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Peripheral Neuropathy can be caused by many different underlying injuries and diseases causing damage to the nerves of the body. It is characterized by numbness, tingling, burning, or sensitivities of the extremities. With correct treatment some symptoms can be reduced over time. As long as the nerves are not permanently damaged.
Underlying Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. It can also be caused by;
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy vary depending on which nerves are affected, as well as the duration and the severity of the damage.
More often, peripheral neuropathy starts in the longer nerves, affecting those of the fingers and toes first.
Chinese Medicine for Peripheral Neuropathy
There are a variety of techniques in Traditional Chinese Medicine that can be used to treat Peripheral Neuropathy depending on the presentation and underlying cause.
There are several vitamin deficiencies associated with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. By modifying the diet to include foods that are rich in these vitamins and by including high quality vitamin supplements, symptoms can very often be reversed.
Diet and Nutrition for Peripheral Neuropathy
Acupuncture for Peripheral Neuropathy
In a 2007 research study 192 patients were monitored for a year. Of those 47 were classified as having Peripheral Neuropathy with undefined etiology. Those patients were then divided into 2 groups. A) provided with Acupuncture treatments based on the Heidelburg Model. B) Provided the best western medical care, but no specific treatment method. Of those in Group A, 76% improved based on the NCS measurements, 14% showed no change, and 10% said they had aggravated symptoms. Of those in Group B, ONLY 15% showed improvement, 27% had no change and 58% had aggravation of symptoms.
Those in the Western treatment group were MORE LIKELY TO HAVE AGGRAVATION OF SYMPTOMS, while those in the Acupuncture group were MORE LIKELY TO HAVE IMPROVEMENT OF SYMPTOMS.
Very often we will combine electro stimulation with the Acupuncture treatments.
Moxibustion for Peripheral Neuropathy
Moxibustion is used to warm the needles and acupuncture points. When using Moxibustion to treat peripheral neuropathy, we typically use the warm needle type (there are several ways Moxibustion can be used). In this method, small balls of moxa are place on top of the needles and lit. The burning moxa then warms the needle to its tip (deeply placed into the body).
There is currently a study being conducted on the use of Warm Moxa Acupuncture for treating Sensory Peripheral Neuropathy
Resources and Research: Acupuncture and Peripheral Neuropathy