Diabetes is a fatal disease, taking a lot of lives every year. It is caused due to the increase of glucose and sugar level in the body. Proper medication, diet control, exercise, and acupuncture for Diabetes are some of the most preferred treatments.
The last two, namely, exercise and acupuncture are exceptionally beneficial because trying them is mostly not going to have any side effect, if well performed.
Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, is world renowned now for its advantages in different health conditions. It is the art of using small piercing needles on certain activation points of the body with the goal of treating illnesses by stimulating specific acupoints.
Thorough research and studies have depicted that acupuncture has vital effects on metabolic and endocrine diseases, for instance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, etc. with good safety.
Currently, there are many techniques and ways being performed by specialists like electro-acupuncture, acupressure, and transcutaneous acupoint electrical stimulation. All these techniques are generally applied to the body and auricular acupoints.
Researches on Acupuncture and it’s Impacts in Diabetes
Many experiments and observations on lab animals have proven the hypoglycaemic effect of acupuncture therapy.
One such experiment on rats revealed that acupuncture stimulations at Zhongwan acupoint elevated the insulin secretion in the host body, mediated by activation of opioid receptors.
Acupuncture, also significantly decreased the insulin resistance in a different rat study. This is supposed to be associated with the inhibition of free fatty acid creation through stimulating cholinergic nerves and initializing nitric oxide synthesis.
A human study done on effects of acupuncture on diabetes has also shown that: acupuncture improved insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes, as a result of the reduction in endogenous insulin(1) concentration and the preservation of pancreatic β-cell function.
Uses of Acupuncture in Diabetes
Recommendation of acupuncture techniques to treat diabetes vary dramatically based on the type of diabetes you are using the technique for. Situations and procedures may vary for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and based on the severity of your case, similar to variations in the treatments of Western medicine.
These are two entirely different diseases within the diabetes spectrum. There are certain acupuncture techniques to assist you with weight loss, metabolism, and nerve pain.
One of the more vigorously studied and incorporated acupuncture techniques that address diabetic neuropathy is the wrist-ankle treatment. This treatment procedure involves deep stimulation of the wrist and ankle nerves in the body.
In the year 2018, researchers from China published findings in their experiments that showed how specific acupuncture points assist in improving the symptoms of diabetes in diabetic lab rats. The major accomplishment was that within 3 weeks, the rats that were treated with electro-acupuncture had:
- Reduced glucose levels
- Elevated insulin level
- Enhanced glucose tolerance
Researchers have also found that using acupuncture on diabetic patients could be appropriate as a future remedy in cases of insulin sensitivity.
The results have also suggested that low-intensity and low-frequency (controlled and performed by professionals) electro-acupuncture could actually help in reducing insulin resistance in the body and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Diabetes – Acupuncture Points and Their Benefits
Many diabetic patients are not able to incorporate the physical activity they are suggested or are trying to perform. The pain makes them subtle and submissive to their respective conditions.
Acupuncture proves to be the exact help you need in such cases. Medical acupuncture can help you reducing the pain, having better insulin mechanism and being able to uphold yourself. Major diabetes acupuncture points and their benefits are:
Wrist-ankle treatment, as the name itself is quite descriptive, is a form of acupuncture technique that involves deep needle stimulation of the nerves in ankle and wrist. This treatment might be a safe and effective procedure for curing pain, including diabetic peripheral neuritis in many people.
[Read: Acupuncture for Wrist Pain]
In this treatment, the acupuncturist puts a pair of needles in the acupuncture point and then passes an electrical impulse from one needle to the other. For treating pain caused by diabetic neuropathy and managing blood glucose levels this is an efficient way.
3. Herbal Acupuncture
This technique involves inserting carefully processed herbs in the acupuncture point. This is one of the latest methods and is still being researched upon to find out the actual results and benefits of using this method.
1. Are There Any Shortcomings of Using Acupuncture for Diabetes?
Ans: Since acupuncture requires needles to be put in your body, it can sometimes cause bruises or bleeding or even soreness at times. To prevent these situations, ensure the needle is sterile and the process is done carefully.
2. Is Acupuncture Therapy Worthwhile with My Ongoing Diet Control and Exercises?
Ans: That is completely a personal decision. Acupuncture from a licensed therapist can certainly be helpful depending on the case, but you might not personally like it or vice versa.
3. Can I Take Acupuncture Therapy from Any Local Therapist?
Ans: Always consult the professionals who are certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine(2). Never trust anyone who does not has a certificate and experience in this field.
Acupuncture to treat diabetes can be extremely advantageous until done by a certified practitioner. Always let your doctor know about the therapist and your progress. Acupuncture can be combined with your ongoing treatments as an additional relief measure.
In the best hands, and with utmost care using acupuncture for diabetes can elevate your physical condition and provide you relief. So try and find out how much it suits you and decide accordingly.