Multiple sclerosis: what alternative therapies are available ?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord. In the CNS, nerve fibers are protected by myelin, a fatty layer of insulation. In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) and cause lesion. Over time scar tissue develops at the lesion site hence the name multiple sclerosis. This scarring disrupts the transmission of nerve signals. There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.
According to The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, several alternative therapies have been shown to relieve symptoms or improve quality of life, including Chinese Medicine, acupressure, diet and meditation.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society also provides resources regarding alternative methods for MS in addition to conventional therapy- “Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes a wide variety of interventions — from diets and supplements to meditation and T’ai Chi — which come from many different disciplines and traditions. Most are considered to be outside the realm of conventional medicine, although others, including vitamin D, exercise, acupuncture and cooling strategies, for example, are establishing their role in comprehensive care through scientific study and clinical trials.” Food and diet, exercise, stress management are also recommended.
In our clinic, treatment of MS involves 3 stages, – an initial body balance stage, a detoxification stage and a solidifying stage. Ideally, at least two treatments should be done weekly in the first 3 to 4 weeks. Chinese herbals maybe suggested if necessary. Please consult Dr. Zhang for more details.
WHY Scalp Neuro-acupuncture ?
For traditional body acupuncture, signals being transmitted to the brain need a functional spine cord system. While in neurological disorders like MS and paralysis, a normal spine cord function is uncertain, Scalp Neuro-acupuncture may demonstrate more advantages because it directly stimulate the Cranial nerves and spine is not involved in signal transmission.
What is Paralysis?
Paralysis is a condition involving the impairment or loss of voluntary movement capability (motor loss) in the body part. Paralysis can be accompanied by a loss of feeling (sensory loss) in the affected area. It can be localized or generalized, partial or complete, flaccid or spastic, and temporary or permanent. Manifestations include weakness or loss of capability of limb(s) movement, deviation of eye or mouth, swallowing problems (dysphagia), and slurred or loss of speech (aphasia), and it is usually accompanied by depression. About 1 in 50 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with some form of paralysis, whether it be transient or permanent. Paralysis usually results from injury or disease of the nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves). The most common causes are stroke, trauma, peripheral neuropathy (e.g. Bell’s palsy), cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
How does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) understand paralysis?
Paralysis can be classified as ‘wind stroke’, ‘wei syndrome’, and ‘deviation of eye and mouth’ in the traditional Chinese medicine system. TCM attributes paralysis to exogenous pathogenic wind cold or wind heat, stress and agitation (exasperation), unbalanced diets, lack of exercise, deficiency of kidney Yin and liver blood, weakness of spleen and stomach Qi, accumulated phlegm and dampness, blood stasis, and upsurge of liver yang and heart fire. These pathogeneses lead to the imbalanced Yin, yang, Qi and blood, stagnations and malnutrition in meridians, collaterals, organs, and tissues.
In China and some other Eastern Asian countries, acupuncture and Chinese herbals are commonly used to treat paralysis due to stroke or other brain/nerve diseases. Acupuncture points and herbals are formulated according to the individual patient’s differential diagnosis. Treatments aim to repel exogenous pathogens, remove phlegm, dampness, and blood stagnations, fortify or nourish Qi, blood, Ying and Yang of organs and meridians This helps to re-establish the normal circulation of Qi and blood, and bring nutrients to the affected area.
Many clinical cases have shown that acupuncture can help improve muscular strength, muscle tone, speech, and swallowing function. It has also been shown to ease anxiety and depression and improve self-care ability. Although the mechanism remains complex, studies have indicated that acupuncture and herbals can regulate the release of neurochemicals, increase blood flow around lesions, and help nerve pathways regeneration.
Neuro-acupuncture and neurological disorders
Neuro acupuncture is a neuroanatomic acupuncture approach. It is based on Chinese scalp acupuncture methods and neurological knowledge. Patients are treated with needles inserted into the scalp in the area overlying the portion of the motor/sensory homunculus that correlates with the target diseases or conditions.
Neuro acupuncture is commonly used in the rehabilitation of paralysis due to stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Bell’s palsy, and pain management, especially pain caused by the nervous system, such as neuropathic pain, complex regional pain, and residual limb pain. Neuro acupuncture has been also effectively employed to help many other neurological disorders, such as aphasia, sleeping disorder, anxiety, depression, autism, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
At Great Wall Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic, our doctors will formulate a customized treatment plan based on your individual’s medical history, manifestations of tongue and pulse Our doctors will use neuro acupuncture method plus Chinese body acupuncture, to help neurological conditions. Dr. Zhang was specially trained in neuro-acupuncture method at the Neuro-acupuncture Institute, where this special treatment has been offered to hundreds of thousands of patients with neurological disorders.