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Treating TS With Acupuncture

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  • Treating TS With Acupuncture

    I have a 15 year old son who also gets those neck tics really bad, he has to hold his chin to try and concentrate in school. He has had tourettes since the age of 7. I was about to put him on meds but a friend of mine begged me to try acupuncture first.
    I have gone to acupuncture with him and after 3 treatments once a week he is now tic free.
    I have yet to hear of anyone else who has tried acupuncture for tourettes but it has worked for him. It has given him his life back no more head aches or neck pain. Sometimes after treatment a new tic will appear but after a few more treatments all tics are gone with no medications.
    I just wanted to share our success

  • #2
    Re: 21 year old in desperate need of relief

    I'm interested to know more about the acupuncture treatment. Does the practitioner tailor the acupuncture to the particular tic? Did you tell him/her the diagnosis? Or is it just a general treatment to support good general health?

    Curious to know if the acupuncturist trained here or in China. Also, does your son need to go every week, or do you schedule appointments on an as-needed basis?

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    • #3
      Re: 21 year old in desperate need of relief

      Just to give you a bit of background. we lived in Montreal and saw a practitioner there who said she had treated tourettes before. About 1 year and a half ago we moved, my son would not take needles so the acupuncture was done through laser. When we moved I could not find a practitioner who used laser so he went untreated for about 15 months. The tics stated getting worse so I tried just laser therapy and acupressure, nothing worked. The tics got so bad that we were considering meds again. My son then said that he would try acupuncture with the needles. Someone recommended a practitioner and it turns out he had laser. Now my son gets a combo of needles and laser and as I stated in my last message after 3 treatments he was tic free. The way we start it is we go once per weeks for about 4 to 6 weeks until the tics are gone, then we drop to every 2 weeks for 4 to 6 weeks, then every 3, then 4 then once every 6 weeks.

      Spring seems to be bad for my sons tics so in the spring we may need to go back to weekly for a bit.

      The practitioner that we use now is a MD from China who also trained in massage therapy and acupuncture. I have met a few acupuncturists who were not very good so do your homework and meet with them first.

      I really hope that this works for you like it did my son, people who saw the before and after were amazed and like I said before it has changed his life.

      Good luck

      I just wanted to add, that for some reason the tics got worse after the 1st two treatments then they went away. Maybe it was his bodies way of adjusting.
      Last edited by Michele; January 14, 2014, 11:45 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

        Interesting!

        Do my homework -- not sure what you have in mind. Can you give me some guidance on this?

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        • #5
          Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

          What I mean when I say do your homework is talk to people who may use acupuncturists in your area and get feedback about them. Meet a few first, ask them questions to see if they know anything about TS. Pick one that you feel comfortable with. We met a few that we just felt weren't experienced enough, I even met one who said they did not know enough about TS and were not comfortable treating him. The acupuncturist we use now even conferenced with our old one after we moved to discuss various treatments.
          So look around before you choose one.

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          • #6
            Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

            I see what you mean, thanks. Hmm, in a small town my options may be a bit limited, but I can try.

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            • #7
              Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

              Though all possible treatments for Tourette have not yet been explored, we do not have strong scientific evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of Tourette Syndrome, and specifically tic management over the long term, so expectations should be moderated.

              I could locate only two references:

              Clinical observation on acupuncture for treatment of Tourettes Syndrome... [Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2006] - PubMed - NCBI

              156 cases of Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome [J Tradit Chin Med. 1996] - PubMed - NCBI

              The conclusions, at first glance, seem overly optimistic, with language talking about "cures", and I don't know the reliability of the journals in which the articles were published.

              I could not find any references in recognized mainstream peer reviewed medical literature where acupuncture had been evaluated.

              In any event, for those willing to experiment, I believe a qualified practitioner should be seen. Acupuncture is an invasive therapy and therefore not without risk. Ensure needles used are sterilized or preferably that new disposable needles are used each time.
              Steve

              Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

              Tourette Canada Homepage
              If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
              Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

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              • #8
                Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

                I agree that there is not enough known about Acupuncture and TS and that you have to be careful on who you choose to see. I can only speak of my experience with it.
                It is not a cure and we have to change his treatment based on the tics that appear. But it has worked for us, not once but twice. Because when we moved I could not find a good practitioner for about a year, the tics came back. What amazed me is that once I did find a good practitioner and after 3 treatments like the 1st time my son was tic free.
                I don't know how or why this works, but it worked for us. That is why I wanted to share this with other's because on two separate occasions it eliminated my son's tics. He takes no medications.
                I wish there was more studies done, but I can tell you it has worked for us.

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                • #9
                  Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

                  Thank you for sharing your experience, Michele. We are always interested in learning about what strategies work for people.

                  It sounds like your son has benefited from his acupuncture treatments, perhaps, to some degree it made him more aware of his tics and through increased awareness, was able to manage his symptoms better.

                  Some people also report a feeling of relaxation that often accompanies acupuncture, and this might also be a contributing factor.

                  None of this is to diminish the success your son has enjoyed, and maybe there is more to learn from acupuncture treatments.

                  We just have to keep in mind that as an information arm of the TSFC we can only endorse medically proven treatment strategies, though there may be anecdotal reports of success using alternative treatments such as your own experience with your son with acupuncture.
                  Steve

                  Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

                  Tourette Canada Homepage
                  If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
                  Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

                    Hi Michele,

                    Could you please share with me the info for the practitioner that you saw in Montreal? We live in Montreal, and I would like to have this info handy in case we consider Acupuncture as a possible option for our daughter.


                    Thanks & Regards,
                    Amy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

                      Last summer, for no known reason, my 22 year old son had a worsening of a major neck tic, stomach tic and vocal tics. He was diagnosed with TS at the age of 6 and has been under the care of a neurologist on many different drugs over the years. He still is on a few. We decided to try a Chinese acupuncturist. My son was hesitant about the needles at first but soon became accustomed to them even though he has always had a major aversion to needles. Initially the acupuncturist saw him three times per week, then two, then one, and now he goes once per month unless he has a serious exacerbation of tics that he can't tolerate. At first, the tics did worsen but my son could tell that changes were occurring and wanted to give it a committed attempt. Over time, the tics have moderated with occasional new tics appearing, usually for just a short time. The biggest difference has been that the frequency and severity of his tics are better the majority of time. It hasn't been an all-or-nothing fix. He still has tics, but the goal was to get them more bearable for him. After he has a cold or virus he usually has a tic exacerbation, but they aren't as severe as before he began acupuncture. I must say that insurance has not paid for any of the treatments so it can become rather expensive over time. However, you might try it for a two or three week period to see if you find any relief. Another suggestion is meditation. It takes a bit of time and commitment to learn and practice it daily, but there are many free resources online if you search. Good luck and know we are thinking of you.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

                        Anne St-Amand in Baie D'urfe and Chantale Deschaines in Hudson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

                          Originally posted by Michele View Post
                          Anne St-Amand in Baie D'urfe and Chantale Deschaines in Hudson
                          Thank you very much!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Treating TS With Acupuncture

                            Good luck,
                            Please let me know if you decide to try how it worked out, I am curious how this works for others.

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