More and more epilepsy patients are finding out the value of acupuncture treatment that can help control their seizures. A vital part of the medical heritage of China for over 4,000 years, acupuncture has become an important form of medical treatment in Canada and the United States since it was introduced there in the early 70’s. It’s one of the most commonly used forms of complementary treatment and a widely used standalone therapy used by practitioners to treat certain types of conditions in the US.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture are often used interchangeably. Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine or TCM that includes also herbal remedies, exercises, and diet. Some acupuncturists have had wide experience treating epilepsy. A special form of acupuncture is used depending on the extent and type of a patient’s epilepsy. Acupuncture has led to the lessening of the severity and frequency of patients’ seizures and since it targets the real cause of the sickness, this treatment produces long lasting and really significant results although the results may take a while to be felt due to the its natural approach to healing. So if, you are expecting immediate results for your epilepsy problem, then you might be just disappointed. Patients who stick with the treatment are much more likely to benefit in many ways from this treatment. Acupuncturists often combine dietary therapy and herbal treatments to augment the effect of their acupuncture treatments.
Western medicine has a very different approach in treating and preventing illnesses compared to the ancient art of acupuncture. Acupuncturists trained in the traditional school, believe that qi or vital energy circulates via energy channels known as meridians throughout the body. Vital energy (Qi) is the force that gives life and plays a huge part in all bodily functions – from emotions to metabolism. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that people who enjoy good have an energy circulation or flow that runs freely and optimally. If this flow slows down or stagnates because of a blockage arising in the meridians, sickness and/or pain results. Acupuncture is used to restore the proper flow of qi and bring back balance between yin and yang. Just below the skin’s surface (in the meridians), patterns of energy flow. These energy patterns in the meridians are stimulated by inserted acupuncture needles to help the body heal and balance itself.
The needles used in an acupuncture procedure are hair-thin stainless steel sterilized needles. They are inserted into strategic points in the body known as acupoints. Under the surface of these acupoints lie the meridians. The human body is composed of 12 meridians. Acupuncturists treat people with epilepsy by targeting the acupoints that help improve circulation in the head and influencing brain energy. Some acupuncturists manipulate the needle in such a way that the flow of energy runs in a manner they desire and also to help remove the blockages in the meridians. In order to make sure that the correct energy flow is maintained, acupuncturists would prescribe herbs and recommend dietary changes.
Acupuncture treatment aims to address the underlying reason of the illness as well resolve its symptoms. The patient is treated holistically which means his/her spiritual, emotional, and physical balance is restored.
In TCM, the person’s spiritual or inner life is taken into consideration and is very vital in the diagnosis and treatment of a condition.
Acupuncture should always be done by a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner. It is not a treatment that you should do on yourself. Some epileptic individuals who have done so have found that it had the opposite effect and it had actually aggravated the seizures.
Similar to a doctor measuring a patient’s pulse to determine blood loss and heart rate, the acupuncturist assesses the pulse of the patient to obtain information about the liver, spleen, stomach, and other organs of the body. The pulse to an acupuncturist indicates the health of the energy systems of qi. This is something that medical doctors do not consider. In TCM, the pulse can be divided into a dozen primary parts, six to a wrist, each associated to one or more organ systems in the body. Each organ is also related to a specific type of energy. In knowing the by which manner energy flows in a person’s body, the acupuncturist can select the proper acupoints to treat.
Acupuncture has shown to be a reliable and safe way to lower or decrease seizure activities based on certain studies done in China. Some studies have recommended a plan of treatment that includes massage therapy, acupuncture, and herbs in epilepsy treatment.
An acupuncture study performed in Germany had 98 participants ranging from the age of two to fifty-two who all were suffering from epilepsy. During the initial weeks of the study all medications were halted. Acupuncture treatments were administered for up to 18 months. After a year, 65 individuals manifested significant health advancements s with no seizures without the use of medications. Later on, the patients were given maintenance acupuncture treatments once in two to three months. In five individuals, relapses occurred. The conclusion gleaned from the study was that acupuncture can definitely alleviate some of the factors that aggravate epilepsy – poor sleep, stress, etc.
A lot of the studies regarding acupuncture done in the U.S. used dogs as test subjects. One specific experiment involved five dogs that had lessened numbers of seizures after being given acupuncture treatment. Two of them had a decrease in seizures while three continued to have fewer seizures and lower amounts of anticonvulsants.
One case that involved a person was about a man suffering from a number of grand mal seizures during his sleep. His doctor prescribed Dilantin after a diagnosis of Partial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy was established. The patient feared the side effects of the medicine so he instead decided to try out Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture. The patient experienced only a single seizure when he began treatment. He stated that Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture is much preferable to him than the toxic and mind-numbing effect of his prescribed medication.
Acupuncture treatments are so safe that even babies can avail of it and benefit from it. There is no gae limit to acupuncture treatment.
One research about acupuncture shows that the treatment also can carry potential but low risks. A research team analyzed more than 30 years of medical literature, recording cases where patients had been seriously harmed by acupuncture. All in all, they discovered four deaths and 110 serious injuries. The piercing or injury to the needled tissue and the lung were the most common problems found. According to the researchers, all complications were blamed on the poor skill of the acupuncturist. Most states mandate the passing of board examinations in order for an individual to practice acupuncture there. This has helped curtail the number of accidents and injuries from acupuncture treatment.
The NIH or National Institutes of Health released a consensus statement in 1998 declaring acupuncture to be a useful treatment for several types of conditions including migraine headaches, lower back pain, addiction, and stroke rehabilitation. Hopefully, epilepsy may be included in this list.
If you are interested in getting acupuncture treatment, here are some of the best ways to protect yourself:
Seek out an acupuncturist who is licensed and qualified in Cleveland – Practitioners who have the proper credential and who were trained at an accredited school should be the ones you should look for.
If you have managed to find a practitioner who has the proper qualifications, you can ask how long has the practitioner been treating patients with acupuncture and how many patients with epilepsy he.she has treated.
You need to make sure that the acupuncturist only uses sterilized packaged single-use acupuncture needles to avoid infections from sued and dirty needles.