Acupoint therapy following the clinical approaches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including manual acupuncture, electroacupuncture, moxibustion, external applications, and acupoint injection, have proved to have specific curative effect and notable advantages in the treatment of diabetes, and its common chronic complications — neuropathy, nephropathy, and hepatopathy.
As a stand-alone treatment, or combined with biomedical interventions, it has shown superior efficacy and less side effects than biomedicine alone. Relevant research on mechanisms of action in the recent 5 years, have included theories involving the regulation of nerve conduction, signal pathways, hormone level, protein expression, oxidative stress level, structure restoration, etc. The most studied acupoints are Zusanli (ST36), Shenshu (BL23), Sanyinjiao (SP6), Yishu (EX-B3), and Zhongwan (CV12). Most of the studies have been based on diabetes model rats rather than clinical trials. Read the full text at PubMed.
CIAM editor’s note: Though this review is focused on body acupoints as used in clinical TCM, the neural pathways of auricular points align with many of the associated meridians suggested for involvement in the regulation of the various mechanisms researched.