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Scalp acupuncture, also known as cerebral acupuncture, is a contemporary acupuncture technique integrating traditional Chinese needling methods with Western medical knowledge of representative areas of the cerebral cortex. Scalp acupuncture is a system which does not utilize acupuncture points, but rather specific zones on the head which have very specific indications.
Scalp Acupuncture was first theorized and applied by Dr. Huang Xue-Long in 1934. It was resurrected in the early 1970’s, coincidentally corresponding with North America’s interest in acupuncture. Later, Dr Jiao Shunfa, a neurosurgeon in Shanxi province in China, systematically undertook the scientific exploration and charting of scalp correspondences starting in 1971. Dr Jiao combined a modern understanding of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology with traditional techniques of Chinese acupuncture to develop a radical new tool for affecting the functions of the central nervous system.
Scalp acupuncture is a very effective treatment for any neurological syndrome. It is used to rehabilitate paralysis due to stroke, multiple sclerosis, automobile accident, and Parkinson’s disease. It is also often used in pain management, especially for pain caused by the central nervous system, such as phantom pain, complex regional pain, and residual limb pain. Scalp acupuncture has been used in the effective treatment of aphasia, loss of balance, loss of hearing, dizziness, and vertigo.
The treatment is commonly given 2 to 3 times per week, and a basic therapeutic course consists of 10 treatments. Scalp acupuncture is helpful for children who are afraid of needles because the treatment requires few needles, they are not visible to the child, and the response is often rapid.