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Can acupunture help spasmophilia?

Q:  My wife  suffers from spasmophilia syndrome. Its all related to her mind status. Here you call it panic attack, but in France is well know. Its also a magnesium deficiency ,so physically sometimes she suffes from big tiredness. Especially when she has to face the long commuting. Sometimes she cant walk or the face muscle become hard then she cant talk or her eyes blur in a way that she cant see for fews minutws. My question is the following, is there any help for this?  I do not expect  a cure because the spasmophilia is pretty much impossible to cure. So I was wondering in which way  acupunture can help.

A: As you say, spasmophilia is sometimes referred to as panic attacks, although we have to say that the typical symptoms are a little more extreme than the usual panic attack patient we see.



As you can see from our fact sheets on anxiety.  Please click here





there is a small amount of evidence which suggests that acupuncture may have a role to play in treating severe anxiety, but we were unable to find any papers which dealt with the treatment of panic disorders directly, possibly because of the difficulty of pinning down a definition precise enough for research.



The strength of Chinese medicine is that working with an entirely different theoretical base makes possible a diagnosis unique to the individual patient.This is able to make sense of the symptoms which they experience through an understanding of the flow of energy in the body, called 'qi', and its flow and balance, and through a functional understanding of the organs which takes a much wider view of these functions than the west, involving body, mind and spirit. This can sometimes offer explanations for what is going on which fit well with the experience which the person has, and can also offer treatment possibilities based on this. The French acupuncturist Yves Requema, for example, makes specific reference to spasmophilia in his work, and suggests a number of treatment possibilities.



As you say, a total remission from symptoms might be a little much to expect, and this always means that you have to take care when committing to courses of treatment. In the UK we tend to set a review point at four or five sessions and try to establish some clearly measurable outcomes to assess whether the treatment is having an effect. Otherwise people can find themselves ten sessions or more in for what amount to a substantial amount of cash without any real change.



About 300 or more members of the BAcC also practise Chinese herbal medicine and belong to the RCHM, and it is possible that this may also offer a route to some lessening of the symptoms. The advantage is that small daily treatments can often produce a much better incremental effect when faced with a chronic conditions like this. Finding someone who can provide both modalities might be a very worthwhile option.



We believe that most conditions are capable of improvement, but the key question is how much improvement and how sustainable it is. If the effects are short-lived and cannot be maintained, then it is probably not worth pursuing treatment with any form of therapy, even though it might produce short periods of calm.



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