Cerebral palsy in children – methods and results of acupuncture treatment

Petr Fiala
Dept. of acupuncture, Institute for postgraduate training, Prague, CZ.

A group of 73 children with cerebral palsy (8 girls, 15 boys) was treated in years 1995-96. Age: 1-14 years, majority of them in age about 6-7 years. Basic clinical diagnosis was “cerebral palsy” in various forms, types and motoric injury (mostly quadriparesis, diparesis, hypotonics).

If acupuncture treatment, common methods are usually practised – needeling, laser therapy, micro-currents, auriculotherapy (Milani’s triangle) etc. In our case none of these methods could be used. We therefore practised acupressure to help to build up new connections in CNS via stimulating the peripheral nerve endings in AP points, taking advantage of the enorm plasticity of brain.

We could make use of everyday engagement of rehabilitation staff who was instructed which points or meridians and in which way should they be stimulated. Our endeavour was to improve the trofic of muscles, to relax the spasms, to enhance the tonus in hypotonics, to help the verticalisation of the figure.

The acupressure was carried out every day before the rehabilitation. We used local points, special points and the points of common effect. Every point was stimulated 30-60 sec. in a mild way. The same time was given to the meridian massage. The “mei-chua” technique was used in metacarpal and -tarsal region (esp. ba-feng, ba-shie), some times we replaced it by brushing.

The main points: The basic points of common use – GV-?0, 16 and 14 were stimulated every time to introduct our further application (also calming, psychic effect). To improve the verticalisation we used the SI-3 and BL-62 points (Tai-yang, GV channel) and/or GB-21 and TW-15 if also kneeling or sitting were missing. The most important problem was to stand up and walk – e.g. legs. To relax spasms we generally stimulated LR-3 (LR-2) or KI-I. To relax the adductors we used GB-30 and SP-10 points, sometimes the massage in the area of adductors (SP meridian). The GB-34 as a special point for muscles and tendons was often stimulated. In this area (shin) the massage of BL meridian (from BL-60 up as far as to BIr4O) and the GB vessel (up to GB-34) was very effective. To improve the right position of feet (non-spastic) we brushed or tapped by “mei-chua the metatarsal region (ba-feng).

Results: In the time of this introductory study 3 older patients (quadriparesis) began to walk (7,11,14 years) with the help of the assistance or alone. Further 3 patients are near to it. The progress of other children (kneeling, sitting, tonus, out of spasms) in this group of children is significant. Acupressure seems to be a good complementary method how to help these children.