Modern research demonstrates that acupuncture reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures. Researchers from both Beijing and Austria conducted a meta-analysis of existing studies and suggest that the biomedical mechanism by which auricular acupuncture suppresses epileptic seizures is through the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by unregulated electrical activity in the brain. This often leads to seizures. The use of acupuncture points on the outer ear has been shown to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures. The authors note that epileptic seizures result from an imbalance of sympathetic and parasympathetic signals within the autonomic nervous system.
The authors cite significant research showing the effects of auricular acupuncture on the parasympathetic nervous system. The researchers also presented data showing that epileptic seizure frequency decreases as parasympathetic tone increases. Due to auricular acupuncture’s ability to increase parasympathetic tone, the researchers suggest that this is an important biomedical mechanism by which acupuncture achieves clinical results in the suppression of epileptic seizures.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 615476, 5 pages doi:10.1155/2012/615476