Acupressure therapy inhibits the development of diabetic complications in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.
J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Sep;15(9):1027-32. PMID: 19757980
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of acupressure therapy (AT) on the development and progression of diabetic complications in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 80 patients with T2D were recruited for a randomized clinical study of the effect of AT on the progression and development of diabetic complications, and 64 patients were followed up for 3 years. All patients with T2D were treated with regular medicines and participated in diet and exercise programs for the control of hyperglycemia and hypertension. The patients in the AT group received additional treatment of a 90-minute AT 4-6 times per week for 3 consecutive years. Their blood lipids, fasting glucose levels, and heart and kidney functions and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) were longitudinally monitored before and every 12 months after AT. RESULTS: Following AT therapy for 3 years, significantly lower levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) were observed and no significantly increased levels of serum creatinine and urine protein were detected in the AT group, as compared with that in controls. Furthermore, the mean values of NCV in the AT group at 2 years post-treatment were significantly greater than those of controls and were further elevated at the end of this study. Therefore, AT inhibited the progression of hyperlipidemia and improved diabetes-associated kidney function and neuropathy in Chinese patients with T2D. CONCLUSIONS: AT may be an effective nonpharmacological adjunctive strategy for alleviating the development and progression of T2D-related complications.