Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy, or "qi," through the body's meridian system. According to traditional Chinese medicine, disruptions in the flow of qi can lead to imbalances in the body and contribute to a variety of health problems.
Acupuncture has been also gaining recognition as a form of complementary therapy in Western medicine. There is a growing body of research supporting the use of acupuncture to help alleviate headaches, inflammation, insomnia and other concussion-related symptoms.
One way that acupuncture can help alleviate concussion symptoms is by reducing inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is a natural response to an injury, but when it occurs in the brain, it can contribute to nerve damage and concussion symptoms. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation by increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that help to regulate the immune response.
Another way that acupuncture can help is by increasing blood flow to the brain. After a brain injury, blood flow to the affected area can be disrupted, which can lead to a variety of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain by dilating blood vessels and improving circulation.
Acupuncture can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, which are common symptoms of concussion. When the body experiences stress or anxiety, it produces hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can contribute to inflammation and damage in the brain. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by stimulating the production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood regulators.
In addition to these benefits, acupuncture can also help improve sleep quality. Poor sleep can contribute to a variety of health problems, including fatigue, headaches, and cognitive impairment. Acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep quality by regulating the production of hormones such as melatonin, which are important for regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
By reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality, and reducing pain acupuncture could certainly help reduce your concussion symptoms.
If you're suffering from PCS and are interested in trying acupuncture, be sure to seek out a licensed and trained practitioner who can provide safe and effective treatment.