Ear Acupuncture and Herbs for Long-Term Treatment of Epilepsy

Acupuncture can be an effective remedy for many of the symptoms of epilepsy as gleaned from several clinical studies. By diagnosing the condition and treating it in its early stages, acupuncture can have tremendous results in children who are affected by this disorder. It has been observed that in order to attain long-term results, the treatment needs to be continued regularly for a couple of years. Ear, body and scalp acupuncture work in the resolution of epilepsy. Certain acupuncture points are selected to treat the various symptoms of epilepsy as well as the condition’s underlying cause. Chinese medicine has earned a reputation for successfully treating conditions that Western Medicine is unable to address. Certain kinds of seizure conditions that doctors are unable to diagnose can be treated or even cured with acupuncture and various modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are very few answers, if there are at all, offered by allopathic medicine to address these types of seizures. However, there is no magic bullet that can cure epilepsy and treatment entailing the long-term use of herbal medicine may be necessary.

Scientists from the Medical College of Ohio have demonstrated acupuncture’s capacity to stimulate changes, biochemical and autonomic, in an animal’s central nervous system. These scientists think that these changes were associated with the improvement in paralysis, pareses and seizures caused by acupuncture. Neurotransmitter modification and the stimulation of the vagal nerve were seen as caused by acupuncture on the brain of epilepsy. Acupuncture points on the lower extremities, scalp, ear, face, and body stimulate the vagus nerve. These points are usually selected in the treatment of epilepsy.

Of these acupoints, one of the most important is the Shen Men point which is found on the ear. Its location on the ear is within the area of the pinna in a concave surface where a vagus nerve runs. Electric stimulation using electro-acupuncture wherein an electrical current flowing through a connected needle inserted in the ear can be used. It was observed that ear acupuncture or auriculotherapy using electro-acupuncture stimulation lowered the incidence of epilepsy in the brain cortex. Auriculatherapy combined with electro-acupuncture lowered the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain and boosted the levels of GABA, turine and glycine. Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine has been found to stop seizures or at least reduce their incidence. Seizures may also be a side effect of recreational or medical drugs in certain individuals.

The stimulation of the vagus nerve can be attained from the activation of acupoints on the extremities. This leads to a reduction of the epilepsy symptoms. Supplementing the patient with Taurine bolsters the effects of acupuncture therapy and helps protect the patient against seizures that are induced. Certain Chinese herbal formulas that can help resolve epilepsy have more or less, adequate amounts of taurine in them. In a study involving rats with induced epilepsy stimulated with electro-acupuncture, the results showed a reduction in the severity of their epilepsy. Electro-acupuncture treatment also prevented the rats’ limbic system to shrink and boosted their cognitive function, as well. It is implied on the aforementioned studies that electro-acupuncture and acupuncture combined can reverse the process of mental decline and brain aging.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

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