Concussions and the Use of Acupuncture to Heal

Have you ever thought about how we smile or cry, plan or move our bodies? Researchers have been plagued with these very questions for centuries, how does the brain allow us to do what we do?  The brain remains a complex enigma with ongoing research slowly but surely dissecting the complex mechanisms of its inner functioning.

We know how important our heart, liver, lungs and kidneys are, as a result our society emphasizes the requirements these organs need to remain healthy as well as how we can help to heal them.  But when it comes to our brains there is very little common knowledge of what keeps it healthy and how to allow it to recover when injured.

Concussions are a common occurrence in children and adults, an estimated 1.6-3.8 million concussions in North America occur yearly.  I feel it is a common health concern that we need to know more about, and more importantly learn what we can do to allow it to heal optimally.  As well understanding  the role Traditional Chinese Medicine can play in the healing of the brain.

What is a concussion?

The brain is a mass of tissue measuring approximately 3 pounds.  It basically floats within our skulls surrounded by cervical fluid (spinal fluid).  When the body or the head suffers an impact, the brain is jostled and may impact the skull directly.  This impact results in a brain injury, this impairs the normal functioning of neurons (brain cells) and their pathways (the brain cells mechanisms of communicating and transmitting information), debilitating their ability to communicate with each other.

What are the common symptoms?

Symptoms can vary greatly based on the severity of the concussion as well as the area of impact for the brain.  Some common complaints post-concussion can include: Temporary loss of consciousness, dizziness, headaches, vomiting or nausea, confusion, amnesia, insomnia, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

How do you heal from a concussion?

The advice from your family doctor is the same as healing any other injury.  Rest!  How do you give the brain rest? Little to no physical activity, no computer or TV, no activities that require focus or concentration and staying in a dark or dimly lit room is ideal.  This is advisable until the symptoms subside.  This can take 3-6 weeks depending on the severity of the concussion. Keep in mind that children take longer to heal than adults as well.  Also, always seek the advice of your medical doctor upon suffering from a concussion.

How can Acupuncture help?

Acupuncture corrects the energetic pathway that flows through the entire body.  When the brain suffers from an impact the communication pathways of the brain are jostled or misaligned temporarily, this may be due to inflammation.  Acupuncture helps to improve normal blood flow into the inflamed areas of the brain, allowing a speedier recovery.  Acupuncture can effectively reduce insomnia, fatigue and headaches while improving concentration and memory.  Each concussion is treated uniquely and a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis based on the patient’s individual signs and symptoms will be given to ensure the best chance of recovery.  Concussions are a serious injury that requires proper care to ensure there are no long standing health concerns resulting from it.  It is essential to understand the importance of rest for the recovery of the brain and if you are looking for treatment to ensure proper healing, Acupuncture is safe and effective.

Source: Inside Toronto: Tao of Wellness