Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine for Alzheimer’s DiseaseAlzheimer’s disease is not only physically debilitating it is a massive emotional strain on the person afflicted as well as their loved ones. This disease slowly transforms the patient into a completely different person that seems as though they have been taken over by another force. In its advanced stage the patient is no longer able to recognize loved ones let alone even remember their own name.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association,

“An estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. This includes an estimated 5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.”

Conventional medicine offers little remedy for this incurable disease other than medications to retard its progression. Some work as cholinesterase inhibitors which curb the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is an essential brain chemical responsible for learning and memory. Others target glutamate another important brain chemical responsible for memory and learning. Either way, these conventional approaches come with a long list of side effects that include dizziness, diarrhea, confusion, constipation, headaches and more.

It has been estimated by the Alzheimer’s Association that this disease by the end of 2013 will cost American society an estimated $203 billion dollars and is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.

Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine can be a viable alternative to conventional treatments. This combined approach includes not only the manipulation of specific meridian (pathway) acupuncture points but remedies revolving around clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, nutraceutical supplementation, detoxification and homeopathy. Depending on the severity and duration of each individual challenged by this horrific disease depends on how successfully they will respond. This goes the same for conventional remedies however without the taxing side effects.

Acupuncture: Needling A New Pathway for Alzheimer’s
Acupuncture often works peripherally on certain presentations having to do with a specific ailment. For instance, if there is pain, acupuncture can target specific points that calm, reduce or eliminate symptomatic pain altogether. For Alzheimer’s, acupuncture can be used to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as this as well as dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s disease by attempting to awaken the spirit aka shen, open up sensory orifices and revitalize the brain.

A study published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS One Journal) titled ‘Effect of Acupuncture in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer Disease: A Functional MRI Study’ reported that acupuncture “…remains promising as an investigational therapy to treat neurological diseases including chronic pain, drug addiction, stroke as well as dementia.” Although further study of acupuncture for these afflictions is always recommended, this study concluded that, “…we investigated the effect of acupuncture in AD [Alzheimer’s Disease] and MCI [mild cognitive impairment] patients by combing fMRI and traditional acupuncture. Our fMRI study confirmed that acupuncture at Tai chong (Liv3) and He gu (LI4) can activate certain cognitive-related regions in AD and MCI patients.

Many different acupuncture points can be targeted by a licensed acupuncturist capable of determining each patient’s individual presentations. These are not only obvious symptoms of the disease but rather peripheral clues as to what points would be most beneficial. These clues can include such presentations as fatigue, color of the tongue and eyes, abnormal pulse points and a wide variety of other physical and psychological signs. Some other points in addition to the above ones mentioned in the study that can be used in quelling symptoms of Alzheimer’s might include (note: they are bilateral):

  • Neiguan – Inner Gate (Pericardium – P6): Located just above the inside wrist this point is capable of strengthening the heart and increasing circulation of Qi (life energy) and blood. It also calms the spirit
  • Reneging / Shuigou – Water Trough (Du Vessel GV26): Located at the point above the top lip is the area with an ability to open sensory orifices along with revitalizing the brain. This point awakens the spirit.
  • Sanyinjiao – Three Yin Intersection (Spleen – Sp6): Just above the inner ankle sits this spot is as its name represents, the meeting point of the three yin channels of the foot. It is a crossroads that is essential in nourishing the kidney. In addition it stimulates the marrow which in turn improves the function of the brain.

Naturopathic Medicine: Targeting Alzheimer’s
Combining acupuncture treatments with a variety of naturopathic medicine remedies offers a full spectrum approach that continues to tap into body and brain healing mechanisms. Under the strict guidance of a naturopathic doctor this approach just may be a more beneficial therapy than conventional medicine can offer. Here are a handful of a variety of avenues that may be administered in addition to acupuncture:

Clinical Nutrition – By adjusting the diet of an Alzheimer’s patient essential nutritive chemical compounds could improve daily life. These include foods high in calcium, manganese, sulphur, iodine, lecithin, choline, and tryptophan such as:

  • Dark green leafy greens such as kale
  • Wheat bran
  • TofuNuts
  • Egg Yolks
  • Goat’s Milk
  • Brewers’s yeast
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable juices

Nutraceutical Supplementation and Botanical Medicine – Adding vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and botanicals to an Alzheimer challenged system is paramount. This protocol may involve: vitamins E, B12, and C; folic acid; beta carotene; gingko biloba; gota kola and Chinese herbs Eleuthero,  Shou Wu Pian, Gui Li Ji, Bu Nao Wan.

Homeopathic Remedies – Using the unique healing capability of homeopathy is a precise treatment that has been highly successful in a myriad of scenarios. These are some remedies that could be beneficial when administered under the supervision of a trained homeopath:

Baryta Carb for childish behavior such as being timid, shy, fearful as well as loss of memory and glandular disorders.

Natrum Sulf for sad, lonely feelings as well as headaches and painful joints.

Nux Vomica for those that are irritable, angry and easily insulted.

Alumina best for sadness, confusion and depression as well as constipation, chilliness and hurried movements.

Dealing with the Alzheimer’s disease is not easy but under the guidance of a capable, compassionate naturopathic doctor the journey just may be less of a challenge. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

2 Responses to “Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine for Alzheimer’s Disease”

  1. ken safian says:

    Hi there.
    My name is Patti. My Dad has Mild Alzheimer’s and also has cardiac issues. He had emergency surgery about a year ago for his Carotoid artery and also had triple bypass about 5 years prior to that. He is concerned about taking certain supplements bc he feels there might be complications for example taking extra fat for his brain, which would not be good for his heart etc. I was hoping you can help help understand and treat him. He has low energy probably due too a combination of blood stasis creating blood and qi deficiency. Anyway, I hope you can help him! I am an acupuncturist too and of course best that I don’t treat him. Thanks for your help. Happy to discuss too. Have a nice day! Patti

  2. Hi Ken,

    Thank you for reaching out to me!

    I will contact you separately now.

    Dr. Fred Lisanti

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