Those who suffer from spinal injury-related paraplegia struggle everyday to perform many everyday self-care functions. Those of us who have full control of our limbs take for granted the ease and automatic nature of doing what we consider “routine” things. A recent study showed that acupuncture is effective at helping paraplegics improve at a number of tasks and functions, including feeding, bathing, grooming, dressing, bowel and bladder control, transfers and mobility.
Researchers at Dangyang City Chinese Medicine Hospital conducted a study on 85 patients who suffered various spinal injuries that resulted in either full or partial loss of control of their limbs. The participants were split into two groups, a control group who received usual care and another group who received usual care plus acupuncture and herbal medicine.
The great news is that both sets of patients experienced significant improvements in daily living, limb mobility and neurotrophic factors. In each case, however, the acupuncture and herbal medicine group experienced an even more significantly greater improvement. The outcome of the study showed that thirty eight percent of the acupuncture group fell under the classification of either cured, highly effective or effective after the treatment, while the control group experiences a 30% combined rate.
That acupuncture helps paraplegia patients take steps towards more control of their limbs and improved quality of life is, in some ways, not a surprise. That’s because of acupuncture’s ability to regulate the qi in the body. As HealthCMI writes: “According to TCM principles, paraplegia involves qi stagnation and blood stasis preventing proper circulation to the limbs, leading to atrophy. This may be coupled with kidney yang deficiency or depletion of yin and yang. The primary treatment principles are to warm the channels and promote circulation.”
Opening up our pathways and eliminating qi stagnation can do wonders for all sorts of ailments and associated pain. It’s great to think that those among us who suffer from life-altering injuries may be able to regain some quality of life through safe, natural and effective treatments like acupuncture.