Tingling Down Arms When Meditating


Hello. During meditation I sometimes get tingling going down my arms. Afterwards, sometimes, my fingers get pins and needles which can last about an hour. I’ve never heard of this happening before and am wondering if it’s common and if there’s any meaning.

—Chloe, UK


Dear Chloe,

Tingling and pins and needles sensations, as well as numbness, can be caused by a body position which is putting some pressure on a nerve. This often happens in the legs. I suggest trying some new positions for your arms and upper body while you meditate. I can just offer ideas: you will need to experiment.

Are your arms hanging down without much support? Try putting a flat pillow or a blanket under your arms as they rest on your thighs. You can experiment with the height and position to see if you get relief.

Are your shoulders rolling forward and/or your head coming forward of your body? Shoulders should be rolled back, in line with hips, heart/chest area open and uplifted, head centered on the spine. If these areas are out of alignment they can place pressure on the nerves than come down from the neck, through the shoulder girdle area and down into the arms.

Sometime it helps to have a back support at the lumbar area if your spine tends to round forward. This could give you more erect posture.

In our Learn to Meditate Mini-Course which you can access for free here. Lesson Two gives instruction on proper seating for meditation which you might find helpful.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti