The extra pyramidal system (seen above) is a specific part of the brain that helps to control involuntary movements. Chiropractic, acupuncture and other physical treatment may help to re-program this system and help patients with movement disorders. The neurobiology of muscle control is very complex. Several neurotransmitters interact to control the normal fluid contraction of muscles. Among these are dopamine, GABA and serotonin. These neurotransmitters can be influenced by nutritional supplements.(1,2,7,8) So there is great potential to help patients with movement disorders through clinical nutrition and herbal remedies. There are a growing number of reports in the medical literature suggesting that specific chiropractic procedures may suppress abnormal movements in select patients. In our own practice, we have helped patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, Blephrospasm, tics and cervical dystonia. One of our cervical dystonia cases has been published in a journal indexed in the National Library of Medicine. (4*) Most people think chiropractors work on bones, but the work we do, actually has profound effects on the nervous system. (13,14) Spinal manipulation can influence central motor conduction through the brain and spinal cord. (13,14) It is these reflex nervous system effects that may explain why some patients with movement disorders report improvement after chiropractic treatment. There are some interesting reports of movement disorders developing in patients who have had injuries to their neck and or spine. (3) These patient may be the best candidates for chiropractic treatment of their movement disorders.
Left The illustration to the left demonstrates needle placement for scalp acupuncture. Needles are placed over that portion of the brain that controls the body part being treated. It is believed that scalp acupuncture increases blood flow to that part of the brain under the scalp. Right: Stimulation of the scalp just in front of midline, is believed to help patients with uncontrollable involuntary movements. This is knows as the chorea zone and tremor zone. Also known as the extra pyramidal part of the brain which suppresses involuntary movement. Electro-acupuncture applied to the scalp, may be beneficial for patients with movement disorders. (12)
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