A research team​(Kazemi et al. 2019)​ from Iran and China carried out a randomized clinical trial to compare the therapeutic effects of acupuncture with sham acupuncture on levels of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) among patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) under treatment with metformin.

Acupoints used: SJ5, ST25, ST36, ST40, RN6, RN12, BL13, BL20, BL23, SP10, SP6, LR3, LI4, LI11, KI3. After the sensation from Deqi had been felt, they needles were retained for 20 minutes. For the back-Shu points i.e. BL13, BL20, BL23, a rapid needling technique with even manipulation was applied, and needles were retained only for 1 minute.

In addition to metformin, acupuncture treatment led to a significant reduction in the FPG level as compared with sham acupuncture after 6 weeks or 12 treatments and a 12-week follow-up. The treatment also reduced the HbA1c level significantly in comparison with that in the sham-acupuncture group (MD = 0.27, 95%CI = 0.08 to 0.47, P = .007).

The team concluded that acupuncture could be used as adjuvant therapy among patients with T2DM.

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  1. Kazemi, Amir Hooman, Wei Wang, Yanping Wang, Faezeh Khodaie, and Hossein Rezaeizadeh. 2019. “Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture on Blood Glucose Level among Patients with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences, January, 101–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcms.2019.02.003.
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