Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
Some people with peripheral neuropathy try complementary and alternative treatments for relief of their symptoms. Although these techniques haven't been as rigorously studied as most medications, the following therapies have shown some promise in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy:
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into various points on your body. Acupuncture may reduce symptoms in about three-quarters of people with peripheral neuropathy. However, you may need multiple acupuncture sessions before you notice improvement. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a certified practitioner using sterile needles.
- Alpha-lipoic acid. Used as a treatment for peripheral neuropathy in Europe for years, this antioxidant may help reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Discuss the use of alpha-lipoic acid with your doctor before using it, because alpha-lipoic acid may affect your blood sugar levels. Other side effects may include stomach upset and skin rash.
- Biofeedback. During a biofeedback session, the therapist applies electrical sensors to different parts of your body to monitor your body's physiological response to your peripheral neuropathy symptoms. The biofeedback device then teaches you how your body responds using cues, such as a beeping sound or flashing lights. This feedback can help you associate your body's response with certain physical functions. Once you begin to recognize your body's responses, you can learn ways to lessen the reaction through certain techniques, such as relaxation or guided imagery.
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