Did you know acupuncture can help you with your concussion recovery?
Merriam Webster defines concussion as: a stunning, damaging, or shattering effect from a hard blow; especially: a jarring injury of the brain resulting in disturbance of cerebral function.
To start out, our brains are this wonderful intricately folded ball suspended in fluid and neatly tucked inside the shell of our skull. Then we get hit....BAM...and our brain splashes, bumps, twists inside the beautiful shell of our heads. These multiple impacts cause the folds and the exterior to bruise, possibly bleed, and cause all kinds of cellular damage. The cell membranes are actually torn and stretched. Needless to say, this doesn’t make our brain happy at all! When these cell membranes are injured, the function of them is disrupted and the normal chemical processes are thrown into chaos. Chemicals start entering and exciting when they shouldn't and the wonderful balance that the brain loves is shattered. To add even more insult to the injury, the brain starts to restrict blood flow to the injured areas. Why is that bad? Blood is the brain's source of nutrition and energy in the form of glucose. How she loves her glucose!! So here comes the catch-the cells need the energy to heal but the brain has decided to restrict the amount of fuel coming in. As you can imagine, this leads to more chaos in the system. The result is symptoms like a headache, dizziness, memory problems, and problems with attention. This imbalance between available fuel and the fuel needed to heal is thought to also be a reason why it can take a long time for the brain to heal.
How can acupuncture help your brain navigate the chaos of healing post-concussion?
Circulation Circulation Circulation!
Acupuncture is wonderful for improving circulation on a micro and macro level and with the improved blood flow comes oxygen, nutrients, and healing. During this healing response, the body releases natural pain relievers, adenosine, and endorphins while also releasing cytokines and decreasing cortisol levels, which decrease inflammation in the body.
Acupuncture also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is the body's system for relaxing and repairing. It takes us out of fight or flight and into rest and digest.
In addition, an acupuncture treatment can be an escape from the hectic world that can really overload a healing brain. It is very beneficial to lay down in a quiet environment with no screens, rushing traffic, work deadlines, kids, or responsibilities other than focusing on yourself.
Most acupuncturist also understands the holistic approach to healing and can give advice on using your diet, supplements and herbal medicines to help aid recovery.
I think one of the most important things to remember is that you aren’t alone and there are things that you can do to participate in healing your brain. It is also important to remember to be patient with yourself--healing takes time. Your brain is always working and because of this, it can take a lot longer than we want for healing to occur.
Here is a link to brain health web page so you can learn a bit more, contact me or book an appointment!