Content on this website is intended for general information only. For answers
to your specific questions or to schedule treatment, we invite you to
contact us at 301-588-5858.
Acupuncture for Peripheral Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a common condition involving damage to nerve tissue which
often affects the hands or feet. Less commonly, it can affect other
areas of the body. Patients with neuropathy frequently experience
sensations such as pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the affected
area of the body.
Neuropathy is also known as peripheral neuritis.
Causes of neuropathy include diabetes
, traumatic injury, chemotherapy treatments for cancer
, overuse of alcohol
and exposure to other types of toxins. Although some cases of
neuropathy are not reversible, many cases are reversible (either totally
or partially). Many of Dr. Windsor's
patients with neuropathy have experienced
significant benefits from our treatments. He also specializes in treatment of alcohol-related neuropathy or limb paralysis
research at Harvard Medical School and many other institutions around
the world have determined that acupuncture has profound effects on the
body's physiology. These include a wide range of molecular and cellular
effects on the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system, and
As an acupuncturist, Dr. Windsor uses the latest research to find
solutions for patients with neuropathy. During treatment for neuropathy,
it is often necessary to address another underlying cause of
the disorder. We will create an integrated treatment strategy for your
unique concerns and conditions. We welcome the opportunity to partner
with you, and with your other medical providers, in order to help you
achieve a cure.
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) refers to nerve damage that occurs away from
the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). It can cause
pain, numbness, weakness, impaired reflexes, and tingling, burning or
prickling sensations, most often in
the feet, toes, hands and arms.
Sometimes, PN can also affect autonomic nerves such as those that
regulate breathing and heart rate. Symptoms range from mild and
intermittent sensations to very severe and permanent disabilities.
Severe effects are more likely if the cause is not found early or if the
individual does not receive treatment. Sometimes an underlying cause
needs to be treated before the neuropathy can improve.
"Neuropathy is one of the most common conditions that I see in my
practice. There are typical patterns that I am very familiar with. Often
I am able to reassure the patient that the condition will improve with
treatment. However, there are many causes of this condition so it is
difficult to generalize. I evaluate each case individually."
Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac.
PN is most commonly associated with diabetes
mellitis and shingles (post herpetic neuralgia), but it can also be caused by a variety of other conditions. These can include alcohol
toxicity, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune diseases such as lupus
and rheumatoid arthritis
certain inherited disorders, exposure to heavy metals, lead, arsenic or
mercury; as well as chemotherapy medications and certain antibiotics.
It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of PN.
When no cause can be identified it is referred to as idiopathic
peripheral neuropathy (IPN).
PN is often treated conventionally
with prescription non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anti-seizure medications, and
tricyclic antidepressants. These medications can sometimes reduce the
symptoms of PN, but all of them present side effects that can be very
serious, especially if they are used for prolonged periods of time. It
is wise to use them with caution and only when alternative, safer
methods have failed.
Opioids such as oxycodone and tramadol are sometimes prescribed when
other medications have failed to reduce neuropathic pain. Opioids,
however, can be dangerous when used to treat chronic disorders because
they are addictive and likely to be misused. The misuse of opioids is
estimated to cause over 17,000 deaths per year in the United States
How We Can Help
At Maryland Holistics, we offer acupuncture
and other natural medicine options that can effectively treat the
symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and restore you to optimum health.
Acupuncture, for example, is well known for its ability to reduce many
types of pain, including that caused by peripheral nerve damage. In
fact, acupuncture compares very favorably with treatment using
conventional pharmaceuticals, especially when measured using objective
We now also offer a health tourism accelerated treatment plan for alcohol-related neuropathy or limb paralysis
In order to assess nerve and muscle function in people
with idiopathic peripheral neuropathy, doctors commonly perform tests
called nerve conduction studies (NCS). In 2007, researchers in Germany
used these same tests to compare the outcomes of IPN patients who
received acupuncture with IPN patients who received conventional best
care (but no acupuncture) over the course of a year.1
study showed that 76% of those receiving acupuncture treatment improved
both subjectively and objectively, as measured by NCS, whereas only 15%
of patients receiving conventional care improved during the same period
of time. Moreover, the symptoms of 58% of patients receiving
conventional care actually worsened. Symptoms worsened in only 10% of
the acupuncture patients.
As for peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes (DPN), research has
shown that acupuncture can be effective for longterm treatment without
affecting Alc or VPT test results. In one study, 77% of diabetic
patients with painful symptoms noted significant improvement and 67%
were able to reduce or eliminate their use of conventional medications.2
always, we emphasize an inclusive approach to wellness that combines a
variety of natural, non-pharmacologic, treatment therapies carefully
tailored to fit your individual needs and circumstances. We take time to
learn about the underlying causes of your symptoms, and partner with
you to address lifestyle issues that may bear on your health and well
For example, if vitamin deficiencies have been found on recent lab tests, especially B12
and folate, we can recommend appropriate dietary adjustments and safe
supplements to help you regain proper nerve function. If overuse of alcohol
is an issue, acupuncture and other stress reducing therapies can
help you regain control over your life. For many people with peripheral
neuropathy, less alcohol means fewer symptoms. If you suffer from an autoimmune disease
such as rheumatoid arthritis
, or multiple sclerosis
, we offer
acupuncture targeting the body's inflammatory response and provide
nutritional guidance that can reduce many symptoms, including
For cases of chemotherapy-induced peripheral
neuropathy (CIPN), acupuncture is recognized as an effective and
remarkably safe complement to conventional cancer care
Acupuncture can reduce the nausea and vomiting commonly caused by
chemotherapy and provide needed support to your immune system. If you
are undergoing chemotherapy
, be sure to inform your oncologist if you
decide that acupuncture is right for you.
Call us at 301-588-5858 To Schedule an Appointment
offer a range of natural health services and can provide these in a way
that is fully integrated, designed, and fine-tuned for you to receive
the maximum benefit. We can provide treatment for multiple health
concerns at each appointment. If you wish to speak to the doctor prior
to scheduling an appointment, please contact us for a free 5-minute
1. Acupuncture treatment improves nerve conduction in peripheral neuropathy, European Journal of Neurology, 2007 Mar; 14(3):276-81.
2. Acupuncture for the treatment of chronic painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy: a long-term study, Diabetes Research Clinical Practice 1998 Feb; 39(2):115-21.
You May be Interested In:
Contact Our Office
Conditions A-Z (list and web links)
Before Your Visit
Information for Physicians
About Dr. Eric Windsor
Biochemical Research on Acupuncture
How We Work with Lab Tests and Imaging
About Maryland Holistics
Maryland Holistics LLC is the private practice of Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac., L.Ac.
Our serene, professional office is located in Ellicott City, MD.
Maryland Holistics has provided care to thousands of satisfied customers
since opening in 2009. Dr. Windsor is a preferred provider in the
CareFirst, Blue Cross Blue Shield, GEHA, and United Healthcare networks.
3525 Ellicott Mills Dr., Ste E
Ellicott City, MD 21043