Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Parkinson’s disease is an age-related progressive neurodegenerative disease. The etiology and pathogenetic mechanisms that cause PD are still not fully understood. The available treatments to PD are only symptomatic relief. Acupuncture is used to treat many medical conditions for 1000 years in China and has gained wider and increasing acceptance within both public and medical profession because it has been a very safe and well-tolerated treatment.
We showed that acupuncture stimulation in Parkinson’s models had generated valuable mechanistic insight of Parkinson’s and showed that acupuncture treatment is in fact a neuroprotective therapy that increase the release of various neuroprotective agents such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and cyclophilin A. In addition, acupuncture therapy slows cell death process and attenuates oxidative stress to dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Further, acupuncture therapy modulates neuronal activity of the basal ganglia output structures.
These results suggest that early application of acupuncture therapy to Parkinson’s patients may be helpful for the best efficacy of acupuncture treatment. It is hopeful that translation of achievement in acupuncture research in Parkinson’s models will maximize the potentials of acupuncture treatment.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Acupuncture is one form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that uses very fine needles inserted superficially into the skin at selected areas of the body (acu-points). The insertion of the needles is thought to stimulate the nervous system, the immune system, and the release of a variety of hormones that help the body respond to injury and stress. It has also been reported to affect blood circulation, blood pressure, and production of red and white blood cells. Acupuncture is thought to tap into and rebalance Qi (smooth circulation) and yin and yang (the interaction of two energies found in the body).
TCM is used to diagnose the root causing the symptoms being experienced by each patient and then to treat them. In TCM, each symptom is related to a certain organ of the body. Therefore, treatment is focused on nourishing and strengthening the affected organ as well as promoting blood circulation to the whole body. The promotion of blood circulation is thought to target the inflammation that causes the myelin to degenerate. The increased circulation is also thought to strengthen each body organ, which in turn, will increase the body’s strength to fight any foreign object such as a virus or an abnormal gene that might alter myelin. Acupuncture also stimulates the release of endorphins which helps to alleviate the level of pain a person is experiencing. An acupuncture assessment and treatment can differ from one person to another, based on each individual’s symptoms of MS, and any additional health problems s/he has.
Cancer Complementary Treatment
NIH (National Institute of Health) has approved acupuncture treatment for nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy and pain management in cancer bone metastasis.
Also it has a great effect of building up the energy after the chemotherapy sessions. That is a certain period which body is weak because of the effect of the chemotherapeutic drugs on normal cells. So cancer patients can take advantage of it while they are receiving their conventional treatment.
It can be used for a wide variety of problems over the body such as:
Headaches (caused by muscle spasm)
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Muscular aches and pain
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
For some conditions the relief is quick (especially for acute problems) and for some other conditions some more sessions of treatment may be needed. Pain relief with acupuncture is the area that people know about it most and there have been many researches done to find the mechanism how it works. It reduces the pain and paves the way for the injured part get back to normal condition.