Thursday, January 29, 2009

Efficacy of Scalp E-Stim Acupuncture

A study published last week in PNAS described the use of non-invasive electrical stimulation to improve motor skills. The research was conducted in hopes of finding a treatment that would help stroke victims during rehabilitation. The experiment involved placing electrodes over the primary motor cortex that stimulated the volunteer test subjects for 5 days. Those that were electrically stimulated were able to perform a set of tasks better than those who were given the sham treatment, and follow-up three months later showed that they also retained the ability to perform those skills better than their untreated counterparts.

The primary motor cortex is indicated by the green area below:

Now, take a look at this drawing that represents the lines used for scalp acupuncture:

Notice how the green highlighting on the map of the brain corresponds to the motor area used in scalp acupuncture? That, of course, is not a coincidence as this particular mapping used in scalp acupuncture was developed in modern times. The Chinese have used scalp acupuncture since 1971 to successfully treat diseases such as stroke rehabilitation, severe head injuries, intracranial inflammation, extra-pyramidal diseases, Meniere's and others.

The needling technique utilized in scalp acupuncture is to rotate the needle at a rate of 200 times a minute, for five minutes, and it is generally believed that the stronger the stimulation the better. The manipulation should be repeated 2-3 times during the course of a 20 minute treatment. Using electrical stimulation on the acupuncture needles allows for continuous stimulation administered at any desired frequency, with the potential for multiple needles being stimulated simultaneously.

Scalp e-stim acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat a multitude of syndromes that involve damage to the brain. The new research conducted at Johns Hopkins supports the efficacy of electrical stimulation as a treatment modality in stroke rehabilitation.


acutherapist said...

Hi! I was researching some scalp points for a cerebral palsy patient & your blog came up. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your article. Have a nice day!

Jonah Ewell said...

Thanks, we appreciate it!