Acupressure for foot and toe pain

Acupuncture for Peripheral Neuropathy

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where nerves in the peripheral nervous system don’t function properly.  The peripheral nervous system is made up of nerves which connect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body.  When these peripheral nerves are damaged, you may experience symptoms like increased pain sensations, tingling, numbness, or loss of ability to feel change in temperature or pain.  

Peripheral neuropathy may affect different types of nerves, like the motor nerves, sensory nerves, and autonomic nerves.  You may experience different symptoms, depending on which nerves are affected.  This article will describe how acupuncture can help you treat peripheral neuropathy.

Acupuncture for Neuropathy

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is a technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In this technique, very thin needles are applied to specific pressure points on the body, so that healing can occur.  Acupuncture can be used to help heal many health problems, including conditions like peripheral neuropathy.  

In Chinese Medicine, disease is understood to be caused by imbalances in the flow of energy in the body.  This energy is called qi (pronounced “chee”).  For the body to be able to heal, the qi needs to be able to flow properly.  Acupuncture works by manipulating the qi through pressure points which are situated on the energy meridians in the body.  This allows the body to heal.

Acupuncture for Peripheral Neuropathy:

Different acupuncture techniques may be used to treat peripheral neuropathy, depending on the cause of your condition.  In Chinese Medicine, an imbalance of qi in the liver or gallbladder may cause nerve problems like neuropathy.  Acupuncture can then be used to rebalance these organs so that your symptoms may be healed.

Acupuncture is also very effective at treating pain.  When needles are applied to pressure points, they can stimulate the nervous system.  This can cause endorphins to be released, which can change your body’s response to pain.  Since acupuncture can also stimulate increased blood flow, this can also help to restore damaged nerves.

Many people find acupuncture effective for treating peripheral neuropathy.  A study from 2007 even found that more people experienced improved symptoms from acupuncture treatment than people who used Western Medicine treatments.

You can also use other natural treatments to support your body’s healing process.  Exercise increases blood flow which may help to reduce neuropathy symptoms, and warm baths may also help.  It is also important to quit habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, which can make neuropathy worse.  

Acupuncture for Neuropathy

Risks of Acupuncture:

One of the benefits of acupuncture treatment is that it often presents very little risk of side effects.  There are often no side effects at all when acupuncture is performed by experienced, trained professionals.  

If you do experience side effects from acupuncture, they are likely to be very minor. These could include slight pain or discomfort at the points where the needles are applied.  A tiny amount of bleeding may also occur after the needles are removed, which usually stops after a few seconds.  You may also occasionally feel an “electric” or tingling feeling when the needle is applied, but this is quite rare.

Acupuncturists must use sterile needles when they treat you.  But if they do use unsterile needles or reuse old needles this could cause infections.


Peripheral neuropathy is when your nerves stop functioning properly, which may result in symptoms like tingling sensations, pain, and loss of experiencing temperature sensations in the limbs. Acupuncture is a technique which uses thin needles to rebalance the flow of energy in the body, which can help heal conditions like neuropathy.  Overall, acupuncture may be a very effective treatment option for you, and often has a very low risk of side effects.

For more information about how Chinese Medicine treatments like acupuncture can help you, please see our website at

For information about neuropathy and Chinese Medicine, see our webpage at

Acupuncture for Neuropathy

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Anthony, K. (2018, September 18). Peripheral Neuropathy Natural Treatments. Healthline. 

Anthony, K. (2018, September 29). Acupuncture for Neuropathy.  Healthline. 

Carey, E. (2021, October 5). Peripheral Neuropathy. Healthline.

Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Archive for category: Neuropathy.

Phua, S. (n.d.). What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine? Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine.