Parkinson's Disease(PD) & Acupuncture
What is the Parkinson's Disease?
Parkinson disease(PD) is the second-most-common chronic and progressive neuro-egenerative disease worldwide. PD is caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and features motor symptoms including distal resting bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity, postural instability, gait disturbance, and nonmotor symptoms. PD usually occurs after 60 years of age and has become widespread among the world's rapidly aging population.
Sings and Symptoms may include:
Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. Your hand may tremor when it’s at rest.
Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Your steps may become shorter when you walk. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
Rigid muscles. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone.
Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.
Chinese medicine's point of view about Parkinson's Disease.
According to the theories of acupuncture and Eastern Medicine, Parkinson’s disease is categorized under the tremor and the rigidity syndrome. The root of problems are extreme
vacuity of Qi and Blood of Liver and Kidney viscera. Due to stasis of qi that causes a wind, a fire and a phlegm. Acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment protocols are different from the patient's type of the problems such as Yin vacuity, Qi and blood vacuity, blood stasis blocking channels, or turbid phlegm blocking channels.
How acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help
Acupuncture offers a drug-free alternative for managing these symptoms. Acupuncture has few to no side effects. Combining acupuncture with drug-based treatment has the ability to increase quality of life scores and daily living activities. A recent review of clinical studies for acupuncture in the treatment of motor and non-motor symptoms published in CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics revealed the potential effectiveness of acupuncture.
This review examined all recorded studies published in major databases over the last 15 years. It found that acupuncture – weather used with electro stimulation (acupuncture supplemented by mild electrical stimulation via the inserted needles) or without – showed effcacy in treating psychiatric disorders, sleep problems and gastrointestinal symptoms in Parkinson’s patients.
There was also evidence that indicated that acupuncture in combination with the widely used Parkinson’s drug called levodopa increased its effectiveness resulting in lowered dosage and decreased side effects such as nausea. This eliminated the need for secondary drugs to treat side effects. One study suggests that acupuncture has a positive impact on brain activity related to sleep disorders, depression and even motor symptoms. Although these studies continue to show positive change, we still need larger studies to ubstantiate these findings.
1. Mayo Clinic “Parkinson’s disease.”
2. Acupuncture can help manage Parkinson’s Disease by Heather Henry Peterman, CAc , January 02, 2017
3. Lee MS, Shin BC, Kong JC, et al. Effectiveness of acupuncture for Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review. Mov Disord 2008;23:1505–15.