Acupuncture for Diabetes
What we know of as diabetes today, is known in Traditional Chinese medicine as Wasting and Thirsting Disease. Though acupuncture can be very helpful in treating the symptoms of diabetes, it is not a cure for diabetes.
Acupuncture is not generally useful for treating Type 1 diabetes, often called juvenile diabetes or juvenile onset diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes, often called adult onset diabetes is often treated with a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas that have a hypoglycemic effect, such as Liu wei Di huang Wan.
Other herbal medicines can be useful when combined with acupuncture to treat peripheral neuropathy and other symptoms of diabetes.
Treatment may involve acupuncture applied to up to a dozen acupuncture points for a single session. A course of acupuncture therapy for diabetes is typically long-term, as acupuncture can treat symptoms but not cure diabetes. The treatment course may consist of one to two sessions per week, with number of weekly sessions dependent upon improvement in symptoms and decline in blood sugar levels.
Acupuncture treatment for diabetes is most effective for those individuals who have had diabetes for only a few years, and have a milder disease manifestation. Diabetic acupuncture is also most effective in treating diabetes in younger individuals. Diabetics receiving acupuncture also experience a decline in cholesterol levels and have fewer medical complications, such as cardiovascular diseases.
Acupuncture can also help diabetics in the following ways: Attenuate symptoms of polyphagia, (impulse to overeat), polydipsia, (excessive thirst), enhance blood outflow and regulate vascular peripheral resistance, increase cell proliferation, and prevent slowing of motor nerve conduction.
Diabetic acupuncture treatment programs can also reduce the prolonged healing time of diabetic non-healing skin wounds such as ulcers.
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINES FOR DIABETES
Acupuncture Points for Diabetes
Acupuncture points are chosen based on the medical history, and specific stage of diabetes advancement. Treatments and acupuncture points selected are highly differentiated from individual to individual.
The main acupuncture points effective in treatment of diabetic symptoms and conditions include acupuncture point quchi, acupuncture point sanyinjiao, acupuncture point zusanli, and acupuncture point yishu. Supplemental acupuncture points, combined with these main acupuncture points to produce increased symptom improvements, are acupuncture point yuju, acupuncture point guanyuan and acupuncture point baihui.
Though a vast assortments of points are used according to the individual case, tonifying points are chosen to support the weakened organ(s).
Some examples are:
acupuncture point Zu San Li • Stomach 36 Leg Three Li. He Sea Point on the Stomach Channel. Special Command Point for the Abdomen. Earth Point on the Earth Meridian.
Location: On the leg, one finger breadth lateral to the tibia's anterior crest, 3 cun inferior to ST 35 in the depression to the lateral side of the patella.
acupuncture point Kidney 3 Great Ravine. Shu Stream Point on the Kidney Channel. Yuan Source on the Kidney Channel.
Location: On the medial ankle, at the midpoint between the prominence of the medial malleolus and Achilles’ Tendon.