Acupuncture for Neuropathy and Paresthesia
by Grace Ganel, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., C.Z.B.
Have you ever sat cross-legged for a long time and then noticed numbness or “weird” sensations in your feet? If so, you know a thing or two about paresthesia! Paresthesia refers to abnormal sensations. Examples include tingling, “pins-and-needles” sensations, burning or sharp sensations, and numbness. Many different things can cause paresthesia. Though it is often temporary or fleeting, paresthesia can become an ongoing problem.
However, chances are that you have less experience with neuropathy. Neuropathy is weakness, numbness, and/or pain due to nerve damage. The most common type is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy affects the hands and feet. People with diabetes are prone to peripheral neuropathy.
How does allopathic medicine treat neuropathy and paresthesia?
Changing positions frequently prevents paresthesia. It is also good to avoid postures that put a lot of pressure on one spot. Sometimes, paresthesia can be a sign that you need to see a doctor immediately. Seek help if the symptoms don’t go away on their own, or if you also have weakness or problems with movement.
People with diabetes should work closely with their medical providers. Uncontrolled diabetes causes peripheral neuropathy. Therefore, it is important that people with this disease work with their doctors to help control diabetes. Doctors can provide many prescription and over-the-counter medications to help folks manage their symptoms. Additionally, people with neuropathy should regularly examine any numb regions for wounds, because the numbness can make it hard to tell if there’s something wrong.
Acupuncture for paresthesia and neuropathy
Can acupuncture help those suffering with paresthesia or neuropathy? Several studies suggest acupuncture can help folks with these symptoms (1,2,3). Acupuncture channels frequently travel alongside nerve pathways. Modern acupuncturists think that these points’ proximity to nerves may be part of why ancient Chinese doctors used them.
In my practice, I have worked with many people with neuropathy and paresthesia. My clients often see improvements in these symptoms with acupuncture and zero balancing. Sometimes I work with these symptoms by needling the affected region. But other times, I might avoid needling the area.
Often, people with these symptoms have had many neurological tests from allopathic doctors that use needles. These folks are tired of needles! Zero balancing has the benefit of not using any needles. It just gently shifts the structures around the nervous system. There are many different ways an acupuncturist or zero balancer can go about working with a client with these symptoms. As always, I treat individual people, not diseases!
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I would like to support you with these symptoms and more. Click here to schedule your Northern Virginia home visit or Columbia, Maryland office appointment for acupuncture or zero balancing!