One of the chronic conditions acupuncture can treat is peripheral neuropathy. An ancient Chinese medical treatment, acupuncture utilizes the body’s natural sources. Small, hair-like needles penetrate the skin at pressure points to encourage healing and improve body functionality.

Acupuncture can be a solution for chronic symptoms as the treatment helps to:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase nerve conduction
  • Increase blood flow
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Release powerful endorphin for pains

Since acupuncture provides various health possibilities, patients are able to find relief without vigorous medical procedures and substances. Those suffering from neuropathy pain can treat their symptoms with the natural solution of acupuncture treatments.

What is Neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy is a chronic disorder that affects the nervous system. It’s common among patients with diabetes, metabolic disorders, and traumatic injuries.  Neuropathy causes daily pain, affects the sense of touch, and damages bodily temperatures with an inability for warmth.  

Patients with neuropathy can feel numbness, tingling, and burning sensations at the neuropathy sights, most commonly the hands and feet. Sharp and stabbing pains in the limbs can also occur for neuropathy patients. Muscle weakness and coordination can be affected with this condition, which raises the difficulty to accomplish simple tasks like walking.

Neuropathy treatments are intended to relieve symptoms and allow the patient to manage their condition. However, usual treatment options include medications (such as pain relievers and antidepressants) and surgical procedures to reduce pressure on the nerves. These treatment options add additional stress to the patient, but acupuncture can achieve the same results naturally.

How works acupuncture for peripheral neuropathy?

Acupuncture is a natural solution for pain as it focuses on the energy channeling throughout the body and stimulates the body’s healing capabilities through pressure points. The body consists of pressure points that connect to certain areas of the body. Essentially, these points are like tracks that lead to areas of healing to relieve pain and discomfort.

For neuropathy, an acupuncturist will focus on the pressure points for the nervous system and penetrate the skin at those points with acupuncture needles. Soft pressure will be placed on points for the nervous system—most likely where the pain is located—to initiate healing with the natural hormones and chemicals the body releases from acupuncture.

Acupuncture influences the body to regulate functions and initiate healing properties. Pain is treated and discomfort is lessened after acupuncture sessions, which effectively provides a solution for chronic conditions like neuropathy.

Neuropathy patients often use acupuncture as a treatment option due to the positive results. Nerve damage caused by neuropathy is repaired by blood increasing in the areas of treatment.

With acupuncture, the body naturally produces what it needs to repair and restore the impaired nervous system. This results in pain relief as symptoms are reduced with the body healing on its own. Acupuncture is an effective source of treatment as it allows patients to begin to recover from their pain as the body works to improve the condition.

Benefits of acupuncture on peripheral neuropathy

Acupuncture has been used for years as a natural pain reliever. Neuropathy is one of many conditions acupuncture can assist in for the patients to be living healthier and happier lives.

One of the clear benefits of acupuncture is symptom relief. The pain sights of neuropathy improve as blood flood increases and nerves begin to recover. Often patients find themselves feeling better overall after receiving acupuncture treatments.

It’s common for neuropathy sufferers to struggle with walking as adding pressure to their feet causes large amounts of discomfort. As the nervous system is affected by neuropathy, simple tasks are made more difficult for patients. After acupuncture, pain is reduced and comfortability rises. Neuropathy symptoms dim with the help of acupuncture to allow patients to discover normal functions again.

Long-Term Benefits

Neuropathy patients often experience a dip in their quality of life due to their pain levels. Without the nervous system functioning properly, simple activities like walking or carrying items become difficult. Living with pain can have other effects on a patient’s health as depression commonly develops for those with chronic pain. 

Once symptoms are relieved and neuropathy patients are able to return to normal activities, they can begin to seen improvements in their mental health as well. Without continuous pain, they can become more active as pain does not hinder them from moving. Being able to return to a regular lifestyle has numerous physical and mental health benefits.

After neuropathy pain is reduced, patients can become more active with and improve their health with exercise. Participating in physical activity—like a gentle hike or bike ride—benefits patients as they can start to see improvement in their heart health, weight status, and more.

Overall, quality of life with health, wellness, and lifestyle can improve with acupuncture treatment as it results in a reduction in pain. Removing pain intensity gives neuropathy patients the opportunity to live happier with the capability to have a normal and healthy life.

Is Acupuncture for Peripheral Neuropathy Safe?

Acupuncture is a completely painless treatment option as the needles used are extremely small, thinner than other needles used for IVs or vaccinations. Patients may experience a slight pinch or tingle during treatment and the area may be sore or tender afterward, but acupuncture is a viable treatment and entirely safe if done correctly.

Receiving treatment from an experienced acupuncturist prevents unwanted results, such as infection or injury. At Augusta Acupuncture Clinic, sterile needles are used to ensure a safe and painless experience.

There are considerably less known side effects of acupuncture when compared to standard medical drugs. Although some reactions can occur, the risks are considered less invasive than other traditional medicines.

Possible Side Effects

Just like any other medical treatment, there are possible side effects. Any reactions to acupuncture should be mild and complications from treatment are rare.

Bruising may occur, especially for those with sensitive skin. This is a completely normal response and should only last for a few days. A health care provider should be informed if side effects are long-lasting or severe.

The skin may bleed lightly from needle penetration, but any skin damage should heal quickly. Acupuncture is a non-invasive and effective natural solution for chronic pain with a small number of side effects that should not cause further comfort. The benefits from acupuncture, with pain relief and functionality improvements, usually outweigh additional effects from treatment.

Is Acupuncture Right for You?

The best way to know if acupuncture is the right treatment option for your pain is to consult with a medical professional. Each patient will respond to alternative medicine differently and acupuncture could be more beneficial to some.

Acupuncture can be used as a stand-alone treatment for neuropathy or be an additional treatment paired with medications or surgery, for more severe cases. Treatment types vary from patient to patient to ensure the most possible benefits and results.

Acupuncture is may not be recommended for those with certain, pre-existing conditions. Like any other medicine, acupuncture could have some unintended effects caused by other health factors. For example, those with bleeding disorders or who have frequent use of blood thinner medications are at risk of compromising the acupuncture healing process as the body struggles to repair the skin at the needle sites. 

Acupuncture could also possibly affect pacemakers as heat and electrical pulses are applied to the needles. To activate the body’s healing capabilities, electricity could be used to communicate with the nerves. Patients with a heart condition could experience effects on their pacemakers as the operation of the device could be disrupted by the electrical acupuncture technique.

Those who suffer from neuropathy have the option to receive acupuncture treatment to let the body heal naturally. Acupuncture is a great solution for pain with minimal risks and effects. To discover more on acupuncture and if it’s right for you, contact Dr. Eric Sherrell at Augusta Acupuncture Clinic!