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Can acupuncture help with tardive dyskinesia?

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing a great deal more about the individual case. A great many cases of tardive dyskinesia are associated with the long-term use of medications for psychiatric disorders, and there is a very delicate balance between lowering the doseage to the point where the symptoms begin to decrease and risking the re-emergence of some of the problems which the drugs are helping to control. In modern psychiatric medicine there are a number of strategies in use to switch people to newer medications with less side effects, tardive dyskinesia being largely associated with the older anti-psychotics drugs, but this will depend on a detailed analysis of the individual by their mental care team.
 
Quite where acupuncture fits in is difficult to say. There are a number of case studies which one can find on the internet, usually from Japan and China, which show a limited but worthwhile reduction in symptoms, but there have been no major research studies of which we are aware which point to conclusive evidence of successful treatment.
 
Each case is unique and different, however, and in these kinds of presentations this is especially true. Chinese medicine operates from an entirely different 'paradigm', as the entire system and its conceptual basis is called, and the symptoms which the patient describes and the signs with which they present are understood in terms of balances and flows of energy. It is possible that a practitioner working within this system may be able to diagnose something quite specific which acupuncture may be able to affect. It is also possible that treating the system as a whole, as Chinese medicine does, may mitigate some of the more troublesome symptoms.
 
Sight unseen, however, it is very difficult to give a more definite answer. Our recommendation is always that someone would find it ,ost beneficial to arrange a short visit to a BAcC member local to them and discuss  face to face whether acupuncture may be a viable option. We trust that our members will give an honest view and not commit people to treatment unless they honestly believe that they may be able to provide some relief of the symptoms.