to Inform your Primary Care Physician that you would like to try an alternative route of treatment and have both physicians working together for your best outcome.
Yours in Health!
Yes, it can reduce sugar level.
I am assuming you have been diagnosed with type2 diabetes? I am not sure if you have been prescribed medication for your condition, or If you are trying to self control and lowering your blood sugar at this time without medicine. My advice first is to change your diet, lose weight and exercise to control. I prefer plant base diet, it seems to work well to bring the levels down. Acupuncture does not bring your blood sugar down alone. Try my suggestion and check your A1C every 3 months. Thanks.
This is a complicated question. Since you were recently diagnosed, I'm going to assume this is type II diabetes and you're looking at oral medications to manage the condition rather than insulin injections.

If this is the case, acupuncture can help manage the side effects of any drugs you may be prescribed. Additionally, some recent studies of acupuncture in weight loss have shown that it can help regulate insulin levels to a degree.

The extent to which acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine can help is going to largely depend on your individual presentation. Where are your fasting glucose and a1c levels? Are you experiencing any other diabetic symptoms (peripheral neuropathy and so on)? What drug(s) is/are being recommended by your physician? How open are you to dietary modification and how well can you stick to those changes?
Acupuncture can assist in maintaining normal blood sugar level. A lot of factors go into play when dealing with diabetes, therefore it is not easy to give a straight yes or no answer as to whether or not acupuncture can cure diabetes. If can certainly help in the treatment of diabetes, but it should not be the sole approach to treating diabetes.
There are many alternative therapies you can try to help regulate your symptoms and your condition. Acupuncture might help regulate your body's systems including insulin production depending on the severity of your condition. It can help reduce pains, help you maintain proper weight (along with proper diet and activity). It could help regulate the cortisol in your body, which in turn could help regulate the sugars. It can help with peripheral neuropathy, if that is an issue you have.

Chinese medicine also has herbal formulas that can help the body regulate the organ function and allow your symptoms to reduce. We also have some dietary suggestions, food therapy, physical activity modalities, etc.

Find a practitioner that is comfortable treating your condition, one that you feel comfortable with and see if it is right for you.
Acupuncture does not lower your sugar level. However, acupuncture is good at dealing with diabetes associated symptoms.
It will help with acupuncture, will be more effective if combined with herbs.
For diabetes, from western medicine, body has trouble produce insulin, so it will be treated adding insulin to the body to help with glucose metabolism, for Chinese medicine, diabetes is mostly caused by imbalance of yin and yang, we use acupuncture and herbs to try to balance the body to help the insulin producing and faster the glucose metabolism.
This is an excellent question. Acupuncture cannot cure Diabetes but can manage symptoms by regulating blood insulin levels, regulating hormones and treating the Kidneys and Liver, which are directly related. Acupuncture improves quality of life