The short answer: Yes.
The long answer:
- Diabetics are more susceptible to infections, especially in their lower legs and feet. Therefore, make sure the facility is sanitary and, as required by the FDA, only properly labeled, sterile, non-toxic, single-use acupuncture needles should be used. Take a full body shower before you go; and even if you are not there for your lower extremities, acupuncture points may be located there. Some are even on the scalp. Ask the acupuncturist to prep your skin well, such as with alcohol or iodine wipes.
- Acupuncture has not been shown to be effective for the treatment of diabetes, per se. However, since it is beneficial for selected types of chronic pain and discomfort, acupuncture may be considered for some of the nagging symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy or nerve pain/tingling, especially if conventional medical treatment has turned out to be ineffective or poorly tolerated. For example, I would try acupuncture before committing to long term use of narcotics if that is the only allopathic (traditional western) option left for pain control.
- Many patients forget that the first and most effective treatment for diabetes and its myriads of complications is a healthy lifestyle which includes a pleasurable and sustainable habit of nutrition, physical activities, management of stress, and cultivation of a sense of well being. Sadly, that has been displaced to a de facto “alternative” status or even the last resort. In point of fact, it is the starting point of an integrative and holistic approach to ALL chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes.