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Concussions, TBI, and Acupuncture

Several studies have been done the effects of Acupuncture on the symptoms following a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). While a few common points are utilized on the head and the occipital region (base of the skull), the majority of points that were use din the studies and proven to be successful were on the hands and feet. According to some Eastern Medical theories, a practitioner will needle points distally to any injury in order to not aggravate or cause further inflammation in that area. Needling distally in very specific related points will move the inflammation out instead of causing more to stagnate. This is similar to massage as well. Two people can have back pain in the same area and receive 2 very different massages. One might call for trigger point work in that exact area. Another treatment plan will focus on the antagonist muscle or a muscle that is causing referral pain the area of discomfort. Research has shown a statistical significance with reduction of emergency visits, recovery time, lower stroke risk. Studies also found improvement in symptoms such as insomnia, depression, headaches, muscular pain, dizziness, and nausea. The DOD and VA have been using acupuncture as way to treat veterans for years, and in 2018 have added acupuncturists to staff in VA medical centers. Along with the citations below, this link to the Concussion Alliance provides and easy read on their support treating TBI with Acupuncture.

* Acupuncture. Concussion Alliance. (2021). Retrieved November 3, 2021, from

* Ching-Chih Chen, Yu-Chiang Hung and Wen-Long Hu (December 20th 2017). Complementary Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury - Pathobiology, Advanced Diagnostics and Acute Management, Nikolai V. Gorbunov and Joseph B. Long, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.72157. Available from:

* Wolf, J., Sparks, L., Deng, Y., & Langland, J. (2015). Restoration of Function With Acupuncture Following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Case Report. Global advances in health and medicine, 4(6), 52–57.

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