Acupuncture, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, has been found to benefit people with cervical dystonia. It involves the insertion of small needles at specific points on the body to reduce pain, decrease nausea, release anxiety, or accomplish another purpose for the patient. Eastern medicine believes that acupuncture balances the flow of energy (chi or qi) in the body and removes the disruptions in energy that cause disease. Western medicine believes that acupuncture stimulates nerves, muscles, and connective tissue and may cause the release of neural hormones such as beta-endorphins. Beta-endorphins are associated with a sense of happiness, euphoria, and a higher pain threshold. Regardless of belief system, research ranging from the 19th through the 21st century and conducted in countries on almost every continent has documented positive outcomes from the practice of acupuncture.
Most people seek acupuncture for pain relief, but it has become more commonly accepted in recent years as an alternative medicine with benefits for overall wellness including relief from anxiety or depression. Multiple medical studies, including one sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and others posted through open-source journals, have demonstrated benefits of acupuncture protocols for pain relief for patients with cervical dystonia – particularly when combined with botulinum toxin treatments. Some saw an increase in the level of pain relief from their botulinum toxin treatments when combined with regular acupuncture treatments. Others were able to decrease or stop botulinum toxin treatments after starting an acupuncture protocol. While a study on the impact of acupuncture for individuals living with spasmodic torticollis was cited by Bega in his 2018 research, the 1983 research study was not available online for our review. To date, the efficacy of acupuncture in treating other types of dystonia has not been studied.
Down with Dystonia Disclaimer
The medical information contained in this article is for general information only. It is not intended to provide instruction and you should not rely on this information to determine diagnosis, prognosis or a course of treatment. It is crucial that care and treatment decisions related to Dystonia and any other medical condition be made in consultation with a physician or other qualified medical professional.
Down with Dystonia is not responsible for the consequences of your decisions resulting from the use of this information, including, but not limited to, your choosing to seek or not to seek professional medical care, or from choosing or not choosing specific treatment based on the information. You should not disregard the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider because of any information you receive from us. If you have any health care questions, please consult the relevant medical practitioner.
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