The symptoms of concussion injuries can vary greatly; its treatment therefore requires a multidisciplinary approach, which may include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and of course, acupuncture. Acupuncture has a regulating and modulating effect on a person’s physiology and it is an excellent therapy to be used as part of a concussion recovery program.
After a concussion injury, symptom management is an indispensable part of the recovery. An acupuncturist with specialized training on the subject can evaluate your condition and help to relieve and manage your symptoms in an effective way without interfering with your medication and other therapies.
Acupuncture can help with concussions symptoms such as:
Tinnitus- Ringing in the ears
Nausea and vomiting
Fatigue or drowsiness
Loss of concentration and memory
Irritability and other mood disorders
Sensitivity to light and noise
Depression and anxiety
Disorders of taste and smell
And many more
How acupuncture can help with concussion recovery
Regulate Blood circulation in the brain
After a concussion, the blood circulation to the brain can decrease for a few days, weeks, months and even years after the impact. Research has shown that acupuncture can increase circulation through arteries which carry blood to the brain. Acupuncture can also improve glucose metabolism in the brain. This particular metabolism is often affected by concussions.
Rebalance the sympathetic system
After a concussion, many people experience a dominance in the sympathetic system. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of the autonomic nervous system which prepares the body for action and to cope with a stressful situation. It is “the fight or flight” system. When the sympathetic system is unbalanced, it can lead to symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, irritability, sweating, etc. Acupuncture can help to rebalance the autonomic nervous system and return sympathetic activity to a normal level.
Relief of cervicogenic symptoms
Many of the common symptoms after a concussion are actually caused by neck tensions or imbalances - cervicogenic problems. The neck is the most mobile and vulnerable part of the spine and is easily injured. If an impact was strong enough to cause a concussion, it is very likely that it injured the neck as well. After a concussion, we often see problems in the neck which produce symptoms like neck pain, tension, headache, migraine, dizziness, tinnitus, and even certain visual problems. These symptoms (cervicogenic) are often mistakenly attributed to the concussion directly.
Increase neuroplasticity and neurogenesis
Studies have shown that acupuncture has a direct effect on neuroplasticity (the ability of neurons to modify and remodel) and neurogenesis (creation of new neurons from stem cells). Therefore, acupuncture has an effect on the body’s ability to create new neural connections and even generate new nerve cells. Some acupuncture points may increase the secretion of nerve growth factor (NGF) as well.
Stéphane Pépin, acupuncturist since 2002, is devoted to providing the best possible care to his clients. He constantly seeks to improve and expand his knowledge. The focus of his practice is on the treatment of sports injuries and optimization of athletic performance, and he has developed a special interest in the treatment of concussions.
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