Neurology specialist (FMH Swiss Medical Association)
Acupuncture – traditional Chinese Medicine (ASA)
‘THE GODS PLACED DIAGNOSIS BEFORE THERAPY’
... is an old saying in medicine. With many symptoms, the cause of the illness cannot be found through a general physical examination. A neurological examination is often also required, as well as additional diagnostics, in order to make a diagnosis.
Clinical neurophysiology, the medical examination of the function of the nervous system, is one of the practice’s areas of expertise. The following special additional diagnostics are offered at the practice:
1. Electroencephalography (EEG)
2. Auditory evoked potential (AEP) test
3. Somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) test
4. Visual evoked potentials (VEP) test
5. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
6. Cognitive event-related potential test (P300)
7. Electromyography (EMG)
8. Electroneurography (ENG)
9. Doppler ultrasonography (extracranial, transcranial Doppler)
10. Functional testing of the autonomic nervous system
11. Lumbar puncture
12. Clinical chemistry (blood tests)
13. Neuropsychological testing
An EEG measures the electrical activity of the brain using electrodes placed on the scalp. It provides information about the general activity of the cerebral cortex and is used to diagnose and investigate various conditions such as comas, epileptic seizures or Alzheimer’s disease.
Evoked potential tests can be used to trace the pathways of the various sensory systems (sight, hearing, feeling). Transcranial magnetic stimulation can be used to examine the motor pathways, so that it can be determined whether paralysis is caused by the peripheral or central nervous system, for example.
Cognitive potential tests complement the neuropsychological testing of memory and mental ability. They help to determine memory disorders in the context of depression and dementia.
Electromyography is used to examine muscle function. Electroneurography measures the function of peripheral nerves. These methods can be used to find the causes of numerous pain syndromes and to introduce appropriate therapeutic measures.
Doppler ultrasonography can be used to estimate blood flow using an ultrasound, allowing the condition of arteries in the neck and head to be assessed. Circulatory disorders in the brain can be detected early, which is especially important in diagnosing strokes.
Functional testing of the autonomic nervous system such as examining heart rate modulation or sympathetic skin response enable the objectification and classification of disorders in the autonomic nervous system.
Samples of spinal fluid can be taken using a lumbar puncture. Analysis of spinal fluid can help in the diagnosis of inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis and in the diagnosis of dementia.
Neuropsychological testing is used to clarify memory disorders and dementia if Alzheimer’s disease is suspected, for example.
In the past, neurology was regarded as a special field with many rare, incurable diseases. Now, however, neurological therapy is just as successful as internal therapy.
The following therapeutic procedures are offered at the practice:
1. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy)
2. Outpatient intravenous therapy (e.g. cortisone, immunoglobulins for multiple sclerosis, antibiotics for Lyme disease)
3. Injection therapy with botulinum toxin (Botox therapy)
4. Acupuncture – traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), especially in the area of pain therapy
5. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for pain therapy
6. Targeted prescription of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
The stimulation of acupuncture points with needles is one of the oldest healing methods in the world. The most well-known type of acupuncture is traditional Chinese acupuncture, also known as body acupuncture. By inserting needles into the skin at precisely defined points, disorders throughout the entire body, including internal disorders, can be alleviated and often even eliminated. The acupuncture points are on lines called meridians, along which – according to traditional Chinese medicine – qi (the life force), with its balance of yin and yang, flows.
These two life-supporting forces work as opposing forces in the body. Their harmonious balance represents the ideal state of health, whilst their imbalance leads to discomfort and illness. If you look at the paths of the meridians on an acupuncture chart, it becomes clear that acupuncture points located far away from the location of symptoms of pain or illness also play an important role in treatment. The energy of the entire meridian as a functional circuit with its associated organs must be stabilised in order to restore the balance and cure the illness.
WHEN IS ACUPUNTURE USED?
Acupuncture cannot restore structures which have been destroyed, but it can regulate disturbed functions. Numerous scientific studies have proven the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Acupuncture is also used successfully for the treatment of psychosomatic illnesses of the autonomic nervous system and for complaints classified as ‘mood disorders’ in conventional medicine. When practised by qualified doctors, acupuncture is a practically risk-free treatment method without side effects. It has no negative interactions and can therefore also be combined with many other forms of therapy as a complementary treatment.
FOR WHICH ILLNESSES IS ACUPUNCTURE RECOMMENDED?
Acupuncture is indicated for numerous pain disorders, for example:
- Headaches and migraines
- Neck pain and cervical spine syndrome
- Cervicobrachial syndrome and tennis elbow
- Back pain and sciatica
- Joint pain and arthrosis
- Facial nerve paralysis (in the early stages, i.e. within the first three months) and trigeminal neuralgia
- Spastic paraplegia following a stroke
- Neuralgia and somatosensory disorders with peripheral neuropathy
Acupuncture can also be successfully used for autonomic function disorders and psychosomatic illnesses, for example:
- Ménière’s disease and nausea
- Depressive moods
- Fatigue, burnout
- Inner tension and restlessness
- Sleep disorders
Acupuncture can also be highly effective in the following areas:
- Allergies and reduced immune function
- Quitting smoking
- General relaxation
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Rapid relaxation and even a feeling of floating lightness are often the immediate effects. Some patients experience immediate alleviation of their discomfort after acupuncture, while it may take longer for others to experience a noticeable reaction. Normally you need at least four to five sessions per week before a lasting effect occurs, and in most cases ten sessions are necessary in total.
Scientific research shows that the effects of acupuncture are conveyed through various mechanisms. By stimulating specific points, reflexes are triggered which have a regulating effect on the autonomic nervous system. Stimulating other points activates the body’s own pain inhibition system. This releases the body’s own opiates: endorphins. The body’s own hormones, such as cortisone, are also released through stimulation of the corresponding acupuncture points. This means that the pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and relaxing effects of acupuncture can also be understood in the context of conventional medicine.
HOW IS ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT BILLED?
Dr Siedenberg has the specialist qualifications bestowed by the FMH to perform acupuncture treatment, meaning that statutory health insurance therefore covers the costs of treatment.