Treating Parkinson’s with Acupuncture

In some of the newest studies, research shows that acupuncture has an antioxidant effect in the treatment of Parkinson’s. Increasing evidence shows that oxidative stress contributes to the progression of the disease. And the new research shows that 100 Hz electroacupuncture applied to certain acupuncture points has a neuroprotective effect on the brain because electroacupuncture is antioxidant. This information comes from collaborative studies including contributions from Xibin Liang, a researcher from the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University in Stanford, California.

Researchers determined that stimulation of specific acupuncture points with electroacupuncture protects the brain by creating antioxidative and antiapoptosis (the process of programmed cell death  that may occur in multicellular organisms) effects. The electroacupuncture protected the substantia nigra, a part of the mid-brain. The substantia nigra is an important part of the brain in controlling movement. Parkinson’s is caused by the deterioration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra supplies the area of the brain involved with motor action with dopamine. Dopamine is an essential nutrient for the brain and has neurotransmitter functions, it is also a precursor for norepinephrine and epinephrine.

IN SWALLOWING: Recently, research published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine concluded that acupuncture has potential “therapeutic effects and long-term efficacy for neurogenic dysphagia.” Dysphagia is a medical term for difficulty with swallowing. Neurological dysphagia is due to disorders of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s. Signs and symptoms include difficulty with food control in the mouth, difficulty initiating swallowing, choking, coughing, nasal regurgitation and a feeling of food getting stuck in the throat.

The research indicated that patients receiving acupuncture responded significantly better, having better levels of food and fluid consistencies. The researchers suggest more studies of a larger sample size to confirm the results of this study.

IN RESTORING DIGESTION: These new studies find that acupuncture relieves digestive impairment due to stress. This finding suggests that acupuncture is an effective modality for the treatment of functional dyspepsia (indigestion). Dyspepsia usually involves pain of the upper abdomen, bloating and sometimes nausea, heartburn and belching. Dyspepsia is also linked to GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease.

In Eastern philosophy, yin and yang balance in the body, resulting in good health. When disease encroaches, it is a result of an imbalance between these two energies.

One effective treatment for restoring health seems to be acupuncture. The Western medical community is trying to put the philosophy to the test. Among the test subjects are people with Parkinson’s, and among the methodologies is acupuncture — the practice of sticking needles into certain locations on the body at varying depths. The sensation of needle insertion is said to resemble a mosquito bite. Acupuncture is generally divided into a series of sessions of about 30 minutes each.

In China, acupuncture is common. Acupuncture has provided relief from the tremors of Parkinson’s for many.

Currently in the Parkinson’s Resource Organization WELLNESS VILLAGE, Dr. David Shirazi ParkinsonsResource.org/spotlight/2769/ is, among others, in the category of Acupuncture. Dr. Shirazi graduated from Howard University College of Dentistry, in Washington D.C. and earned a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from Samra University. He has completed over 2000 hours of continuing education in TMD and facial pain, craniomandibular orthopedics, and sleep disordered breathing.

He has also completed a hospital mini-residency in oriental medicine at the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Centre which is the only organization the World Health Organization (WHO) has authorized to teach internationally on acupuncture and herbology, and another at Kyung Hee University and Medical Center, the top medical hospital and medical school in Korea.

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