Numbness is known in medical parlance as paresthesia. It describes a sensation of partial or local anaesthesia or a deficiency of sensation. The term can be used for a psychological experience but this is not strictly medical.

Numbness occurs because of interference with nerve function and is generally caused by injury, inflammation, infection or disease, affecting the nerve directly or interfering with the blood supply.


Persistent numbness should be examined by a GP with possible referral for investigations through a neurologist. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes may initially present as numbness and, especially in the case of the latter disease, early diagnosis and treatment can make a profound difference in the long term.

See Neuralgia and also Atheroma if a compromised blood flow is associated.

Several homeopathic remedies are indicated and referral to a homeopathic Materia Medica or a homeopath is recommended. The remedies Argentum nitricum, Gelsemium, Lycopodium and Rhus toxicodendron are all commonly found in a home remedy kit and can be used at potency 6 every 3hr until a suitable remedy is selected. Please refer to your preferred homeopathic manual for an initial choice.

Numbness may be an indication of a deficiency in minerals or vitamins, especially vitamin B12. Blood and hair analysis are recommended before supplementation.

Osteopathy and chiropractic may relieve pressure if the numbness is coming from a structural origin such as a malaligned spine or cramped muscle.

Numbness may be associated, as may any neurological disorder, with a stagnation of Qi . Acupuncture and Shiatsu may relieve this, as may specific Chinese or, preferably, Tibetan herbal treatments.