At Acupuncture Vancouver, we know acupuncture can help our clients experiencing a wide range of health conditions including peripheral neuropathy. Have you ever woken up in the night with the painful sensation of pins and needles or burning in your hands or feet? If so, you could be experiencing peripheral neuropathy and Acupuncture Vancouver may be able to help reduce or relieve your symptoms. Let’s learn a little more about peripheral neuropathy and then discuss acupuncture for the treatment of neuropathy.
Your peripheral nervous system communicates messages from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles, organs, and other parts of your body. Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage of the peripheral nervous system and is most often associated with other conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and nutritional deficiencies.
However, peripheral neuropathy is also often associated with damage or injury to peripheral nerves through compression or entrapment or nerve trauma. Swelling of surrounding tissues, direct physical injury resulting from dislocated or fractured bones, or damage associated with prolonged pressure on tissues can all result in peripheral neuropathy.
Neuropathy is mainly experienced as symptoms of numbness, tingling, burning, muscle weakness and atrophy, and hypersensitivity. Most of us have experienced peripheral neuropathy – imagine the numb feeling you may get in your arm when you ‘sleep on it funny,’ or the feeling we often describe as body parts ‘falling asleep’ and you’ll be able to relate to the experience of peripheral neuropathy. Though these transient experiences of neuropathy are relatively normal, prolonged and chronic neuropathy can be very uncomfortable and may result in long-term damage.
Acupuncture and Neuropathy
Acupuncture is potential treatment for neuropathy, particularly for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other entrapment syndromes, but also for neuropathy related to diseases such as diabetes and HIV. At Acupuncture Vancouver, the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine is guided by the principle that peripheral neuropathy is related to blockages of the flow of Qi and blood. Qi is essentially energy, and by applying the principles of acupuncture, Qi and blood will flow more freely. The resulting improvements in circulation, nerve endings and muscle tissue are better nourished to allow for improved nerve function and decreased pain.
Still, when you receive treatments at Acupuncture Vancouver, we take a holistic approach. We want to know more about your neuropathy, so we may ask about what precipitates your nerve pain, when it emerges, and how it feels. We’ll also likely want to know more about your health routines including your eating, drinking, and sleeping habits, as well as your work and exercise routines. Ultimately, we’ll develop a treatment plan that will help to alleviate the symptoms of your neuropathy while promoting overall health.