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Plagued by Cold Hands and Feet? Is Chinese Medicine Treatment beneficial?

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

We have all experienced cold hands and/or feet in the past, and we generally think this is due to cold winter temperatures, poor circulation, or lack of movement.

If the symptoms are severe it is important to be checked for the following.

· Diabetes

· Raynaud’s Disease

· Anaemia

· Hypothyroidism

· Vitamin B12 Deficiency

In Chinese Medicine, cold hands and feet can occur for several reasons. In simple terms, the body is comprised of a balance of Yin and Yang, Yin represents cool, and Yang represents warmth.

Generally speaking, in most cases symptoms like cold hands and feet, cold weak knees and lower back, abundant urination (especially at night), feet and ankle swelling suggests that there is a deficiency of Yang. This may be related to kidney, spleen, lungs and heart Yang.

Symptoms that include palpitations, dizziness, insomnia, poor memory, being easily startled, blurred vision, scanty menstruation and pale complexion suggests a deficiency of blood, especially liver blood. This is more common in women, and you may recognise these symptoms as similar to anaemia.

Sometimes there is enough Yin, Yang and blood to nourish the body and keep it warm, but the Qi (life-force/energy) stagnates, preventing the circulation required to warm the extremities. The cold will especially be felt in the fingers and toes, along with rib side tightness or pain irritability, and feeling of a lump in the throat. Premenstrual tension may also be present.

Managing Cold Hands and Feet

In the short-term, foot baths with Epsom salts, wearing gloves and warm socks and light exercise can alleviate cold hands and feet.

Eating ginger, cinnamon, onions, garlic, ginseng, casseroles and soups can be beneficial as these are warming in nature. Avoid raw, cold, uncooked foods.

Chinese Medicine seeks to not only warm the body, but to re-balance and address the root cause of the imbalance and address this. One organ not functioning adequately will affect other organs, so the entire system is out of balance. Sustained imbalances may lead to chronic or more serious diseases down the track.

If you’re struggling with cold hands and feet, contact us to have the problem addressed!

Feel free to comment or ask questions below.


Macioca, G (2019)Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine. Elsevier St Louis.


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