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Would acupuncture help with acute akathisia?

We'd have to be honest and say that without knowing a great deal more about you're case history we wouldn't want to hazard a view of whether acupuncture might help you.

Akathisia generally manifests as a side effect of serious medications or can be a side effect of Parkinson's disease, and while we have heard the occasional anecdotal tale about someone's symptom's being slightly reduced we have not heard of significant changes in someone's experience. Of course, we may be doing you a serious injustice to assume that either of these is the cause of your problem, and we are aware that akathisia is occasionally used to describe restless leg syndrome, or Willis Ekbom syndrome as it is increasingly being known. When asked about this earlier in the year we replied:

Q: I am enquiring if acupuncture could help allieviate my restless leg syndrome (Ekbom Syndrome)symptoms which are now affecting my ability to rest in the evening and to sleep.

A: Restless leg syndrome is awful, as this 'expert' knows from personal experience back in the 80s when nothing, but nothing, would make the problem relent. It is now gaining recognition as a diagnosable problem, with a new name(!), and there are a number of treatment options which are being explored. A review article

cites several of these, and the one acupuncture review this in turn cites

mentions two to three studies which are interesting but generally concludes that the majority of studies are too small and not methodologically sound enough to draw firm conclusions.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, however, there are entirely different ways of looking at the balance of energies within the body which can sometimes make sense of problems such as these within a theoretical structure which is quite different from western medicine. Problems like restless legs syndrome, where the leg feels as though it is 'over-energised', can sometimes make sense in a system of thought which looks at the free flow of energy within the system, and tries to understand the pathologies which arise in terms of excesses and deficiencies, and especially blockages. A skilled practitioner should very quickly be able to make sense of the energy flows within the system, and be able to offer you some sense of whether there is something which is treatable.

so as you can see, although there may be more chance of making sense of this within a Chinese medicine perspective, the evidence is still not that great.

The best advice is to consult a BAcC member local to you to seek their view based on a brief face to face consultation of whether treatment may be of benefit. You can tell them in confidence how the problem has developed, and we are sure that they will be able to give you an honest view of whether acupuncture would help.

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