Woman undergoing acupuncture - needles placed in a line on her back Herbal and traditional medicines have become increasingly popular as they are used by individuals across the world to treat a variety of ailments. From dietary pills to herbal supplements it is clear that unconventional methods to improve health and overall wellbeing are ?being sought.

And it is often the case that such herbal remedies prove to actually relieve varying medical symptoms.

In the UK t is thought that just 70% of individuals who have Epilepsy see positive improvement with their prescribed Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AEDs). Therefore many seek Complementary or Alternative Medicine (CAM) in a bid to control their seizures and other related symptoms. As a result we have decided to take a look at the rise in discussion regarding acupuncture and Epilepsy below:

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional and alternative medicines have continued to rise in popularity over the past few years. Why? It seems that many individuals are adopting an increasing scepticism and mistrust of western medications which often come with undesirable side effects. Others simply seek alternative practices when medication is ineffective or simply desire more natural means of treatment. But whatever the reason traditional Chinese medicines, which have been in practice for thousands of years, continue to show positive effects that can really work.

Traditional Chinese acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles which date back nearly two thousand years. Practitioners focus on each unique individual, rather than illness, as they aim to restore the body?s natural equilibrium.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine and is often seen as a form of complementary or alternative medicine used to treat pain conditions such as headaches, lower back pain, and osteoarthritis but may also help people with conditions ranging from infertility to anxiety and asthma.

The process involves inserting very fine needles or pins into specific points on a person?s body in order to stimulate energy pathways and natural healing processes. The needles are usually left in place between 30 ? 40 minutes.

Practitioners who adhere to traditional beliefs understand that when Qi energy (pronounced ?chee?) doesn?t flow freely through the body, in channels called Meridians, illnesses arise. It is the purpose of acupuncture to restore this imbalance and thus the individual?s health.

It is also thought that those who have Epilepsy have an obstructed flow of Qi unlike individuals who do not have the condition where the flow is expected to be balanced.

Acupuncture & Epilepsy

As briefly mentioned above, for many individuals with Epilepsy anti-epileptic drugs don?t work as well as they had hoped, with only 70% of people in the UK experiencing positive outcomes. It is therefore often the case that those with uncontrolled seizures seek alternative options.

There is little in the way of research into the link between epilepsy and acupuncture. However, those who have conducted studies have found that the results are on the whole positive. Whilst there is no evidence that acupuncture can directly improve an individual?s epilepsy, the procedure is effective in reducing stress and anxiety which may then result in a reduction in seizures for some.

Bob Clarke, an acupuncturist based at the Open Gate Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Clinic in Eugene, Oregon has found that the extent to which Epilepsy is treated depends upon the type and severity of the individuals condition. He also states that he has found TCM and acupuncture for Epilepsy to reduce the regularity and severity of seizures, although you may require several sessions for the effects of treatment to be seen.

?Acupuncture can be quite useful for Epilepsy, depending upon the type and extent of a person?s Epilepsy. Acupuncture targets the cause of an illness although it may take some time for the effects to be felt. People who expect a quick fix will be disappointed. Those who stick with the treatment, though, have a better chance for success?.

One German study involved 98 people with Epilepsy, ranging in age, from as young as 2 up to 52 years old. All anti-epileptic drugs were discontinued during the first weeks with acupuncture being administered for between one to eighteen months. Sixty-five of the study group showed marked improvements with an absence or reduction in seizures during a one-year period without the continuation of drugs.

For many though acupuncture helps improve Epilepsy indirectly because their use generally makes you feel better. Ruth Livingston of the British Medical Acupuncture Society agrees, ?in my own opinion acupuncture can help relieve some of the problems which exacerbate Epilepsy ? stress, poor sleep etc?.

You, Your Doctor and Acupuncture

There is no evidence that acupuncture couldn?t help with effects of your epilepsy. However, the British Acupuncture Council advise against the use of electro-acupuncture as a precautionary method.

It is important to consult your Doctor if you are considering Acupuncture or any other form of alternative therapy, and vital that you do not change or stop your prescribed medication.

More Help and Information

Whether you?re interested in Acupuncture or not, you may also be in need of assistive technology to ensure peace of mind for yourself or the person you care for. Why not take a look at our Epi-iT range of alarms and monitors which have been designed specifically to detect signs of oncoming seizures. For more information and advice, please give our team a call on 0845 217 9552 ?or 01530 231215