Acupuncture Scotland Blog

News and points of interest from Acupuncture Scotland

Pain Relief Serotonin and Noradrenaline

There is increasing evidence that the production of both serotonin and noradrenaline is stimulated by the use of acupuncture. The production of these hormones provides pain relief and stimulates nerve repair.

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Spring and Sciatica

Why is it that many more patients come into the clinic with sciatic pain in spring?  

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Bell's Palsy

Each year in the UK, around 1 in 5,000 people develop Bell's palsy, which is characterised by unilateral facial weakness of rapid onset (Rowlands 2002,Holland 2004). The condition can develop at any age, but seems to be most common in those aged between 15 and 60 years (Peitersen 1982).

In about 71% of patients, it resolves spontaneously without treatment, but 13% are left with slight facial weakness and 16% with moderate to severe weakness that results in major facial dysfunction and disfigurement (Peitersen 1982, Peitersen 2002, Ikeda 2005).  Bell's palsy is due to inflammation of the facial nerve in the internal auditory canal, but the cause of the inflammation is unknown (Adour 1972, Gacek 2002). The condition results in an isolated unilateral lower motor neurone palsy, with impairment of all facial movements on the affected side, including blinking. Conventional medical treatment includes eye protection, drugs (i.e. corticosteroids, antivirals), surgery and physiotherapy.

References

Rowlands S et al. The epidemiology and treatment of Bell's palsy in the UK. Eur J Neurol2002; 9: 63-7.

Holland NJ, Weiner GM. Recent developments in Bell's palsy. BMJ 2004; 329: 553-7.

Peitersen E. The natural history of Bell's palsy. Am J Otol 1982; 4: 107-11.

Peitersen E. Bell's palsy: the spontaneous course of 2,500 peripheral facial nerve palsies of different etiologies. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl 2002; 549: 4-30.

Ikeda M et al. Clinical factors that influence the prognosis of facial nerve paralysis and the magnitudes of influence. Laryngoscope 2005; 115: 855-60.

Adour KK et al. Prednisone treatment for idiopathic facial paralysis (Bell's palsy). N Eng J Med 1972; 287: 1268-72.

How acupuncture can help you

Clinical trials suggest that acupuncture is at least as effective as corticosteroids and may improve recovery in patients with Bell's palsy, either used alone or in combination with drug treatment (Tong 2009; Li 2004). Note though that most of the trials to date have been of poor quality which allows only tentative conclusions to be reached (Chen 2010). (See Table overleaf)

  Acupuncture may help in the treatment of Bell's palsy by: 

  • reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007, Zijstra 2003);
  • enhancing local microcirculation, by increasing the diameter and blood flow velocity of peripheral arterioles (Komori 2009);
  • nerve and muscular stimulation (Cheng 2009).
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Client Testimonials

I personally will always attribute Julia's treatment to be the predominant factor in my extended period of remission from Crohn's disease. Julia is both a trusted friend and therapist and I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking an alternative therapy.

Haley Creasey

My aches and pains in ankles, knees, hips and lower back disappear and my energy levels are given a very good boost too! It is 45 minutes or so of relaxation in a busy schedule. She keeps up to date with modern acupuncture techniques and has recently returned from a trip to China to experience these new techniques first hand. I cannot recommend Julia highly enough

Christopher Spencer

I consider myself very fortunate to have found Julia's Acupuncture Practice 2 years ago, when I decided to try acupuncture for back problems. After a few treatments the problems were solved. Since I have every confidence in Julia's ability, each treatment is a very relaxing and worthwhile experience.

Jean Osborne

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