Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture
Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture
A neurological disorder refers to a problem with the nervous system, which is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body’s activities. Nerve pain can arise from trauma, inflammation, stroke, disease, infection, nerve degeneration, exposure to toxic chemicals and nutrient deficiencies.
Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms
Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued. This happens when the muscles and the nerves that enervate them miscommunicate. More than half of those diagnosed with myasthenia gravis present with eye problems as their first symptoms. This primarily includes droopy eyelids (ptosis) and double-vision (diplopia). However, roughly 15 percent of sufferers reported their first symptoms started in the face or throat muscles. These symptoms included difficulty talking, chewing, swallowing and breathing.
Someone who has difficulties with the face or throat muscles as a result of having myasthenia gravis, may experience altered speech, limited facial expressions, difficulty swallowing, and chewing may become an exhausting activity. The most severe symptom is what is called a ‘myasthenia crisis,’ in which the muscles used for breathing no longer function. This is a life-threatening condition and emergency medical help is needed immediately.
As myasthenia gravis may affect any muscle under voluntary control, weakness could occur in other areas besides the face and throat. The arms generally are more affected than the legs, and symptoms may present in the hands and feet, although this is not as common.
The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but researchers have learned that the disease prompts the immune system to block signals from the nerve to the muscles. There is also evidence that a protein helping the muscles to receive messages is prevented from doing so. It is also believed genetics may play a role.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to support the treatment you receive from your primary care provider. As this disease is complex, all the things that bother you are reviewed, not just the signs and symptoms specifically related to it. This may include questions about your quality of sleep, digestive functions and emotional state.
Let’s say, for example, that you first notice fatigue in the legs becoming a problem and then over the next few months poor appetite and frequent diarrhea are added as the latest symptoms, the diagnosis may be one of Qi deficiency in the stomach and spleen. Qi is the most fundamental, indispensable energy needed for life to exist. Treatment may focus on strengthening the Qi in the stomach and spleen to help the body produce a high-quality, healthy supply of blood to aid weakened leg muscles. An improved stomach and spleen can bring back the appetite and help stop diarrhea. It can also help make extracting nutrients from food more efficient, which, in turn, supports the immune and nervous systems. It is important to maintain realistic expectations as treatment is only used for symptom management.
An Adjunctive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that progressively damages the central nervous system. This happens due to the wearing away of the myelin sheath, a protective layer encasing the nerves. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord, and is responsible for sending messages from the brain to other parts of the body via the nerves.
The severity of symptoms and the length of time they last can also greatly vary depending on the person. Some patients initially experience strong symptoms, and then they suddenly disappearance as the disease enters a period of remission. A remission can last weeks, or even years, in some cases. Others may experience a more insidious process wherein mild symptoms develop slowly over time but ultimately increase in severity.
There is promising evidence that use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine as an adjunctive therapy can help mitigate symptoms and some complications of multiple sclerosis, including depression, problems thinking clearly and emotional instability.
An article called “Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis: A Review of the Evidence,” was featured in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, volume 2014. In this article, the authors assessed the validity of using acupuncture and Oriental medicine to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. To do this, the researchers reviewed many scientific studies on the subject to reach their conclusions. Researchers demonstrated that remyelination, a repair of the damaged myelin sheath, occurred in a significant amount of study participants. The article also showed potential in regards to treating the mental and emotional challenges faced by patients with multiple sclerosis, including subjective feelings such as depression and the ability of the patient to handle their illness, were measured and shown to improve.
If you suffer from the physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis or, related mental and emotional issues, call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!
Robert Wallace LAc, Director
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W. Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qi Gong,
Reiki, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness
Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.
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In This Issue
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Symptom Relief
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells, or neurons, that invigorate our muscles. Neurons are found in the brain and spinal cord, which comprise the central nervous system (CNS).