Arm numbness, also called “paresthesias” or “falling asleep,” usually arises from lack of blood supply. Keeping your arm in the same position for a long period of time, or lying on it can result in a numb arm. Usually a prickly sensation, such as pins and needles, or a burning sensation will follow numbness as blood flow is restored.
If arm numbness occurs frequently, a general blockage in the flow of blood, or poor circulation, is most likely the cause. There are a number of possible causes to poor circulation: neuropathy, or damage to the nerves; B-6 overdose, which can happen to bodybuilders who take supplements that increase the uptake of carbohydrates; carpal tunnel syndrome, where the tendons and ligaments become inflamed and excess glucose in the blood. This is common in diabetes.
Acupuncture promotes healthy blood flow and prevents arm numbness by inducing smooth energy flow through the arms. When someone experiences neuropathy, restored energy circulation can promote healing. In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, improved circulation can soothe the inflammation, again restoring balance and optimal nerve function. For diabetics, acupuncture can bring increased circulation to those areas where numbness occurs, often preventing more serious complications.