The brain related diseases can be summary as mental illness, neurological conditions and other related diseases. The commonly conditions often seeking for acupuncture help are:
Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or poor appetite, low energy, and poor concentration, etc. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual's ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, a tragic fatality associated with the loss of about 850 000 thousand lives every year. The western antidepressant is one of the major treatments, represented by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but still not satisfactory as great deal of unresponsive patients, undesirable side effects and delayed onsets.
Acupuncture can be a very effective alternative to treat depression, anxiety, stress-induced fatigue and emotions swings resulting in long-term benefits. Since the early eighties, studies around the globe have suggested that treating depression with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients. Acupuncture treating depression has the benefits included to improve the efficacy, quick onset and reduce the side-effects.
Based on my own PhD research, acupuncture combined with antidepressant could quick launch the clinical effect, particular the emotion, sleeping, body anxiety and total scales, even from the first week of treatment. It could last the clinical responses till the last week of study (Acupuncture in Medicine 2014, http://aim.bmj.com/content/32/4/308).
Anxiety is one of the most common mental conditions. When not proper treated, anxiety can be aggravated to more serious and complicated disease. Anxiety ranks in the top ten causes of disability worldwide and is the most prevalent psychiatric condition in the European Union (EU) with over 60 million people being affected by this condition. Anxiety disorders are a group of conditions such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorders, separation anxiety disorders, phobias, selective mutism, anxiety induced by substance use, anxiety associated with a medical condition, and generalized anxiety disorder Medication and psychotherapy are the two major conventional treatments for anxiety but the clinical efficacy are limited with high relapse rates and generate adverse side effects.
There are increasing clinical studies indicate acupuncture is an effective treatment for anxiety without adverse effects. Such as Amorim and colleagues (2018) summarised that ‘there is good scientific evidence encouraging acupuncture therapy to treat anxiety disorders as it yields effective outcomes, with fewer side effects than conventional treatment’ which based on their systematic review of the clinical research recently published. Another systematic review ‘Effects of Acupuncture on Anxiety in Infertile Women’ concluded that ‘According to the results of this systematic review, acupuncture is an effective technique in controlling the anxiety of infertile women.’
Based on my 27+ clinical experiences and my PhD studies, TJAcupuncutre clinic can provide sufficiently health care and treatment for anxiety disorders. The majority techniques include Scalp acupuncture, Abdominal acupuncture, electric acupuncture, alongside with traditional acupuncture. Sometimes Chinese herbal medicine could be added if necessary.
Amorim, D, etc. (2018). Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: A systematic review of the clinical research. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 31; 31-37
Hassanzadeh, M, etc (2017). Effects of Acupuncture on Anxiety in Infertile Women: A System
Parkinson's disease (PD) was first described as shaking palsy in 1817 by a London physician named James Parkinson. It is a progressive neurological disorder involving degeneration of neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement. Tremor (trembling or shaking) of a limb, especially when the body is at rest. The tremor often begins on one side of the body, frequently in one hand. As the disease progresses, both sides of the body may be involved and shaking of the head may also occur. Other common symptoms include slow movement, difficulty in initiating movement, rigid limbs, a shuffling gait, a stooped posture, and reduced facial expressions. It could causes or is associated with depression, personality changes, dementia, sleep disturbances, speech impairments, and/or sexual difficulties. PD becomes a common problem of the elderly, affecting about 6% of those over the age of 65 which is common in men than women. The average age of onset is about 60. The only consistent environmental factor associated with Parkinson’s disease is cigarette smoking. At present, there are no proven neuroprotective therapies; only symptomatic treatments are available. drugs therapy such as levodopa and dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors and COMT inhibitors, surgery and physiotherapy.
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically help in the management of Parkinson’s disease by:affecting neural mechanisms involving the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit of the brain; increasing cerebral blood flow in the most affected hemisphere; improving cerebral glucose metabolism; enhancing synaptic dopamine availability, which may play a critical role in motor function improvement; attenuating neuronal damage and increasing the number of neurons in the substantia nigra;
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) a progressive disease of the central nervous system, communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. Its symptoms and signs of MS vary widely depending on the location of the affected myelin sheaths. Common symptoms may include numbness, tingling or weakness in one or more limbs, partial or complete loss of vision, double or blurring of vision, tremor, loss of balance and mobility, unsteady gait, fatigue and dizziness. Some patients also might develop muscle stiffness or spastically, paralysis, slurred speech, dysfunction of urine or bowel, depression and cognitive impairment. In some patients it is a mild illness, but it can lead to permanent disability in others. Patients with MS may be unable to write, speak or walk.
Acupuncture, particularly Scalp acupuncture, for MS has had much success in reducing numbness and pain, decreasing spasms, improving weakness and paralysis of limbs and improving balance. Many patients also have reported that their bladder and bowel control, fatigue and overall sense of well-being significantly improved after treatment. Recent studies have shown that scalp acupuncture could be a very effective modality in controlling MS. Scalp acupuncture areas may be chosen according to the patient's particular symptoms. Clinic experiences has shown very quick positive response in controlling urine and bowel functions when stimulate the foot-motor and sensory areas.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of intellectual decline and dementia in the elderly, affecting approximately one out of 10 people over age 65 and nearly half over age 85, women more frequently than men. Its characterized by shrinkage of the frontal or temporal lobes and nerve cell death in several areas of the brain which leading loss of key mental functions such as memory, learning and concentration. About 80% of people with dementia will have behavioral changes or psychological symptoms at some time. It can reduce quality of life for both patients and carers, and often result in transfer to residential care and higher costs. The symptoms can include anxiety, depressed mood, psychotic symptoms, and behavioral symptoms such as aggression, agitation, wandering, sexual disinhibition, and screaming and swearing. Psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations occur in 30–50% of all patients with dementia.
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically help in dementia by regulating neuropeptide substances (somatostatin and arginine vasopressin) relevant to learning and memory; reducing the levels of 8-OHdG and decreasing lipid peroxidation in the brain, suggesting that acupuncture helps to prevent oxidative damage; activating certain cognitive-related regions in the brain; decreasing the overproduction of nitric oxide and strengthening the ability to eliminate free radicals; decreasing cholinergic neuron damage and reducing the abnormal activation and hyperplasia of astrocytes.
The causes or risk factors include age, number of people doubles every 5 years beyond age 65, and family history, familial Alzheimer's a rare form of Alzheimer's occurs between ages 30-60.
Signs & symptoms: Forgetfulness Difficulty remembering recent events, activities, or names of familiar people or things, simple math becomes hard to solve. Speaking, understanding, reading or writing problems. Anxiety or aggression wandering away from home, etc.
Acupuncture can reduce the progress of Alzheimer's disease and Dementia, relief the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Ataxia is a group of disorders that affect co-ordination, balance and speech. There are many different types of ataxia. Ataxia usually results from damage to a part of the brain called the cerebellum, but it can also be caused by damage to other parts of the nervous system. (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ataxia/)
Acupuncture, particularly scalp acupuncture and Du mai Dao-qi technique, can help different types of Ataxia which has been proved by lots of studies. The Balance Area of scalp acupuncture is located exectly above the cerebellum and it may directly impact its function to treat ataxia.