The Benefits of TCM and Acupuncture for Epilepsy

By Pacific College - January 18, 2015

Studies on acupuncture and Traditonal Chinese Medicine for epilepsy have found the treatment to reduce seizures in individuals. Find out more about the benefits of TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy.

An increasing number of individuals with epilepsy are finding that TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy are helping them to better control their seizures.

Bob Clarke, an acupuncturist based at the Open Gate Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Clinic in Eugene, Oregon, has found that the extent to which epilepsy is effective depends upon the type and severity of an individual’s epilepsy. Clarke has found that TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy has helped to reduce the regularity and severity of seizures. An individual may require several sessions of TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy, however, in order for the effects of treatment to be seen.

How TCM and Acupuncture Address Epilepsy

TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy help to restore the flow of qi (energy) throughout the human body. Qi flows along pathways known as meridians and it is this energy force that is believed to play a role in the workings of the body. In a person without epilepsy, the flow of Qi is believed to be balanced. In an individual with epilepsy, the flow of qi is believed to be impeded. TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy aims to restore the unimpeded flow of qi throughout the body.

To restore the flow of qi, an acupuncturist inserts tiny needles into certain points of the body. This aids the acupuncturist in accessing the meridians through which qi flows through. In an individual with epilepsy, the acupuncturist would manipulate key points within the body believed to increase the flow of qi to the head. Once the flow of qi has been restored, it is essential that qi is maintained in its balanced state. An acupuncturist may recommend certain herbs and dietary products to aid in restoring qi in its natural state.

Clinical Studies and Effectiveness of TCM for Epilepsy

A study by Liow, Ablah, Nguyen, Sadler, Wolfe, Tran, Guo and Hoang conducted in the USA in 2007 investigated the pattern and frequency of use of TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy among individuals in the Midwestern United States. They found TCM and acupuncture to be commonly used by individuals with 25% of individuals claiming they used complementary and alternative medicine.

Research conducted by Klide, Farnbach and Gallagher into the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy in dogs found that treatment largely decreased the incidence of seizures in the majority of the dogs involved in the study. In this study, five epileptic dogs were presented to the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary Hospital for treatment for their epilepsy. These dogs received acupuncture, with three small gold implants being placed over three acupuncture points on the body. Following treatment, each of the dogs involved in the study presented a change in their seizure patterns. Two of the dogs benefited from a decrease in the frequency of their seizures following treatment yet they continued to take seizure medication. The success of treatment in these dogs only lasted five months, however. The other three dogs experienced a decreased number of seizures and benefited from reduced levels of anticonvulsants.

Both adults and children with epilepsy can benefit from TCM and acupuncture treatment. Individuals looking towards TCM and acupuncture for epilepsy should ensure that they are treated only by licensed practitioner in addition to being evaluated by a medical physician. This way, they can ensure they reap the benefits of treatment.

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