Atlantic Acupuncture & Oriental Medical Center | Article

Treating Parkinson’S Disease with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is an ancient healing art, rich in history and tradition. This system of medicine is unique because it maintains a wholistic view of the individual, recognizing the entire being as a microcosm unto itself. This allows for treatment to be tailored to the individual in a way which addresses both symptoms and there root causes. As a healing art based upon thousands of years of clinical and natural observation, the language of Oriental medicine may sound strange or simplistic, yet this is a highly refined and scientific system of medicine which can dramatically affect the individual.

By referring to ancient Chinese medical texts, one can see that the ancient practitioners were quite familiar with treating Parkinson’s-like conditions. Oriental medicine views many of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease as being caused by wind entering the acupuncture meridians, particularly those associated with the liver. The classic Oriental medical text “Principals Of Medicine” (1565) states that “Wind tremors are caused by wind entering the liver and the Qi [energy] of the channels [meridians] rebelling upwards, causing tremors of the limbs”.1 Other texts shed further light on the ancient Chinese view of Parkinson’s-like conditions. The “Original Theory Of Medicine (Ming Dynasty) states: “Tremors may be caused by deficient Qi unable to attract fluids and blood towards the sinews and channels to nourish them”.2 In most cases, the symptoms of Parkinson’s arise from a combination of factors which lead to wind entering the channels (an excess condition) and a lack of Qi and blood (a deficient condition). A well-trained practitioner of Oriental medicine will be able to distinguish the relative degree of excess and/or deficiency in any individual.

Modern-day practitioners of Oriental medicine will often employ a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and other supportive therapies to treat Parkinson’s disease. In this manner, the progression of the disease can be controlled and halted at best, but cannot be completely cured at this time. Case studies have shown that many of the symptoms related to Parkinson’s can be greatly diminished. Generally speaking, it is safe to use acupuncture and Oriental medicine (A&OM) in conjunction with modern Western treatment. The use of A&OM in the treatment of Parkinson’s is most effective when applied early in the progression of the disease–the earlier, the better.

1.Giovanni Maciocia 1994 The Practice Of Chinese Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, NY, NY. p. 657.
2.Ibid., p. 657.