Functional Complementary Care Services
Feel to download the file The Use of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Acquired Brain Injury
Acupuncture as a therapeutic modality that has shown to be therapeutically effective for thousands of years. Traditional theory says that our bodies flow with an innate subtle vital force that can be affected by a number of techniques, such as acupuncture. Modern research indicates that acupuncture affects a variety of physiological systems in the body, including the musculo-skeletal, fascial, nervous and endocrine systems.
Studies have demonstrated the ability of acupuncture to regulate cerebral blood flow and cell death, improve electrophysiological brain activity, improve cognitive and neurological function and protect tissues from free radical damage after a brain injury or stroke. It aids reduce edema of the brain and promoted expression of GAP43 in the brain which is associated with axonal regeneration.
Acupuncture was also shown to reduce infarct sizes due to cerebral ischemia. A recent study compared standard care vs. standard care with acupuncture and found the group who recieved acupuncture, after six courses of treatment, significantly outperformed those in the control group on many the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (motor recovery), LOTCA Assessment (cognitive), and Barthel Index (daily living) scales.Many fMRI studies have demonstrated how specific acupuncture points activate various regions of the brain which can help facilitate healing of that area and rehabilitation of that brain regions function. For a more thorough exploration of acupuncture's effects on the body read this article: http://www.jams-kpi.com/article/S2005-2901(13)00174-X/fulltext
Chinese herbal medicine has become a refined empirical science of combinations and formulas that can be used to address many complaints. Herbs, Scientific investigation into herbs has revealed powerful physiological and pharmacological properties. While some may have a very strong effect are generally safe with low risk of side effects when used under to supervision of a trained professional. This may be prescribed as a custom blended granule tea or as a pre-made capsule.
There are a number of individual herbal medicinals that have demonstrated various neuroprotective properties including reducing inflammation in the brain (curcumin, scutellaria, acanthopanax), increasing neurite outgrowth (ginseng), increasing microcirculation in the brain (ligusticum, red sage root), protect blood brain barrier permeability (scutellaria), improve cognition (polygonum), and increase oxygen to the brain (citrus aurantium, safflower).Herbal products are generally prescribed as a formula of multiple herbs. A well known formula for a number of common post-stroke symptoms has shown in multiple studies to be effective against cerebral ischemia- reperfusion (CI/R) injury in humans and animal models and exert its neuroprotective effect by promotion of growth and differentiation of neural cell, inhibition of cell death, repression of inflammatory reactions, and reduction of Ca2+ overload and oxidative stress/nitration stress reaction A meta-analysis showed a significant improvement on the neurological deficit scale when compared to the control group.
Other modalities may be needed in a patient’s recovery which may include cupping therapy, adhesion provocation therapy (”gua sha”), massage, or moxibution. The use of any of these is based on what is most important for the person. Cupping, adhesion provocation and massage can all help reduce tension and pain and increase circulation and awareness of an affected area of the body. Moxibustion is the ignition of the medicinal herb mugwort over an acupuncture point and can be used to stimulate and area, reduce inflammation, increase the immune system, and help counteract fatigue, anxiety, and poor sleep.