Acupuncture and Chronic Kidney Disease

Many patients diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) struggle with the progressive nature of the diagnosis.  Kidneys are not understood to repair themselves well, and treatment focuses on slowing the progression of the disease by treating the underlying causes, including diabetes and hypertension (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2019). 

A recent study looked at the effectiveness of a 12-week course of acupuncture on the serum creatinine levels and eGFR rates of patients with CKD.  These are two commonly-used measures of kidney function.  The kidney function of the patients in the acupuncture group showed statistically significant improvement in comparison with the control group (Yu, Ho, Wang, Chen, & Hsieh, 2017). 

Acupuncture shows promise as an adjunct treatment for patients diagnosed with CKD.  Regular treatment may not only improve the kidney function of these patients, but is likely to improve overall quality of life, and to offer support for the lifestyle changes necessary to live well with this diagnosis.

Link to study:


Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Chronic kidney disease - Symptoms and causes. Retrieved June 16, 2019, from Mayo Clinic website:
Yu, J.-S., Ho, C.-H., Wang, H.-Y., Chen, Y.-H., & Hsieh, C.-L. (2017). Acupuncture on Renal Function in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Single-Blinded, Randomized, Preliminary Controlled Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine23(8), 624–631.