What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that damages the nerves. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Neuropathy can be caused by a number of things, including diabetes, chemotherapy, alcohol abuse, and certain medications.
How Can Acupuncture Help with Neuropathy?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. It is believed that acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing process and can help to relieve pain and inflammation.
A growing body of research suggests that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for neuropathy. One study found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture at reducing pain and improving nerve function in people with diabetic neuropathy. Another study found that acupuncture was effective at reducing pain and improving quality of life in people with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
How Does Acupuncture Work for Neuropathy?
Acupuncture is thought to work for neuropathy in a number of ways. It may help to:
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Improve nerve function
- Promote blood flow to the nerves
- Stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers
What to Expect During an Acupuncture Treatment
During an acupuncture treatment, you will lie on a comfortable table. The acupuncturist will then insert thin needles into specific points on your body. The needles are usually inserted very shallowly and should not cause much pain.
Once the needles are in place, you will relax for 20-30 minutes. The acupuncturist may gently manipulate the needles during this time. After the treatment, the needles will be removed.
How Many Acupuncture Treatments Do I Need?
The number of acupuncture treatments you need will vary depending on the severity of your neuropathy and your individual response to treatment. Most people start with 2-3 treatments per week and then reduce the frequency of treatments as their symptoms improve.
If you are considering acupuncture for neuropathy, be sure to start with a consultation.
Additional Tips for Managing Neuropathy
In addition to acupuncture, there are a number of other things you can do to manage neuropathy symptoms, such as:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can put additional pressure on the nerves.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise can help to improve nerve function and blood flow.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet can help to provide the nutrients your nerves need to function properly.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can damage the nerves.
- Manage any underlying medical conditions. If your neuropathy is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, it is important to manage that condition carefully.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for neuropathy. It can help to reduce pain, improve nerve function, and promote blood flow to the nerves. If you are considering acupuncture for neuropathy, be sure to begin with a consult.