One of the most traumatic events the body can experience is a spinal cord injury. The aftermath of this debilitating injury is almost always severe and in the most extreme of cases can result in death or permanent paralysis. When the nerve roots or fiber tracts of the spine are damaged, signals to and from the brain fail to occur, or have difficulty happening, thus causing the impedance of certain motor functions. Acupuncture and massage therapy have proven to be highly effective in helping aid patients with spinal cord injuries.
The road to recovery after a spinal cord injury can be a long and enduring. But there are many options available to help treat this condition. Aside from Western medical practices, the combination of Oriental medicine and physical therapy has proven to be effective as well.
In a clinical study carried out in 2003, a team of doctors directed by Alice M.K. Wong, M.D., began spinal cord therapy through acupuncture on a group of patients recovering from their injuries. The doctors found that after beginning treatment at various acupoints including the bilateral Hou Hsi (SI3), Shen Mo (B62), the antihelix, helix, and the lower portion of the ear-back areas, patients were showing significant improvements. Neurological behaviors including sensory and motor skills improved greatly in the patients who were put through a regiment consisting of Oriental medicine (including acupuncture and massage), and physical therapy. The team of doctors and researchers concluded that the use of these therapies, when implemented early in acute spinal cord injury, contribute to significant neurological and functional recoveries.
In addition to several studies that prove Oriental medicine can help spinal cord injury patients, one of the most critical and important pieces of evidence is the therapies'' ability to increase a patient''s ASIA impairment scale ratings.
The ASIA impairment scale is the American Spinal Injury Association''s standard of assessing the neurological status of a person who has sustained a spinal cord injury. When this rating increased in patients who had undergone acupuncture treatments, the scientific evidence revealed that Oriental therapies such as acupuncture and massage indeed did improve the body? neurological response times, and helped patients with spinal cord injuries on the long road to recovery.
For more information on acupuncture, please contact Pacific College of Oriental Medicine at (800) 729-0941, or visit www.PacificCollege.edu
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