Neuropathy has become a major health issue for many people. In 2017, “Medical News Today” reported that over 20 million people now have some form of neuropathy. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders at NIH reports that research is being done to determine better treatments as well as the use of various medications and even surgery to dull the pain of neuropathy. Unfortunately, these therapies are not a cure but merely dull the accompanying pain. Doing nothing about this condition just leads to the condition worsening to the point that amputation of the affected area may eventually be needed.

Neuropathy has several symptoms which may include varying degrees of burning, occasional sharp pains, and numbness.

It is important to treat the underlying cause of neuropathy or eventually one loses mobility when the feet are involved and dexterity when the hands are involved. Neglecting these symptoms only causes them to worsen over time.

Causes of neuropathy vary, including everything from drug induced, poor diet, to a sedentary life style. There are some natural ways to help improve and diminish the symptoms. A balanced diet that includes many green and other vegetables as well as moderate daily exercise are a must. If possible, stop taking the medication that is causing the problem if your neuropathy is drug induced. Ask your doctor if a different medication is available without this side effect.

Natural causes of burning, pain, and numbness include Vitamin deficiencies (B1, B3, B6 and especially B12), lack of exercise (sitting for most for the day), and lack of stimulation. To help reduce the underlying causes, taking these vitamin supplements may lessen the symptoms, especially the pain and burning sensations.

The best way to deal with the numbness and related symptoms is with acupuncture that uses some form of electrical stimulation.

Either e-stim with various currents or microcurrent could be used. Acupuncture can typically reverse 50-80% of the numbness and most of the pain. At home, the patient may use TENS, and/or with contrast baths, which calls for alternating between hot water and ice water several times a day. A clean, new toilet brush may also be used to tap the affected areas first thing in the morning to stimulate the area and reduce pain & burning sensations. Once there is numbness, it may not be 100% reversible, so addressing this symptom immediately with ongoing treatments, nutrition, and exercise will usually prevent the symptoms from worsening, if not reversing most of them.

Monaco Contributing Author
Beverly Lawrence, Ph.D., L.Ac.
Dancing Bear Healing Center