Acupuncture and Raynaud’s Syndrome

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This Saturday, I will be part of a panel discussion on Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Raynaud’s at the 1st Annual Raynauds Association National Patient Conference in Boston.

I have treated several patients with Raynaud’s syndrome, which impairs blood circulation to the extremities, causing cold hands and feet and often pain and numbness. Symptoms can range from mild annoyances to severe and life-changing. For some background on Raynaud’s, read this article from the Mayo Clinic.

In the course of researching for my presentation, I was surprised to find that not much clinical research has been done into acupuncture and Raynaud’s. However, the limited studies that have been done have found acupuncture beneficial.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory is based on circulation—the flow of Qi and blood through the meridian pathways. So, using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to treat circulatory disorders seems particularly fitting. In fact, TCM literature from almost 2,000 years ago describes a condition of cold hands and feet, and the herbal formulas to treat it.

In my own clinical experience, I have found that acupuncture can lessen the symptoms of Raynaud’s—patients tell me that they are able to tolerate cold situations (like the freezer section of the supermarket) with less discomfort.

While not a cure, acupuncture and herbal medicine are all-natural and minimally invasive, so they may be worth a try. Contact us if you would like more information about acupuncture and Raynaud’s.

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