As a form of treatment, acupuncture is thousands of years old, and it may have almost that many possible applications. At PMR, we use acupuncture as a component of our many of our holistic, comprehensive …
Neurological Acupuncture for Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis
As a form of treatment, acupuncture is thousands of years old, and it may have almost that many possible applications. At PMR, we use acupuncture as a component of our many of our holistic, comprehensive treatment plans. Especially when it is combined with other forms of treatment, acupuncture can be incredibly effective at combating symptoms and helping patients to heal more quickly.
We use acupuncture to treat everything from arthritis (including osteoarthritis and symptoms of inflammation) to headaches, lower back pain, and neck pain or whiplash. In fact, we use acupuncture in so many of our treatment plans, it would be impossible to list them all here.
One area in which PMR’s treatments are unique is our application of acupuncture to neurological and eye diseases, including stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS). In fact, we are the only center in the New York area that treats these conditions with acupuncture.
As compared to modern medical treatments, the use of acupuncture in treating neurological diseases is not as well understood or researched. There’s a great deal of skepticism surrounding acupuncture in general, and many people are unaware that acupuncture can be used to treat stroke, MS, and other neurological conditions.
With the goal of increasing understanding and combatting some of the myths surrounding acupuncture, we’ll investigate its neurological uses here, including the ways in which neurological acupuncture is employed at PMR.
What Is Acupuncture?
With its roots in Chinese traditional medicine, acupuncture has evolved over thousands of years—and it continues to adapt to meet the needs and ongoing research of modern medical treatments.
Originally focused on the concept of qi (a kind of life force or energy) and its flow in the body, the type of modern acupuncture practiced at PMR combines ideas borrowed from Eastern medicine and techniques with research-supported, modern Western medicine.
Does It Hurt?
The short answer is: not nearly as much as you might think. Though it’s true that acupuncture involves the placement of needles in specific points of the body, the needles are very slender and the process is relatively painless. Generally speaking, you won’t feel more than a “prick” as the needle is inserted.
Acupuncture and Neurological Diseases
American chiropractors and acupuncturists have had significant success in treating patients with conditions like arthritis and chronic pain for decades, but the application of acupuncture to neurological disease is significantly less common.
However, upon closer inspection, the differences aren’t as stark as they may seem. Like chiropractic techniques, acupuncture targets the central nervous system (CNS), including the brain and spine. The central nervous system is responsible for much of the movement, sensation, and pain we experience in the body. Neurological diseases and conditions will naturally affect this system, often causing a great deal of pain, problems with nerve function, and difficulties with movement. By targeting the CNS, acupuncture can help to treat these symptoms.
Treating Nerve Issues and Pain
Simply put, a neurological disease is a disorder affecting the body’s nervous system. There are hundreds of different neurological diseases, each with their own underlying causes, symptoms, and treatments. Although acupuncture will probably not be the only treatment applied to any specific neurological disorder, it can help to relieve symptoms as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Often, sufferers of neurological problems will experience shooting pain and burning sensations. These are symptoms of a problem with the body’s nerves—a crucial component of the CNS. In many cases, medication alone cannot relieve pain related to nerves. Though its use is not yet fully understood, research has shown that acupuncture can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with nerve problems.
Conditions We Can Treat
Although we often speak of neurological acupuncture in terms of stroke or MS, the techniques of acupuncture can be applied to a wide range of neurological diseases and disorders.
At PMR, we may use acupuncture to treat Parkinson’s, peripheral neuropathy, headaches and migraines, lyme disease, restless leg syndrome, and even eye diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.
The Only Treatment in the New York Area
Here at PMR, we boast of having the only acupuncture treatments for stroke and multiple sclerosis in the New York area. These treatments will be conducted under the guidance of Alexander Kuzminov, a specialist in neurological acupuncture and stroke rehabilitation.
“Every patient is unique and has unique problems,” says Kuzminov, speaking to the individualized treatment plans that PMR offers. At our centers, we understand that no two people are alike, either in their symptoms or their preferences for treatment.
Acupuncture will often be a supplemental treatment for neurological diseases—including stroke, MS, and Parkinson’s—and we’re proud of our relationships with physicians in our area, which allow us to provide relief for those experiencing pain and other symptoms from these disorders. We’re happy to work with your doctor to meet your needs.
One of the primary advantages of acupuncture is that it can help to reduce pain and stress non-invasively, and without creating additional pain or discomfort. For more information on how acupuncture can help to treat the symptoms of neurological disease and restore normal function for those suffering from these conditions, give us a call at PMR today.