New research concludes, “that patients diagnosed with schizophrenia would benefit from acupuncture treatment alongside conventional treatment.” Acupuncture was effective in alleviating schizophrenia and the side effects of psychiatric medication. Acupuncture also improved energy levels, sleep, physical disorders, and motivation.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Patients were treated with acupuncture at a rate of twice per week for ten weeks. Acupuncture caused a decrease in the, “side effects of antipsychotic medication; decreased auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations; decreased anxiety and paranoia; improved sleep patterns… increased motivation including increased sex drive and ambition to further themselves in education and work; improved socialization and concentration… reduced addictive behavior in relation to alcohol and cigarettes; improved diet and weight loss; and improved exercise regimes.”
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by the inability to distinguish reality from unreal experiences, illogic, disconnected emotional responses, and unusual behavior. Schizophrenia may be genetic and may also be triggered by events and physical circumstances. Initial onset may be very mild and may be characterized by irritability, insomnia, lack of concentration, emotional disturbances, delusions (non-reality based beliefs), hallucinations, and disjointed logic. Schizophrenia affects less than 1 percent of the population and is often treated with pharmaceutical medications.
Chinese Medicine Diagnosis
Individualized differential diagnoses were obtained for each patient. Some of the diagnoses included the following:
-Phlegm heat harassing the mind.
-Phlegm fire harassing the Heart.
-Phlegm heat/fire harassing the mind with blood deficiency of Heart and Liver.
-Liver fire flaming upward with ascendant hyperactivity of Liver yang, Kidney Yin deficiency, and phlegm fire harassing the mind.
-Kidney and Spleen deficiency with dampness, Liver Qi depression and Qi Stagnation.
-Blood deficiency, Qi stagnation, and non-interaction between the Heart and Kidney.
Ronan P, Robinson N, Harbinson D, Macinnes D. A case study exploration of the value of acupuncture as an adjunct treatment for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia: results and future study design.. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 May;9(5):503-14. Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent, UK.