Saturday, March 17, 2012

Is there a possible treatment using alternative medicine?

A man with Kennedy’s Disease wrote recently asking if anyone had any experience with acupuncture. And, if so, was there any benefit? He explained that a friend had found acupuncture helpful in his recovery after hip replacement surgery.

This question has been asked before, but I cannot locate the responses in our KDA Forum. I personally have not tried it, but it is something I have considered a couple of times because of my positive experiences with Qigong. It still amazes me how a one-hour session with an instructor/practitioner remarkably changed my physical capabilities for more than a week. The change was noticed by my wife, friends and co-workers. Unfortunately, I was living in Philadelphia at the time and the practitioner was in Los Angeles making regular sessions impractical.

Acupuncture, as defined by Wikipedia

“An alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles which have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians. However, scientific research has not found any histological or physiological correlates for qi, meridians and acupuncture points.

Current scientific research supports acupuncture's efficacy in the relief of certain types of pain and post-operative nausea. Other reviews have concluded that positive results reported for acupuncture are too small to be of clinical relevance. Other researchers have pointed out the difficulty in designing an adequate scientific control for any placebo effect acupuncture might have due to its invasiveness.

There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles but does carry small but serious risks and adverse effects. Major adverse events are exceedingly rare and are usually associated with poorly trained unlicensed acupuncturists.

The use of acupuncture for certain conditions has been tentatively endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, the World Health Organization, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, though most of these endorsements have been criticized.”

Acupuncture, in my layman’s terms, is the manipulation of energy channels (meridians) within the body. Tiny sterile needles are inserted into the body where these energy channels might be clogged or blocked and need opening. They are also used to minimize or eliminate pain.

Acupuncture has become a more accepted alternative procedure in recent years. Many health insurance providers now include acupuncture as a partially reimbursed service for certain health issues.


Acupressure is a less invasive treatment that tries to accomplish the same thing as acupuncture, but it uses focused massage and pressure points along these same meridian channels instead of needles. I have not heard as much about it in recent years.

The Issue

In my opinion, the problem is that Kennedy’s Disease (SBMA) is a health issue that is genetic. Our DNA has been changed (mutated). That means that finding a cure is extremely difficult. It doesn’t mean that a treatment(s) cannot be found in modern or alternative medicines.

The Question

I am interested if any of you have any experience, both positive and negative, with acupuncture or acupressure. Also, was your experience related to Kennedy’s Disease or some of health issue? I look forward to hearing from you.

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