This neuropathy acupuncture research study was conducted at the Gansu Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Researchers concluded that acupuncture and herbs are effective for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Patients receiving both acupuncture and herbs had an effective rate of 96.67%. Those receiving just Chinese herbs had a 73.33% effective rate. And drug therapy patients had a 53.33% effective rate.
Patients were monitored for adverse effects, including liver and kidney function tests. No serious adverse effects were reported in any of the groups, indicating a high degree of safety for all three treatment protocols. Outcome measures for the study included nerve conduction tests, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) syndrome scores, and treatment efficacy rates.
Treatment effective rates were calculated for each group. Patients whose symptoms had fully resolved and whose reflexes were normal (based on nerve conduction tests), were categorized as “recovered”. For patients whose symptoms and reflexes had clearly improved, but not completely, were classified as “effective”. Patients with no clear improvement in their condition were classified as “ineffective”.
The neuropathy acupuncture research group taking medication alone had 2 recovered, 14 effective, and 14 ineffective cases, totaling an effective rate of 53.33%. In the herbal medicine group, there were 5 recovered, 17 effective, and 8 ineffective cases, giving a total effective rate of 73.33%. In the acupuncture plus herbs group, there were 11 recovered and 18 effective cases, with 1 ineffective case, yielding a total effective rate of 96.67%.
Ninety patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) were recruited for the study. They were randomly assigned to either the drug group, the herbal medicine group, or the acupuncture and herbs group. The drug group received the medication epalrestat, an aldose reductase inhibitor used in the treatment of DPN. The herbal medicine group was treated with the Chinese herbal formula “Tao Hong Si Wu Tang”. The acupuncture plus herbs group was treated with “Tao Hong Si Wu Tang” in combination with acupuncture.
Neuropathy Acupuncture Research Groups
The drug group comprised 16 male and 14 female patients, ages 40–74 years (mean age 57 years). The participants in this group were diagnosed with diabetes for 5–21 years (median duration 10 years) and suffered from DPN for 1–7 years (mean duration 4 years).
The herbal medicine neuropathy acupuncture research group had 16 male and 14 female patients, ages 41–72 years (mean age 57 years). These participants were diagnosed with diabetes for 5–18 years (median duration 9 years) and suffered from DPN for 1–7 years (mean duration 4 years).
The acupuncture plus herbs group was comprised of 17 male and 13 female patients, ages 40–75 years (mean age 59 years). The participants were diagnosed with diabetes for 5–20 years (mean duration 9 years) and suffered from DPN for 2–7 years (mean duration 4 years).
All participants had a previous history of diabetes with neuropathy present, symptoms consistent with DPN such as pain, burning, numbness, a feeling of insects crawling on the skin, and other abnormal sensations.
Participants received the appropriate dietary, exercise, and health education needed to regulate blood glucose levels. Those patients taking medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, or coronary heart disease continued taking their medications throughout the study.
The medication group was treated with drug epalrestat, an aldose reductase inhibitor commonly used in the treatment of DPN. They were given a 50 mg dose three times a day.
Chinese Herbs Group
Participants in the neuropathy acupuncture research herbal medicine group were prescribed “Tao Hong Si Wu Tang”, comprised of the following herbs:
Dang Gui 15g
Bai Shao 15g
Chuan Xiong 10g
Shu Di Huang 15g
Tao Ren 15g
Hong Hua 15g
The herbs were boiled in water daily and split into three doses to be taken morning, noon, and night.
Acupuncture and Herbs Group
Participants in the acupuncture plus herbs group were prescribed the same herbal formula while also receiving acupuncture at the following points:
Needles were inserted using the standard acupuncture method. All points were manipulated to activate “deqi” (achy feeling at the needle site). Treatment was administered daily for four weeks.
All three neuropathy acupuncture research groups received four weeks of treatment. During this time patients were encouraged to avoid the cold, emotional stress, and overexertion. In addition, they were asked to refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating spicy, fatty, or greasy foods.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Results
The researchers concluded that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is a safe and effective treatment for DPN and its associated symptoms. Acupuncture and herbs significantly outperformed epalrestat. Furthermore, acupuncture and herbs had a low risk of adverse effects.
At Raleigh Acupuncture we treat many patients presenting with neuropathy. Acupuncture is an effective treatment to reduce the symptoms of neuropathy, for diabetics and for patients without diabetes. The treatment is safe and relaxing. Many patients fall asleep during their sessions.
1. Wu Guannan, Meng Caizhou, Zhang Dinghua (2019) “Randomized controlled study of acupuncture combined with Taohong Siwu Decoction in the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy” Journal of Gansu University of Chinese Medicine Vol. 36 (1) pp. 64-67.
This neuropathy acupuncture research study supports our own experience at Raleigh Acupuncture. Acupuncture works to resolve the burning and tingling pain of neuropathy.
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For the past 13 years I suffered from peripheral neuropathy in my calf, ankle and foot. I tried numerous medications, therapy with lights, neuromuscular massages and back decompression. I felt like I had stones under the ball of my foot. After the first couple of sessions with Dr. Mark, feelings returned to my calf, ankle and the “stone like feeling” under the ball of my foot began subsiding. Thanks to Dr. Mark, I am able now to walk without pain and discomfort. The extraordinary care and attentiveness I am receiving from Raleigh Acupuncture in treating my neuropathy is remarkable and I recommend them without reserve!
I’m a semi-professional weight lifter. I never had a problem until my hip went out doing squats. The pain was tremendous, like a sharp nerve pain down the back of my leg into the calf. It had sidelined me for two months while I tried unsuccessfully to work out the pain. Then a buddy suggested acupuncture. He had a similar hip pain and got relief at Raleigh Acupuncture. I went there and got treated. They told me to stop stretching until the injury was healed. I followed their instructions and got half a dozen treatments. The pain started easing after the first few treatments. I continued for another 6 treatments and was totally cured. I was able to get back to lifting with no residual effects of the injury. I’ve recommended this practice to a number of friends since that time and they all have had good experiences.
I have neuropathy that is a burning, tingling pain down my legs and into my feet. The doctor said there was nothing I could do besides pain medicine, since I am diabetic. The meds didn’t help much and made me feel groggy all the time. I tried acupuncture, after seeing a segment on Dr. Oz. I found Raleigh Acupuncture online and liked their website. They had a lot of useful information. The treatments were interesting. They used electric acupuncture on my legs and feet that felt like a tingling massage. They said it
would take a few treatments to start kicking in, and they were right. The burning pain slowly started to recede, and the tingling went away. I was truly amazed to feel such a difference in my legs and feet. I know so many people with neuropathy, and they are afraid to try acupuncture. I think they are crazy not to try it. What a difference not to be in constant pain anymore. I don’t need medication for my legs.
I woke up one morning and started getting these excruciatingly painful shooting electric pains on the left side of my face. My wife took me to the emergency room and they said I had trigeminal neuralgia. They gave me some pain medicine, but a nurse there suggested I try acupuncture. She had this pain once and it was cured by acupuncture. She gave me the name of Raleigh Acupuncture. When I explained the situation they took me in the same day. After just one treatment I started feeling better. They saw me every day for six days, at which point the pain was completely gone. What a life saver. I strongly recommend getting acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia.