Saturday, October 2, 2010

Plum Blossom Needling for Diabetic Neuropathy

One of the ways of Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating numbness, tingling, burning, and paralysis caused by diabetic neuropathy is the technique called plum blossom needling. Unlike the straight needle used for acupuncture, the "plum blossom" is a group of much smaller needles placed on the edge of a tiny hammer used to strike the area affected by the disease.

The skin is lightly tapped starting at the feet, then going up the legs. The skin is not broken, and there is no risk of infection. The acupuncturist can teach you the technique and give you a disposable plastic "plum blossom hammer" to use the method at home.

It's important to do any kind of at-home "needling" lightly and swiftly. The idea is to distract your nervous system from the pain of diabetic neuropathy, not to create a new pain in addition to the pain you already have.

Selected References:

Yao ZH, Yao XL, Wan SQ. Observation on 52 cases of paralysis of common peroneal nerve treated by acupuncture and plum-blossom needling. J Tradit Chin Med. 1984 Jun;4(2):97-100.

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