Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs May Aid in the Treatment of Epilepsy

A lot of clinical studies have now been done proving the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating epilepsy. Diagnosing and treating this condition early in children can bring about significant results. In order to attain long-term results, there are indications that acupuncture treatment needs to be prolonged and performed regularly for about a couple of years. Auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture), and body and scalp acupuncture have been proven to work for the treatment of epilepsy. Acupuncturists usually treat certain acupoints when addressing epilepsy and several symptoms of seizure associated with epilepsy. Chinese medicine has a long history of successfully resolving diseases that Western medicine has a hard time addressing. Chinese medicine can treat or even cure various types of seizure disorders. Allopathic needles are useless when it comes to the treatment of epilepsy. But, since Chinese medicine is a natural type of treatment, it takes a while before its effects are fully enjoyed by the epilepsy sufferer.

The Medical College of Ohio did a study to see if acupuncture can produce biochemical and autonomic changes in the central nervous system of animals. At the end of the study, the researchers argued that the changes that have occurred correlated with the improvement in paralysis, paresis, and seizures of the animals due to acupuncture treatment. Neurotransmitter changes and vagal nerve stimulation explain how acupuncture can affect an epileptic brain. This is also the biochemical mechanism of VNS. Acupuncture needles inserted on acupoints on the lower extremities, scalp, ear, face, and body stimulate the vagus nerve via reflex actions happening in centers receiving various inputs converging within the brain stem. In the treatment of epilepsy, these aupoints are often used by acupuncturists. Specific Chinese herbal concoctions are also used in combination with acupuncture to augment the treatment.

One of the most important acupoint used to treat eplispesy is the Shen Men point. This point is found on the ear. The ShenMen point can be stimulated electrically via a technique known as electro-acupuncture is electrical stimulation. Electro-acupuncture of the body (auricular electro-acupuncture) tend to lessen the epileptic activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex. Also, electro-acupuncture can lower the excitatory neurotransmitter levels located in the hippocampus and boosted the levels of inhibitory neurotransmitter of GABA, taurine, and glycine. Practitioners have found that a combination of Chinese herbal remedies and acupuncture in can successfully stop and reduce seizures. Seizures may be triggered by new recreational drugs or medications so proper caution is required if you are considering using these drugs.

The stimulation of the vagus nerves is attained if acupuncture needles are inserted on the extremities of the patient. Electro-acupuncture can produce anti-epileptic effects that target the cortex of the brain. Taurine can enhance the effectiveness of electro-acupuncture to shield the patient from any induced seizures. Chinese herbs rich in taurine are prescribed by practitioners for their epileptic patients. Tested in rats with pilocarpine-induced epilepsy, electro-acupuncture was able to prevent the shrinking of the brain limbic system of the rats and resolved cognitive deficits. Tests have shown that electro-acupuncture and traditional acupuncture can reverse signs of mental decline and brain aging.


Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.