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Peripheral Neuropathy


6 months ago exactly, I’ve received treatment from highly reputable acupuncturist (who also has over 40 yrs of experience under his belt) - for sinus inflammation. First session went smooth, after second one (week apart)- I’ve developed sore and achy limbs and feet. He said it looks like hormonal imbalance and needled top of each of my wrist, forearm, top of my hands (2 needles on each side of my middle finger), my feet arch and one needle above my ankle bone, also, one needle on the outer side of my ankle, and on the side, needle on the bottom of my feet, plus inner side of my calfs.
Immediate after the session I didn’t feel right. Super unsteady and fatigued.
Next day I woke up to the most excruciating pain in my limbs and crumping in my calfs. Phoned him, and everything he had to say is to relax and to meditate.
Slowly, day after day, pain grew into burning fingers and toes, painful forearms that felt as if worked out hard or something. I’ve ignored these symptoms. Yet, it continues ever since and , I’m not able to stand on my feet w/o a feeling as if I’m stepping onto a broken glass, and it’s tearing my feet apart. I’ve also developed rash around my arches, and have red and swollen spot on the outer side of my feet. Phoned him again, he said, oh, take vit b. And that it! I did, but it making no difference.
I can’t stand on my feet more than 5min, while walking- my feet spasms and can’t make a step forward- must rest. I also feel so fatigued and like passing out if on my feet longer than just few minutes.
Went to GP-he said it will pass. But, weeks after the hp visit, I couldn’t take the pain any more went to ER. Have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fascia, and lateral epicondylitis of both elbows- and prescribed anti inflammatory pain killers, and given splinter for cts.
No matter where I turn I can’t get answers.
How is this possible, that 6 months after 3 accu session I ended up with a list of issues with no previous history of such, symptoms or complaints.
If anyone can shed some light I’d greatly appreciate it.


In short, it’s simply not. That is giving a medicine that many are still arguing does anything at all a ridiculous amount of power. But I can easily see how you would think that seeing the timing, but it’s just not possible. Some minor localized tissue irritation, yes, maybe but what you are describing is something much broader that simply cannot happen from a medicine like this (assuming it was properly applied).

Now while you say the practitioner is reputable, that doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, particularly when his answers are “meditate” and “take b12”. So I would definitely find an acupuncturist in your area besides this person. Also a GP that would take a patient saying when they walk it feels like glass and tell them “it will pass” needs to never be seen again - ever… That said the type of diagnostic work you need is not going to be done in the ER either, so you will need to seek out a specialist - ideally an infectious disease specialist and a neurologist and let them work out what is happening with you.

Options of what could have happened: First, -no one- can that quickly develop CTS, peripheral neuropathy, plantar fascitis, etc. So you either had some of these issues lurking before and just ignored the relatively minor signs or your problem is a different strong inflammatory response from possibly a bacterial or viral infection of some kind, a parasitic infection of some kind, diabetes, lyme, or less likely the spawning of a autoimmune condition such as lupus or many others (again a proper specialist would be able to rule in or out most of these issues fairly easily).

I know that’s probably not the answer you are wanting, but all of the conditions you are describing are not just commonly treated with acupuncture, they tend to be some of the easiest conditions practitioners treat and resolve. So for this to come on timed with acupuncture by all statistical and clinical accounts leads towards it being entirely unrelated.


Thank you, Chad for your input. I appreciate it.

Practitioner I saw is 3rd generation acupuncturist in the family. One could sense presence of arrogance. I did, when he told me ‘I did it’ to myself. Perhaps. I’m yoga teacher of 13 yrs and wanted small health boost.

The sinus inflammation I went in with… actually happened to be related to my gastritis, which I didn’t know about until two months later. It has been treated and resolved now. Except that, all prior to ER med and neuro tests and exams came back cleared.

Happened, only few hours ago I saw another (qualified) practitioner for consultation. It quickly became apparent to him that several points have been needled too deep, and my body is dealing with it consequences now.

I, unintentionally forgot to mention the treatment I’ve received was plain painful for the most part. While certain needles manipulation points were just horrible.

Am I mystified? Yes. Without giving any power to any form of medicine-in my experience there certainly is a medical disjoint. Despite. All I care about is to clear the effects and to feel better. It’s been rough last few months.


Yes, some of the point descriptions were definitely off as well, I’ve seen that, unfortunately, with many “multiple generation” practitioners, particularly in countries where they are not strictly licensed. I am also not a fan of deep needling techniques and find them incredibly counterproductive in most situations.

I’m glad you are consulting with another practitioner. I wouldn’t, however, give up on the western examinations either - I would particularly check (if they haven’t already) for the presence of H-Pylori ( relevant study ). Now technically, proper acupuncture should clear up your issues (as well as the deeper ones), but the benefit of western medicine is the diagnostic process . I’m only emphasizing that because whatever was brought out in you, again, is very unlikely related to a few acupuncture treatments, even with what sounds like poorly performed acupuncture.

It may be that the acupuncture created some sort of movement internally that brought an infection or something to the surface, or the poor needling technique aggravated something dormant, but the treatments themselves won’t create something out of nothing, it’s just not what acupuncture does physiologically. And please don’t misread this as being supportive of acupuncture just because I’m a practitioner - I’m extremely critical of practitioners like the one you are describing. I just think you have something deeper happening and the real way to deal with that is all or nothing - that is, in fact, how Chinese Medicine works. Properly you are dealing with root of everything and resolving from the deepest causes out - not from the symptoms down in as is the case often with western medicine and with poor quality practitioners of Chinese Medicine.


Chad, thank you again. I’m from California, and both practitioners I saw (were at some point) on CAB. They are fully licansed with merid of experience, and …PhD in oriental medicine.

With regard to HPylori- yes, once diagnosed with gastritis I jump instantly on the hp case.
Well, I’ve refused triple therapy as I don’t do well with drugs, and took the matter into my own hands. Some diet changes and specific supplements (reviewed and approved by my Gastro(5 weeks after diagnosis - gastritis cleared up and hp test came out negative too.

All sorts of inflammatory and muscle tear tests reviled ‘non existentance’ of such.

Puzzle to me is how over the course of those 6 months symptoms changed; from feeling uber fatigued and heavy feeling in limbs, legs, arms, shoulders, and forearm especially at first and not being able to put a weight on, to burning and tingling in toes and fingers after 3-4 months or so. To a completely knocked out with excruciating pain around arches, heeels, hands and feet. Now, it severity fluctuates a lot, but generally- had few days were I just couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to ER all freaked out for X-rays. Wanted to make sure there was no needle stuck anywhere inside. But not- just still feel every points were needles were in. Cramps in my calf’s are just obnoxious. All of it supper weakens me and ‘drives me banana’ too. Early and late am’s are the worse.

There really is no test/exam left to take (including mri, ultrasound, etc).

The other practitioner I saw, said my body is mega drained and dyhadrated. Whatever that means. Nutrition and hydration were always my priority, so no, I see nothing I do wrong /incomplete in this area. Other thing he said is that many kidney points were stimulated at once, including K1- where until today I still have red dot on the bottom of my right foot and feel pains and needles when walking.

Poor and too aggressive treatments, yes, I’ll put a check mark here. My stamina and endurance definitely have been put to the test, or maybe I’m just wired differently.

Certainly, I’ll keep clear from accupuncture for a while, and if again- sure be considering several elements prior to pursuing.

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