I frequently have patients who experience neuropathy, numbness, pain and tingling in their feet.

Neuropathy is a fairly common problem that many acupuncturists see. Either with or without diabetes. I have found that treating the pain and burning of neuropathy is usually faster than treating the numbness. However, many of my patients, sometimes even after the first treatment, notice reduction in the shooting pain, and get some feeling back in their feet.

Of course, reducing or eliminating the pain of neuropathy is a great relief. Many patients complain that much of the pain tends to be worse at night. Once the pain and burning is gone, there is eventual improvement with the numbness. In my experience, numbness takes longer to treat. Although the numbness associated with neuropahty takes time to treat, acupuncture concurrently provides indirect benefits to the whole person. Some of those additional benefits include improved energy, better sleep, a sense of calm, relaxation and overall experience of well-being.

I’ll tell a quick story about my dad. He had come to visit while I was still in school studying Chinese medicine. He shared with me that he was experiencing some neuropathy, mainly numbness on the bottom of his feet. He told me that he’d been to the best doctors and they all said, “There’s nothing that we can do for you. It’s just the way it is.”

At that time, I said, “You know, Dad, from my studies, I’ve heard that acupuncture might help stimulate some of the nerve endings and bring some feeling back to your feet. Why don’t I just take you to one of my professors?” And after one treatment, he got some feeling back in his toes, especially in his big toe which is an important toe if you’re going to be driving or doing a lot of walking. So, he had been given “that’s it” type of storyline from the doctors and he got some feeling back in his toes after one treatment. I find that’s the case with many of my patients.

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