Primary Orthostatic Tremor

Q. My wife suffers from Primary Orthostatic Tremor. This is a condition where signals from the brain do not reach the legs correctly, and causes instability when standing still. It does not affect walking. Has any member had experience of treating this condition.


A. With over two and a half million treatments being administered by BAcC members every year it is highly likely that someone has been treated for orthostatic tremor or one of a number of similar conditions. Unfortunately, we do not keep a central record system which details all of the problems which members treat, and rely on our own internal networks for information gathering.


A common response, however, when a member posts on an internal forum 'has anyone treated x?' is for other members to say, 'don't tell me about the western name for the condition, tell me about the signs and symptoms from a tradtional acupuncture perspective and describe how the problem manifests.' The whole basis or paradigm of chinese medicine is different, with an entirely different understanding of physiology and pathology. There are sometimes occasions where a description of a condition will make sense and offer a prospect of treatment in traditional chinese medicine where in the west it is regarded as permanent and beyond help.

However, this is the sort of statement that has to be made with extreme care, because these occasions are more rare than not, especially where complex chronic conditions which defy western treament are concerned. It is true that Chinese doctors have been treating the same problems for two thousand years under a different name, but equally true that they had their fair share of cases which did not improve.


The best course of action is to visit a BAcC member local to you to see what they make of the specific symptoms which present here and whether they have experience of similar presentations and can offer you a view of whether this specific case may be helped. If you do decide to go ahead, it would be essential to set very clear outcomes and review periods from the outset. Conditions such as this usually fluctuate a little, and there is often a will from all sides to see any small improvements as a sign the treatment is working when it is no more than a normal pattern of variation.

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