When I went through the Northern California Kaiser’s Pain Management Program in 2018, they offered a group acupuncture session as an option after the regular session on Fridays. It required a co-pay so not everyone in the group opted for it; but I did, along with several others.

The Physical Rehabilitation Department had required me to attend three group acupuncture sessions before the Pain Management Program would even accept me, so I already knew what group acupuncture was like. I soon discovered that if I practiced mindful breathing during the group acupuncture sessions, positive effects would be enhanced. So I continued with group acupuncture even after I completed the Pain Management Program. Eventually I got a series of acupuncture sessions with an individual acupuncturist.

I found acupuncture was effective at relieving the pain of migraines besides the chronic neck pain caused by my degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine. So, for me, it was very worthwhile! The best part is that, unlike pharmaceutical interventions, there are no negative side effects.

In March 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Kaiser suspended all group acupuncture sessions until further notice (it actually resumed in March 2021). This meant it was more important than ever to learn self-acupressure and the meridian trigger points to continue the positive effects of acupressure on pain, relaxation, and stress relief to control blood sugar and insulin levels.

Studies have confirmed acupuncture benefits diabetics by relieving pain and lowering blood sugars. “Acupuncture aids weight loss and reduces blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients.” A 2018 study concluded  that “self-acupressure as a complementary alternative medicine can be a helpful complementary method in reducing FBS [fasting blood sugar] and increasing insulin levels in type 2 diabetic patients.”


Watson, Kathryn; medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC. “Acupuncture for Diabetes,” Healthline (updated on August 20, 2018). https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/acupuncture-for-diabetes (accessed on 8/3/2020).

Sanming County Hospital of Integrated Medicine researchers. “Acupuncture For Diabetes Confirmed,” HealthCMi (July 14, 2019). https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1965-acupuncture-for-diabetes-confirmed (accessed on 8/3/2020).

Zarvasi, Asieh, et. al. “Effect of self-acupressure on fasting blood sugar (FBS) and insulin level in type 2 diabetes patients: a randomized clinical trial,” Electron Physician. 2018 Aug; 10(8): 7155–7163. Published online 2018 Aug 25. doi: 10.19082/7155. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122868/ (accessed on 8/3/2020).

Reflexology complementary treatment to diabetes

Recommended Book

Acupressure’s Potent Points: A Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments
By Michael Gach
With your hands you have potential to relieve everyday aches, pains, and ailments without taking drugs, to improve your health, and to increase your vitality. Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to stimulate key points on the skin that, in turn, activate the body’s natural self-healing processes. With this book, it is a skill you can learn now–and use in your own home.