Concussion – How Acupuncture may help in youth
Concussion, which occurs more frequently in children and adolescents than in adults, can have many debilitating symptoms. These symptoms have an impact on both a physical and an emotional level. In Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM theory, acupuncture works on the mind, body and spirit and thus addresses these problems.
Acupuncture is known for treating headache, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and pain which are all possible symptoms of a traumatic brain injury or TBI.
How does acupuncture do this?
TCM is founded on the idea that where the energy goes, blood goes.
Science tells us that some of the symptoms occurring in concussion patients are due to a lack of blood flow to the brain.
The brain cells, which use glucose delivered by the blood as a source of energy, are not able to heal as quickly as they otherwise would and as this impeded flow of blood to the brain continues symptoms can become worse.
Another factor at work here is the nervous system. More often than not clients report feeling more relaxed after an acupuncture treatment. This shift into the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and digest is a key factor in the healing process for TBIs.
Acupuncture affects the neurochemical activity of the brain as well. The theory is that this helps the brain return to its normal activity after a severe trauma such as a concussion.
Battlefield acupuncture for concussion
In the American army, where concussion is the number one injury, Battlefield Acupuncture is used. Battlefield Acupuncture was introduced to one sector of the army and then incorporated across all of them because of its effectiveness and ease of use in the field. In this protocol, small semi-permanent needles are used in the ear. The doctors using this technique have described the results as “off the charts” and “incredible”.
Just as with most if not all therapies, the effectiveness of acupuncture’s ability to relieve symptoms is increased the sooner it is used, though results have been seen in patients treated even several years following the original injury to the brain.
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This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.