19.02.2015

Tcm treatment trigeminal neuralgia wiki

If you suffer from neuralgia or facial pain, then acupuncture treatment should be considered.
Developed in China over 2500 years ago, acupuncture has been used for the treatment of painful medical conditions that affect the head and these would include trigeminal neuralgia. Over time the pain associated with the condition will become more complex and difficult to treat. There is no research or studies done to show if acupuncture is able to successfully treat trigeminal neuralgia. This article show you Relieve Trigeminal Neuralgia with Acupuncture .Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique that involves the insertion of extremely fine needles on carefully chosen points throughout the body for therapeutic benefit. While some patients respond to moderate doses of single-drug therapy and microvascular decompressions (MVD`s), many others suffer through prolonged unsuccessful treatment approaches. All 7 female participants and 4 of the 5 men in the study responded favorably to acupuncture. Acupuncture has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a scientific therapeutic modality with an effective pain-relieving ability. Herbal medicine can also be used together with the above acupuncture protocol to enhance the effect. The TN study mentioned above concludes that acupuncture treatment should be considered before more invasive intervention is attempted. SubscribeEnter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content.
A recent review (Nov 2009) of 33 separate medical studies involving nearly 7,000 patients looked at the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of headaches and migraines. The researchers found that volunteers who were treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture, had fewer headaches and migraines.
There are many different types of headache in Chinese medicine and they all require different approaches.
Migraines are characterised by an intense throbbing pain that affects either or both sides of the head.
It is not uncommon to see this type of headache at the weekend after working excessively long hours during the week, under pressure. Acupuncture aims to smooth the course of the energy along the Liver & Gall Bladder channels and balance the Yin and Yang energies. Evidence from systematic reviews suggests that acupuncture may be a safe and effective treatment for hay fever with benefits over conventional medicine (Xiao 2009).
Hay fever occurs at a particular time of the year and is triggered by specific allergens (grass pollen, tree pollen). The sinuses that are most prone to infection and inflammation are located between the eyes and either side of the nose. The main symptoms of sinusitis are a purulent, yellow nasal discharge from the front and back of the nose (into the throat), a stuffy nose, pain on the forehead, facial pain and a feeling of muzziness & heaviness of the head. Long-term sinusitis is often caused by repeated infections of the common cold or influenza viruses. Within Chinese medicine, repeated invasions of common cold & influenza viruses occur because the Lung energy is weakened. During symptom-free periods, or when the symptoms are mild, acupuncture treatment is aimed at strengthening the Lung energy to prevent invasion of pathogens (viruses).
A Chinese pilot study has found that acupuncture can modulate brain activity in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. There is a set of brain regions called the ‘default-mode network’ that has previously been shown to be disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease. This study involved twenty-eight volunteers consisting of 14 Alzheimer patients, and 14 normal controls. Analysis of the scans showed that the impaired default-mode network connectivity in Alzheimer’s disease was significantly improved following acupuncture. Ref : Acupuncture Stimulation of Taichong (Liv3) and Hegu (LI4) Modulates the Default Mode Network Activity in Alzheimer’s Disease. Eye problems can respond well with acupuncture although it is always advisable to see your GP beforehand, in case it is something that requires urgent medical attention. Many eye symptoms have no useful label or clear pathology in Western medicine, and may not respond to conventional treatment.
After ruling out any serious eye problems, you may consider acupuncture treatment for eye problems. If the whiplash is left untreated then our bodies frequently adjust so that we are pain-free. Footballers can also suffer whiplash type injuries from heading the football on their forehead. If you are considering acupuncture for a whiplash injury, then I would highly recommend seeking treatment earlier rather than later. Here I will illustrate a problem that can occur with acute (sudden) neck pain, or what is otherwise know as ‘torticollis’, or ‘stiff neck’. In this diagram you will see a muscle that starts on the inside border of the shoulder blade and attaches to the sides of the upper vertebrae in the neck.
If the levator scapulae muscle is involved with long-standing neck problems, then the shoulder is elevated on the affected side, but the head is unlikely to be tilted. The treatment of this muscle with acupuncture involves accurate and skilful palpation of the taut muscle bands, and good needling technique.
Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by intense pain in the face and is considered one of the most painful experiences a human can possibly experience.
Mouth dryness (or xerostomia) is a distressing complication of radiotherapy treatment for neck and head cancer.
There was a paper written in 1998 that showed xerostomia (dry mouth) could be successfully treated with acupuncture, and the results persisted over the 12 month observatory period of the report. Another more recent study (2012) published in the European Journal of Cancer looked at the feasibility of acupuncture for prevention of radiation-induced dry mouth among patients with nasopharyngeal cancer.
Another report (2009, UK), looked at acupuncture to relieve radiation-induced dry mouth (xerostomia). From what I have read, conventional treatment with pharmaceutical medicine doesn’t appear to be that effective.
Sham-controlled, randomised, feasibility trial of acupuncture for prevention of radiation-induced xerostomia among patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. During an acupuncture consultation it is routine to ask about how the patient sleeps and it never ceases to surprise me how many people do not have peaceful, restful sleep.
Adequate rest is essential for our well being as it allows time for the body to recuperate and revitalise ready for the following day.


