Acupuncture is based upon TCM and is one of the main therapies used by TCM physicians, but also practiced by naturopaths, osteopaths, and a variety of healthcare professionals. Acupuncture involves the placement of needles at specific points along meridians with the goal of restoring the balance of yin and yang and proper chi or qi flow to promote health. Persons with PD receiving acupuncture report a reduction in pain and sometimes improved sleep and mood and increased energy. Reduction of pain has consistently been reported by persons receiving acupuncture for a variety of conditions. Stimulation of the nerve fibers with the acupuncture needles is thought to activate the nervous, lymphatic, and electromagnetic pathways and result in a release of hormones that reduce pain as well as stimulate the immune system and improve circulation. Treatments often last 40 to 90 minutes while laying on one's back with needles in place and to be effective may need to be done a minimum of one to three times weekly for a series of 10 to 12 weeks and then continue on a maintenance program of one to two times monthly. There are a few limited studies suggesting potential benefit of acupuncture for PD. One study involved 53 patients, 29 who received acupuncture every other day for a total of three months and 24 who received no acupuncture and did not change their Western medications for PD (22). A significant improvement in PD motor symptoms was reported in the patients receiving acupuncture as well as an ability to reduce their dopaminergic medications, whereas the control group reported an overall worsening of symptoms. In similar studies, persons with PD have reported no change in symptoms or have withdrawn from the study due to lack of perceived benefit (23); however, in some studies improvements in sleep, depression, and quality of life were observed (24,25).
Was this article helpful?
Have You Always Been Curious About Acupuncture, But Were Never Quite Sure Where To Stick The Needles? If you associate acupuncture with needles, pain and weird alternative medicine then you are horribly misinformed about the benefits of the world's oldest form of medicinal treatment.