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 Traditional Chinese Medicine: Scalp Acupuncture 
 

Prescription
Use the relevant scalp area; if there is motor pathology in a specific area then use the relevant motor area. This rule applies to all pathology, therefore a clear neurological diagnosis of which area(s) is affected is essential.

The contralateral area on the scalp must be used but, in general, better results are obtained if the affected area is stimulated bilaterally.

Treatment
Sometimes strokes respond very quickly, but not always. It may be necessary to give several courses of scalp acupuncture. As with all types of acupuncture keep treating the patient as long as there is improvement, and then give a few more treatments to consolidate. Each course involves about eight treatments and there should be a gap of at least a week between courses. The treatments should be given daily or every other day.

Severe Head Injuries
Follow the same rules of treatment and prescription as for cerebro-vascular accidents. Scalp acupuncture is particularly useful for reducing chronic muscle spasm. Treat after routine medical treatment when the patient's condition is stable.

Intracranial Inflammation
After routine medical treatment is completed, and the patient's condition is stable, treat the areas that are damaged. Follow the same rules for treatment and prescription as for cerebro-vascular accidents.

Extra-Pyramidal Disease
Chorea and paralysis agitans are the main extra-pyramidal diseases. The most important scalp area is the chorea-tremor area. Parkinson's syndrome responds better than Parkinson's disease. Follow the same rules for treatment and prescription as for cerebro-vascular accidents.

Suggestions for Other Diseases

DiseaseArea
Meniere'sBilateral vertigo-auditory area
Respiratory diseasesBilateral thoracic area
Gastric diseasesBilateral gastric area
UrticariaBilateral upper 1/5 of the sensory area
Cardiovascular diseaseBilateral thoracic area
Cerebral oedemaBilateral vasomotor area

IV. Conclusion

Scalp acupuncture is useful for a wide variety of diseases, especially those of cortical origin. It is most useful for strokes and severe head injuries, but it should always be considered for other conditions where other methods of acupuncture are failing to give adequate results. It is particularly useful in reducing chronic muscle spasticity.

(Excerpted from Modern Chinese Acupuncture)
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 About The Author
George Lewith MA, MRCGP, MRCPGeorge Lewith attended Trinity College, Cambridge and Westminster Hospital Medical School. He has worked as a Senior House Officer and Registrar within the Westminster and University College Hospital Teaching Groups in......more
 
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