I have an older patient who has had numbness from his mid-shin down through his feet on both sides. This was apparently caused by some antibiotics he was given a couple of years ago to fight an infection after surgery. Although he is experiencing no pain, he has a difficult time walking and says the feeling is very uncomfortable. Additionally, I have noted that the skin on his legs from his knee down is very severely dry and cracked, indicating lack of qi and blood flow to the area. Doctors have advised him to use moisturizing cream for his skin problem, but he says that has not helped. It appears that his condition is isolated to the skin area, as he is able to feel pressure from my fingers and needles once they have penetrated the skin. I have diagnosed him with qi and blood deficiency, internal wind (marked by a stiff tongue and full floating pulse), and kidney qi deficiency. So far, I have used mostly local points along the ST and GB channel to encourage qi and blood flow into the area. I have also instructed him to use a moxa pole on ST36 and KD1 at home.
I have been contemplating the use of plum blossoming in the area to promote further qi and blood flow. My concern is risk of infection. Since the patient appears to have lack of blood nourishment in the area, would I be putting him at risk of infection by using plum blossoming technique (even if it is very light)? My patient is not diabetic. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.