Acupuncture for Stroke Rehabilitation, MS, Parkinson’s, and other Neurological Issues
- Posted on: Mar 16 2017
-By Josh Solomon, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac (NCCAOM)
A modern application of the ancient medical practice of Acupuncture is emerging and is proving to be life changing for many patients in dire situations. Neuro-Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of neurological disorders such as stroke, paralysis, MS, Parkinson’s, Traumatic Brain injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc. It works by stimulating “representative areas” of the cerebral cortex of the brain.
No, we’re not needling into people’s brains! We’re needling very shallowly just beneath the skin of the scalp over areas that correspond to functions of the brain. For example, if a patient with Parkinson’s has tremors, difficulty walking, and difficulty speaking, I may treat the “Tremor”, “Motor”, “Balance”, and “Speech” areas of the scalp. These areas lay above the scalp and over parts of the brain that seem to control those specific functions.
At a conference I attended in Maryland last weekend, Dr. Jishun Hao, President of the Neuro-acupuncture Institute shared case study after case study featuring videos of patients who were debilitated and showed substantial improvement after his treatments.
He also challenged the 300 attending Acupuncturists to bring their patients with the most difficult neurological disorders to be treated during the conference. We witnessed with our own eyes children who had strokes while in utero, and elderly patients with Parkinson’s all improving their movement and speaking before us. The next day we followed up with the patients we observed Dr. Hao treating and they responded positively. “I feel like my normal self again.”, One patient reported, “It’s indescribable. Whatever he is teaching, master it!”.
Thomas Hodge, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine told us why he’d been studying so closely with Dr. Hao. “Watching him work was like being in a tent revival! Patients would come in with wheelchairs and crutches and begin to walk on their own!” The crowd chuckled in amusement.
It is easy to get excited about the potential for Acupuncture to help people rehabilitate people with neurological issues. However, it is important not to paint the picture that this will help everybody 100% and with one session. Considering Neuro-acupuncture gained attention in the 1950’s, it is a new application of an ancient practice and we have a long way to go before it is fully accepted by Western Science. Dr. Hao, a leader in the field of Neuro-Acupuncture said, “don’t ask me how it works”.
He is working diligently to form partnerships with institutions so they can do research. Research requires substantial time, money, and expertise. In the meantime it is absolutely worth exploring to see if Neuro-acupuncture may help you or someone you know. It is inexpensive whether insurance covers it or not and despite using thin, tiny needles on the outside of the body, it is far less invasive than surgery, or even getting your blood drawn.
As far as validity without extensive research, if you talk to someone who has experienced Nuero- acupuncture you are likely to hear rave reviews. Consider that patients travel from all around the country to be treated in busy clinics such as Dr. Hao’s. He has taught neuro-acupuncture seminars sponsored by UCLA and Stanford for twelve years. In 2006 Dr. Hao gave a neuro-acupuncture seminar at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC where he successfully demonstrated neuro-acupuncture treatment of phantom limb pain for veterans. His case histories have been printed in the U.S. Army publication Stripes, in Albuquerque Journal, in New Mexicans, in China Daily, and in Alternative Therapies.
The story of how they discovered Neuro-acupuncture is quite remarkable. An Acupuncturist was treating a wheel chair bound patient for headaches. After placing some needles around the paralyzed patient’s head, his arms and legs began to move. The rest, they say, is history.
Documentary; 9000 Needles (An American Body Builder seeks Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in
China after suffering from a severe stroke.)
AOSMI: If you know someone with a neurological issue in the NJ area and would like to discuss if
Acupuncture may be helpful, please call our front desk to set up a complimentary phone or in person
consultation; 732-894- 9200.
Posted in: Acupuncture