The Acupuncture Trilogy in Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

April 02, 2015 | by Ingrid Ng

Reviving and preventing further brain cell damage is the ultimate goal in acupuncture treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (and for all brain conditions, as a matter of fact). Any obstruction or lack of blood supply in the brain will cause damage, deterioration and even atrophy in the brain cells. Blood is the carrier of all nutrients, antibodies and even toxins to feed, heal and damage cells in the body. Brain cells are no exception.

The Foundation – Good Blood

What’s the use of a highway when no cars are on it? The same goes with our body tissue, more so in our brain tissue when dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Essentially, the blood that supplies our brain cells needs to be qualitatively and quantitatively good. The former can easily be achieved by feeding ourselves with a nutrient-rich diet. This is more of a life-style change and will be seen as long-term benefits. With today’s advancement in technology and foodstuffs readily available, it is not difficult to adopt such a diet, especially when you live in the first world countries.

Poor absorption, however, is more of a concern. The saying “we are what we eat” holds true only partially. “We are what we absorb” is definitely more accurate. Aging and other concurrent conditions, such as diabetes, depression, cancer, account for the weakening of our digestion. The loss of appetite is the most common problem that prevents our body from appropriately feeding ourselves. Even with regular meals, much of our foods goes undigested and become toxic in our blood and other tissues when our detoxification system functions suboptimally. This negative cycle leaves our body in a state of malnutrition.

When treating Alzheimer’s or dementia, the first line of treatment with acupuncture works to improve the overall health in the body. Contrary to the common belief that treatments only focus on the brain, getting the patient back into shape is more important in stabilizing the condition and slowing down progression. The reality is: we must first slow down the decline of the disease by strengthening all organ functions, before making a turn and climb upstream.

Alzheimer's Brain

The Highway – Good Circulation

Now that we have fine, functional and healthy cars, what if the highway has bottle neck areas, such as an overhanging tree branch, a fallen road sign or snow plowed on the sides, creating obstructions that prevent you from reaching your next exit? Traffic congestion drives everyone crazy. With a stronger overall health, the brain tissues are ready to be fed and healed to maximize the functions of the still alive brain cells and hopefully revive the dead ones. However, if the circulation up to the brain is not clear, no matter how good your blood is, it cannot reach the starving brain cells. Clearing the highway per se is the most crucial step that needs to be achieved before we even speak of alleviating any symptoms or improving brain functionality of Alzheimer’s disease.

Acupuncture works to improve circulation up to the brain. From our experience, one of the major bottle necks is literally in the neck. Our heart pumps blood to the far ends of the extremities, and through the neck to reach the brain. Blood vessels (and lymphatic drainages) in the neck are the only passageway by which blood, nutrients, toxins, bacteria, virus, antibodies, anything as a matter of fact reach the brain.

There is no one size fits all solution. The response team will need to figure out what the obstruction is in order to clear the highway. Fortunately for our human body, it has its own mechanism of clearing obstructions when there is adequate blood flow. Our blood has all that’s needed to nourish, heal and even damage our cells.

The Nitty Gritty – Good Brain Functions

Our head, or the scalp to be more precise, is mapped into areas that correspond to the underlying functional areas of the brain. By stimulating these areas with acupuncture, there are positive effects on the person’s memory, cognitive and motor skills. Depending on the severity, some are able to see a clear difference after receiving the initial sessions, especially in milder cases.

Alzheimer’s or dementia is not simply a condition of memory loss. Caring for these patients has never been easy and since each one manifests differently, there is no definite rule to abide by. As we zoom in to see what’s wrong in the brain, to no one’s surprise, the mapping of the damaged areas on the scalp goes according to the severity of the condition and is different for everyone. Naturally, this characteristic mapping will be the blueprint of the scalp acupuncture treatment.

Remember, there is no cure for the disease. But with all of the above in place, each of the steps is an integral part of the entire treatment plan. Again, let’s not fall into the trap of putting all the attention into the brain, the wellbeing of the rest of the body plays a vital role as well.  Contact us for your holistic acupuncture treatment plan in Toronto.

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