There may be an obvious causative factor leading to poor sleep such as drinking too much coffee late at night or too much visual stimulation from video games or the TV.
In the introduction I mentioned about excessive visual stimulation leading to sleeping problems. To control the pain doctors may administer drugs; however these usually have significant side effects and risks. The theory of acupuncture is based on energy flowing through the body on specific pathways called meridians.
Many people have claimed success in using acupuncture to treat their pain and some have said that they are pain free or the pain is not as harsh as it used to be before.
A recent study in the journal Medical Acupuncture demonstrated a significant beneficial effect when acupuncture treatments were administered to patients who were suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN).
This includes large doses of medications with adverse effects, complications related to surgery, and postoperative relapse of symptoms. Five of the patients were even able to discontinue their medications following complete remission of the TN. The beauty of acupuncture treatments is that they are virtually devoid of side effects, non-invasive and extremely safe. They also found that volunteers treated with acupuncture experienced less pain if a headache developed.
If you look at the illustration you will see that different areas of the head are labelled with different names.
Sufferers often experience visual disturbances such as flashing lights, auras or blurred vision. Basically, too much energy rises to the head along the Gall Bladder channels and this causes pain.
Normally people come once a week for acupuncture, unless the migraines were particularly debilitating, in which case twice weekly may be necessary until the severity and frequency of the migraines decrease. Randomised controlled trials have found that acupuncture used as an adjunct to routine care for hay fever has clinically relevant and persistent benefits (Brinkhaus 2008) and is cost effective (Witt 2009). Chinese acupuncture is aiming to restore the status quo by changing the way the immune system reacts to hay fever allergens (i.e. Steven Gascoigne has an interesting perspective on the holistic management of hay fever and the problems with pharmaceutical drugs. In addition, these infections interfere with the movement of Lung energy, which in turn causes the fluids in the nose and sinuses to collect. Food items that are difficult to digest and are consumed on a regular basis will lead to the development and retention of phlegm, which will predispose one to sinusitis. When the symptoms are acute then treatment is aimed at clearing the phlegm from the nasal cavities and regulating the flow of Lung energy. These brain regions are associated with memory processing and have increased activity during wakeful rest. A simple acupuncture protocol was performed, and all volunteers underwent MRI scanning before, during and after three minutes of acupuncture stimulation. This research showed that acupuncture increases the blood flow to the retrobulbar arteries which supply blood to the eyes. It is not only car accidents that involvement whiplash injuries, although this does account for a lot of whiplash accidents. There will be an adjustment in the spine to accommodate for this, provided that the spine can accommodate this adjustment.
Many muscles attach in this area and problems can also occur with the vertebrae in the neck, such as cervical arthritis.
The effect of acupuncture on salivary secretion was measured by monitoring the release of neuropeptides in saliva following acupuncture stimulation. In this study 23 patients were randomized assigned to ‘real’ acupuncture and ‘sham’ acupuncture groups. This study involved 12 males who received weekly acupuncture treatments over an eight-week period.
This debilitating condition is one that often produces intense, periodic facial pain along one or more of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve.
Trigeminal neuralgia can be associated with structural problems inside the skull and doctors will often treat it with drugs or surgery.
Acupuncture is shown to be more effective when applied immediately after the appearance of the syndrome. On the other hand, there have been people who suffer from trigeminal neuralgia and have acupuncture done and experienced no change in their condition. Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) manifests as a severe stabbing or electric shock-like pain along the path of the trigeminal nerve. The side effects of the various antiepileptic medications often prescribed for TN patients include dizziness, ataxia, nausea, vomiting, hematological abnormalities, and cardiac arrhythmia. One of these 5 participants required only 2 acupuncture treatments to reach complete remission, while the others required from 3 to 9 treatments to get this result. It is postulated that the insertion of acupuncture needles causes enhanced blood flow to the affected area.
This combination of 11 Chinese herbs includes peach kernel (Persicae Semen), safflower petals (Carthami Flos), Szechuan lovage root (Chuanxiong Rhizoma), and Chinese angelica root (Angelicae sinensis Radix) as the first 4 herbs.
However, it should be noted that this particular study had a relatively small group of participants, and did not employ a randomized, double-blind format. After eight weeks of treatment, patients who had acupuncture and no painkillers had fewer headaches compared with those who were given only painkillers. Such trials have also found that acupuncture is effective in the symptomatic treatment of perennial rhinitis (Xue 2007) and that active acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture (needling non-acupuncture points) in decreasing the symptom scores for persistent hayfever and increasing the symptom-free days. Other people have allergies all year round and there is a wider range of allergens (dust mites, cats, fungi, etc.) that may include pollens. The openings into the nasal cavity are narrow and so if there is already inflammation, then further infection & inflammation make the cavities prone to blockage.
If the phlegm is Yellow in colour then this indicates heat and points are selected to help the body clear this heat. It is also important to strengthen the digestive system and avoid food that is difficult to digest.
Chronic sinusitis is difficult to treat because phlegm is a thick, sticky substance that is hard to clear. This will involve asking detailed questions about the eye problem and collecting more information about your general health to build up a bigger picture. The tongue may be particularly red or the complexion may be red, or perhaps there will be a general feeling of heat in the body.


