Traditional Chinese Medicine for Numbness

From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, numbness can be caused by internal, external and independent factors. For internal factors, common patterns of numbness are liver qi deficiency, kidney qi deficiency, spleen qi deficiency. For external factors, there are six external forces invade the human body to cause diseases. They are called the six external pathogens in Chinese medicine, namely wind, heat, dampness, fire, dryness and cold. Numbness can be caused by wind, cold and dampness. For independent factors, numbness can be caused by physical injury.

In TCM theory, liver is responsible to control the tendons. Kidneys are in charge of the bones. Liver qi deficiency can lead to lack of nourishment in tendons, which can result in numbness of the limbs. Kidney qi deficiency can lead to the strength of the kidney declines, which can result in weakness of bones. People have weakened bones often feel numbness in the shoulder, neck, fingers and joints. Spleen qi deficiency can lead to insufficient qi and blood to nourish the limbs, which can result in pain and numbness in limbs. Numbness caused by external factors often result in numbness in joints. Wind, cold and dampness can invade the joints and lead to numbness and limited movement in joints.

Chinese Herbs for Numbness

TCM practitioners often offer acupuncture combined with cupping, moxibustion and herbal formula for numbness. After identifying the cause of numbness, an herbal formula will be used based on your condition and constitution, along with a personalized acupuncture plan.

Commonly used Chinese herbs thought to be beneficial for numbness include Mu Dan Pi, Sang Ji Sheng, Shan Yao and Shu Di Huang. They can be used for liver and kidney qi deficiency which can help to reduce the numbness. Dan Shen (Red Sage) can be used to enhance blood circulation and reduce both the numbness and pain.

Acupuncture for Numbness

There are many approaches when managing numbness with acupuncture. Cupping and moxibustion are often used to promote blood circulation and reduce skin inflammation. Acupuncturist may use needles around the affected area to relieve the discomfort caused by numbness. Acupuncture for numbness can also regulate the movement of qi, strengthen the related internal organs and dispel the wind, cold and dampness.

If you are a do-it-yourself type, you can also try stimulating acupressure points for numbness (arms, feet, hands, legs) on your own.

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