Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder and affects more than 200,000 people in the United States.
The characteristic motor symptoms of Parkinson's include slowed movement (bradykinesia), resting tremors, and muscle rigidity. It is distinguished from essential tremors in that PD tremors worsen when at rest, whereas essential tremors are more prevalent during activity.
Studies have found that acupuncture can effectively alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's disease to make them more manageable.
Acupuncture for Parkinson's Disease
The cause of Parkinson's is nerve cell damage in the brain that causes dopamine levels to plummet. Acupuncture has been proven to stimulate a neural circuit that releases dopamine in the brain.
It can also effectively regenerate damaged nerves and prevent further cell death to keep dopamine levels from continuing to drop.
In clinical studies, acupuncture combined with standard Parkinson's drug therapy of L-dopa had an 89.4% total success rate at alleviating symptoms. L-dopa drug therapy alone only had a 52.6% effective rate.
Acupuncture can also lower the medication treatment dose required to manage symptoms, and therefore lower the risk of uncomfortable side-effects such as L-dopa induced dyskinesia (abnormal, involuntary movement).
Electroacupuncture, a modernized form of acupuncture where a light electric current is passed into the needles to provide constant stimulation, is also effective in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
In a University of Arizona study, Parkinson's patients who received electroacupuncture for 3 weeks experienced a 31% improvement in balance, 10% improvement in gait speed, and 5% increase in stride length.
If you or a loved one are struggling to manage Parkinson's disease symptoms, acupuncture has been proven to help! Call us at (321) 972-2940 to schedule your initial consultation today.
HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Provides Parkinson's Disease Relief." (July 7, 2018). Retrieved from http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1862-acupuncture-provides-parkinson-s-disease-relief
Hunstad, E. "Acupuncture Information Manual (AIM)." (2017).