Long-standing neck problems are often a lot more complicated as a lot of the musculature in the neck has adapted and created a ‘holding pattern’ that can create persistent pain. If this muscle tightens up unexpectedly it is easy to see how the neck can be pulled to one side and create pain. Another one is hooking a handbag over the shoulder and keeping the shoulder raised to prevent it slipping off.
The trigeminal nerve has three branches which innervate the face, and treatment is based on the underlying energetic imbalance, and the affected local nerve branch.
It occurs after radiotherapy due to the irradiation of normal salivary tissue lying close to the radiation target. Neuropeptides are chemicals that influence the dilation of blood capillaries, and small arteries. All participants were over eighteen years old and had radiotherapy at least 18 months previously. There are many factors that can cause sleeping problems and I will mention the main ones here, hinging around the theory of Chinese Medicine. We have all experienced this during hot days in summer, perhaps being stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway, or being in a crowded bus.
This can happen if our lives are full of mental activities & processes and we find it difficult to switch off at night. He used to do shift work and then changed to a regular day job and that was when his sleeping difficulties started.
The pain the person who suffers from this condition is very painful and it can last anywhere from seconds to minutes. Acupuncture is an option for some people as there are few side effects compared to surgery and drugs. Acupuncture often require others very fine needles been inserted into these points on the pathway to enable the smooth flow of energy. The results may vary and acupuncture should not be seen as a definitive method for treatment of this painful condition.
The discomfort is usually felt on only one side of the face, generally in the area of the cheek, eye, and lower portion of the face. With multiple acupuncture treatments, the cumulative effect may actually lead to nerve repair in the case of the demyelinated trigeminal sensory fibers mentioned in the first paragraph. These herbs are considered in the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory to have a strong invigorating or circulating quality, and serve the role of alleviating pain by eliminating blockages or stagnations in the body. It will be useful to seek further scientific validation of the effect of acupuncture in TN treatment. For example, migraine type headaches are often one sided, around the temporal region and affect one eye. Gascoigne is a general practitioner of western medicine and also a practitioner of Chinese medicine, so he sits on both sides of the fence! For this latter group it is fair to say that their allergic response (or internal imbalance) is more deeply entrenched and will require a longer course of acupuncture. There is also an underlying weakness in the body’s energy that results in repeated invasions of viruses. This can become problematic later on in life and may manifest in headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, or if the whole spine becomes affected then even the lower back can become involved. It is important to feel what is happening in the muscle fibres, and sometimes a ‘twitch response’ can be elicited which usually gives instantaneous relief. It is difficult to treat with conventional medication, but there are reports that acupuncture can help.
This small pilot study concluded that true acupuncture significantly reduced dry mouth symptoms, and that a larger study was needed to follow up results. In other cases the cause is not so obvious and a detailed consultation is needed to produce an accurate diagnosis. The pain from trigeminal neuralgia can often be activated by simple activities such as brushing of teeth, eating putting on makeup or washing the face. The mechanism of pain production is not fully understood, but studies suggest that TN is often associated with demyelination of trigeminal sensory fibers. This area of the head relates to the Liver and Gall Bladder channels and acupuncture is aimed at regulating the energy in these channels and rectifying the imbalance.
He is particularly interested in the energetic effect of pharmaceutical drugs in terms of Chinese medicine.
To treat this condition it is important to help the body eliminate the pathogen (Phlegm), and to strengthen the body’s Lung energy (and Spleen) to prevent future infections. Improvements were found as early as three weeks into treatment, and the effects lasted for one month afterwards, which was the length of the observatory period in this study.
In this case acupuncture aims to strengthen the Heart Blood and give the spirit a stable residence at night. There are many acupuncture points in the face that will directly link to the three branches of the trigeminal nerve. You maybe interested in reading the section on stress (section – The Emotions) to understand more about this.
At the beginning it may be necessary to continue with western drugs until the acupuncture has its desired effect. This heat can come from many sources such as the heat often associated with menopause, or the heat from a viral illness.
This may sound confusing, but the Chinese have a very different way of looking at the body compared with ourselves in the West.
In using acupuncture to treat trigeminal neuralgia, very fine needles are placed into the corresponding facial points as a way to unblock the energy. In this case it is a primary goal of acupuncture to help reduce reliance on pharmaceutical drugs and hopefully arrive at a point when the symptoms are managed with acupuncture only.
Their knowledge is the accumulation of over 2000 years of observation and clinical application.
Trigeminal neuralgia may become debilitating due to the chronic pain and it can last for years. There are times that the needles will be stimulated with electricity as a way to strengthen the overall treatment.



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