Acupuncture treatment for diabetes focuses on treating the Patterns of Disharmony and any other symptoms.
Upper Burner patterns affecting the Lung are treated with points such as Lung 5 (Chi Ze), UB13 (Fei Shu), and Sp 6 (San Yin Jiao).
Middle Burner patterns affecting the Stomach are treated with points such as Ren 12 (Zhong Wan), Stomach 44 (Nei Ting), and Sp 6 (San Yin Jiao).
Lower Burner patterns affecting the Kidneys are treated with points such as Ki3 (Tai Xi) and Sp 6 (San Yin Jiao).
Empirical points may be used as well. Yi Shu, which has an effect on the pancreas (the organ as understood in conventional medicine), is a common addition to all acupuncture treatments of diabetes. Likewise, a point on the sole of the foot, Ki 1 (Yong Quan), may be treated. As this is a painful point to needle, it may be massaged or treated with electricity alone. Other symptoms, such as Qi deficiency and Blood Stasis, may be treated with points such as St 36 (Zu San Li) and Sp 10 (Xue Hai).
Acupuncture treatment in diabetic patients may be contraindicated, depending on the patient's symptoms. For example, in patients whose cuts and wounds do not heal, acupuncture points needled on the lower extremities are not advised.