Can acupuncture help anger management

Q:  My 15 year old son has anger management problems and gets angry very easily. Recently he hurt a smaller boy at school and in the past has caused damage. Even his school admits there is time when they have to leave him alone. Youth Mental Health was a waste of time and I am trying to get our GP get bloods tests etc..can acupunture help him?

A:  There is no doubt that Chinese medicine as practised in the UK has developed something of a reputation for dealing with emotional issues. Over the last decade the use of acupuncture for problems like anxiety and depression has been researched with encouraging results. We often talk about 'inappropriate' emotions, ones which get stuck and trap the patient in a state which does not change with the circumstances of their life.
 
Theoretically the same should apply to anger. Chinese wisdom is that we house each of the emotions equally, and respond appropriately to all the vicissitudes of life. If our overall balance is out of kilter, then we exhibit inappropriate reactions which are diagnostically significant. To be angry a great deal of the time could well be traced back to specific patterns of energy, and there is a chance that correcting these patterns, in which stagnation and blockage invariably play a part, might reduce the occurrence of a problem.
 
There is, of course, no evidence for this in trials - these will be some long way back in the queue behind the more measurable health issues like headaches and backaches. Empirically, though, we know that acupuncture can help to reduce emotional problems, and there is a chance that your son might be helped by treatment.
 
However, we have to say that without a more thorough clinical assessment of what is happening to him we could not give an unreserved recommendation. If the anger is a manifestation of a much more complex psychological background you may find that many practitioners feel out of their depth in patient management, and may be reluctant to take your son on as a patient. Your best bet is to see a BAcC member local to you for a face to face assessment of what might be possible. Most members network and know which of their colleagues are better able to handle cases where some additional experience and background may be necessary, so it is likely that you will be directed to the best place for your son. 
 
As a final aside, we should point out that we have come across a number of cases such as your son's where cranial osteopathy has been used to great effect. If his birth was at all difficult there is a chance that there has been some movement in the structure of the skull, and we have heard of cases where treatment even as late as twenty years after birth can smooth the energies and have profound effects on the patient. Many women have their newborns treated by a cranial osteopath within days of the birth specifically to correct any minor traumas or mis-shaping which the birth process can cause. 

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