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Swelling in left ankle and foot can acupuncture help?

Q: My left ankle and foot often swell up a lot.   This happens most often in times of hot weather, if I have had less than about 6 hrs of sleep at night, during or prior to my period and with alcohol consumption.   It is usually very uncomfortable - creating a feeling of pressure and 'dull ache' around my ankle and up my leg.   I was told by someone who suffers similar symptoms that this may be due to my lymphatic system not working or draining properly (this is what she was diagnosed with). I am a  29yr old female, and do light exercise.   I am wondering whether acupuncture could help. 


A: Although systems of medicine can be entirely different in their basic frameworks and understanding of how the body works, all start from the same point - the symptom with which a patient presents at the clinic and the observations and tests which the practitioner makes within the system they use. Your pattern of symptoms is certainly one which would immediately suggest three or four possibilities to a Chinese medicine practitioner, and their first thought would probably be to look at other aspects of your physical health and function to see what else was going on. It is rare for symptoms to stand alone; there is generally a pattern affecting the body in a number of ways. although a patient may not think this was so. The failure of the short term memory or a recent tendency to bruise quite easily might not seem particularly relevant, but were either of these to occur alongside what you are experiencing a practitioner might find them to be useful confirming evidence.




Even where there is not a direct connection to a specific malfunction in the system it is important to remember that the essence of traditional chinese medicine is to achieve balance in the whole system with the simple premise in mind that a system in balance does not generate symptoms. many practitioners work in this way equally as successfully as those whose training is more syndrome focussed.




Our best advice to you is to visit a BAcC member local to you and seek their advice. From what you describe very clearly, there are a number of factors which make your problem manifest which point to imbalances in the system, and we would expect one of our members to be able to give you a very clear idea of whether you could benefit from treatment.




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