Category Archives: Acupuncture And Autism

Scalp Acupuncture And Autism

It has been proven that scalp massage effects the dispersement of endorphins in the brain.  Women and men alike receive pleasurable stimulations when the scalp is rubbed rotationally from the temples to the base of the neck.  People who sit in a salon or barber chair for a shampoo and cut are immediately relaxed.

While this is a very effective means at calming some children with autism, it doesn’t work for all of them.  Taking it a step farther, some parents actually use scalp acupuncture for the treatment of autism.  It’s much more common in the Asian communities where acupuncture is thought to cure just about anything.

Yet, in this instance, acupuncture for parts of the scalp over areas of the brain of an autistic child have clearly shown some brain activity and muscular control not seen before.  More test studies need to be conducted because the only study performed should never be considered the final word on this form of treatment.   It’s worth the skepticism it receives because the children in the test study showed improvement both before  and after the test, which makes no sense at all.  It was also combined with a speech and language course that was a little more intensive.  Correlation is not causation and causation definitely does not equal a correlation.

Other children involved in this type of study globally are showing a potential increase in many areas thought to be “abandoned” but the autistic child.  Without the proper study parameters in place, it’s not known if the scalp acupuncture is truly effective or if the environment is causing the children to have spikes in muscle movement and vocal stimulation.  These children always appear as though they want to talk, but we’ve never been sure it was possible for those who are nonverbal.

Children are responding and have responded to this treatment, so parents who are interested in trying something different may be encouraged to try scalp acupuncture for their children.

At any rate, it certainly beats the more strange and unusual forms of treatment for children with autism.  It wasn’t too long ago that some doctors thought a good healthy dose of electricity would overhaul the children’s brains and “reboot” them such that they would be “normal” children again.  Now it’s understood that electroshock therapy for anyone just doesn’t work the way they thought it did, and for most patients it doesn’t work at all or makes things worse.

Tongue acupuncture is another treatment endorsed by the acupuncturists for the treatment of communication problems in children with autism.  Along with these two types of acupuncture, laser acupuncture has now been added as well.  Autistic children who are extremely sensitive to hot and cold should probably avoid this treatment because of the laser’s involvement.

Tongue Acupuncture And Autism

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Tongue Acupuncture And Autism

Parents who have children with autism will go to strange lengths sometimes to help their children out of behavioral problems.  Acupuncture is definitely one  of them, because most autistic kids aren’t just going to sit still and allow a stranger to insert needles into their body.  Given that it is illegal to hold someone down for treatment of any kind, it’s quite a trick if parents and an acupuncturist can even make this kind of treatment work.

Professor Virginia Wong, from Hong Kong, has theorized that the practice of acupuncture on the tongue of an autistic child stimulates neural pathways in the brain that are currently not in use because of the disorder.  The Chinese have already taken to using it because they believe that their 5,000 year old medicines and techniques can’t be wrong.  Asian children with autism are growing in  number, and Asian culture views it as a physical ailment blocked by something in either the Qi or the yin/yang.

It doesn’t exactly give any sort of boost to modern medicine, but it isn’t being ignored entirely either.  The practice of tongue acupuncture is now running through Russia and Europe, and is most likely on its way to the U.S.  Since the FDA long ago approved acupuncture for real and valid treatments of neurological issues, it’s safe to assume that they probably won’t have a problem with this either.

The practice of acupuncture is deeply rooted in the Chinese spiritual beliefs and beliefs about the body itself.  The idea is to treat the problem part with an equal animal organ or intervene by blocking bad energy and helping the good energy replace it.  To improve communication, argues Professor Wong and the Chinese population as a whole, speech and communication problems associated with autism should be blocked at the source and stimulated to encourage good energy to correct the problem.

For a lot  of Caucasian Americans, this seems too good to be true or too “new age-y” for them to consider.  A lot of Canadians certainly aren’t opposed to trying it, and their government has already approved of tougue acupuncture for autism.  Whether or not it’s actually effective still remains to be seen because no study groups have come together to go through this type of therapy with their children and have the results documented.  For the time being, it’s more than supposition that it has any effect at all.

Other forms of acupuncture for the treatment of autism are also in use in Asian countries.  Following the same concepts behind the use of tongue acupuncture, and often used simultaneously, scalp acupuncture and laser acupuncture attempt to jostle the brain through neurological pathways.  Without understanding any of the real causes behind autism, trying to treat it through neural blocking and stimulation doesn’t seem like it would do much at all.  It is effective for treating chronic pain, but treating a disorder that no one knows for certain is neurological in origin just seems like parents are turning their children into human guinea pigs while trying to find something that works.

More on autism therapies,
1). Nutritional Therapies For Autism
2). Stem Cell Therapy For Autism
3). Craniosacral Therapy
4). FAQ on Hippotherapy

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