March 9


Is Acupuncture Safe for Those with Diabetes?

By Gabriela

March 9, 2018

Ancient Chinese practitioners of traditional medicine, more than 3,000 years ago, pioneered what we know now as acupuncture. Acupuncturists use needles to stimulate specific activation points in the body and treat many medical conditions.

No wonder why modern acupuncture has become increasingly more popular in recent years. Even the World Health Organization recognized acupuncture as a beneficial and effective way of treating more than 100 health problems.

Some of them are migraines, chronic pain, and even diabetes.

Acupuncture and Diabetes

Even though there is not a lot that we know about the effects of acupuncture on treating diabetes, research suggests that it can be safe and somewhat effective for soothing diabetes symptoms.

According to a study, acupuncture can help regulate insulin levels and pancreas functions.

Furthermore, trials show that acupuncture can have an anti-obesity effect, which could prove useful as a traditional treatment for managing the condition. In fact, it can reduce some of the impacts of diabetes symptoms.


The acupuncture techniques for treating diabetes can be different from the ones for treating regular pain.

In other words, there are a lot of different acupuncture practices, styles, and techniques.

However, it seems that only 3 of these can prove useful for treating the condition. Here is everything people need to know about them.


This type of acupuncture is the most commonly used one for treating diabetes. It involves inserting needles into every acupuncture point. Furthermore, the technique passes an electrical impulse from one acupuncture point to another.

Various studies have found this treatment effective for treating diabetic neuropathy and managing blood sugar levels.


This acupuncture treatment involves deep needle stimulation of the wrist and ankle nerves. According to a Chinese study issued in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, this type of acupuncture could be useful for treating nerve damage caused by the condition.

To confirm these claims, researchers focused on 3 separate treatment options for diabetic peripheral neuritis:

  • Body acupuncture;
  • Wrist-ankle acupuncture;
  • Western traditional medical treatment.

In the end, wrist-ankle acupuncture proved to be most effective for treating nerve pain in those with the condition.

Moreover, other research published in Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine concluded that this acupuncture method seems effective and safe for treating nerve pain, especially in diabetic patients.

Herbal Acupuncture

This is a modern acupuncture technique where acupuncturists insert herbs into different acupuncture points.

According to reviews, herbal acupuncture may be beneficial for keeping the blood glucose levels stable in those with diabetes type 2.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Diabetics

Acupuncture is recommended for those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, the techniques for treating both types are very different. The acupuncture methods are prescribed depending on the diabetes symptoms people want to treat.

Therefore, there are different methods for losing weight, boosting metabolism, reducing nerve pain, and improving organ functions.

Reduces Pain

Those who have had diabetes for a very long time may already know the type of pain it can cause. It affects the endocrine system. Therefore, getting acupuncture treatment can stimulate endorphins and trigger the hormones to release positive feelings and block the pain.

Keeps the Blood Sugar Levels Stable

Acupuncture can help reduce stress by regulating the hormone cortisol which signals the body to feel stressed. So, by stabilizing the body, this treatment can help keep the blood sugar in check.

Therefore, this treatment can be immensely useful without causing any serious side effects.

Note: Always look for a professional acupuncturist. This is the safest and the best way to make sure that the acupuncture is done accordingly.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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