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TCM Opinion Desperately Needed!

Hi there,

I desperately need an opinion from a different angle for a strange illness that I’m suffering with.

To start off, I’m a healthy 29 year old with no past illnesses or family history of diseases. Since Jan. 2019, out of nowhere, I started to have weird sensations on my right feet. They come and go intermittently and randomly throughout the day with no pin-point trigger actions. I’ll try my best to describe the feelings:

  • burning like hot boiling water (majority)
  • buzzing electrical current (majority)
  • insects crawling sensation
  • boiling bubbles popping
  • guitar string vibrations

After a week, it went over to my left feet. Then about a week later, I started having odd and funny sensations on my face and hands (similar to feet) as well. Face sensations are:

  • A hair-strand brushing on the skin giving tickling sensation
  • Felt as if my face has passed through a spider web
  • Felt as though mini bugs are crawling on the skin

The frequency and intensity of symptoms vary a lot. One day, I can have level 8/10 burning on my feet, level 3/10 on my face and level 6/10 on my hands. Next day, level 2/10 on feet, 6/10 on hands and 1/10 on face. It’s very random. Apart from the 3 prominent areas, I’ll have other weird sensations like cold water dripping, water splashes, electrical sparks, wind blowing, etc. on other areas of my body.

I don’t feel any muscle or joint weakness. No pain or numbness.

I have no other issues besides these weird sensations that is stressing me out because it affects my overall quality of life. It’s exhausting to fight it everyday. I can’t relax and feel fidgety all the time because of it.

I’ve done countless tests (blood tests, urine test, ECG, Echogram, Ultrasound, Xray, EMG, SSEP, MRI) and everything came back normal. All the suspects like diabetes, hypothyroidism, vitamin b12 deficiency, liver disease, spinal stenosis, pinched nerve, small fiber neuropathy, brain lesions and MS were ruled out. With all the tests done, I still could not get a proper diagnosis and doctors were clueless.

I really don’t know what to do next. Please share some insights on what could this be from TCM’s point of view!

Thanks so much in advance.

Without getting into a huge amount of detail, have you at least tried seeing an acupuncturist in your area yet? If not, just go and see someone and give them about 5-10 treatments and see where you get. This is exactly the type of things that most acupuncturists see fairly regularly (i.e. issues that are broadly systemic that have not developed to the point that western diagnostics can give a clear diagnosis for).

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I’ve seen 2 acupuncturists so far and have received 5 treatments each. The first diagnosed me with ‘internal dampness’ and proceeded to treat me with herbs decoction and acupuncture. I did not improve and I moved on to another one who only used acupuncture. This acupuncturist’s diagnosis was ‘obstructive flow of Qi’. He stated that the travelling impulse from my body to the brain isn’t flowing freely and smoothly. Still, I couldn’t see improvement.

I came to this forum to ask for other possibilities from a wider and broader TCM audience in case the 2 acupuncturists have missed out something.

Having a technical discussion would be best with the acupuncturists themselves not you as you don’t have the technical ability or even the impartiality to have that discussion. But to try to help you, I’ll start by saying 5 treatments with something that no doctor has ever been able to figure out is more than likely not enough time to judge anything and jumping from practitioner to practitioner is going to just confuse the issue, so if you are going to go down this road start with a practitioner that you trust and stick with him/her for at least a few months.

If you want to try to discuss this ti would be helpful to know which herbs you were given at what dosages, etc. and what general points were used. That way at least I can tell you if I feel like they might have been way off base.

@sherlock it sounds like it could be syringomyelia which is a condition that I have. The facial sensations you have described are similar to mine. It is diagnosed usually via a spinal MRI by a neurologist.

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