by Stef Cordes and Lisa Baird
What is concussion?
Concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. It’s caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to shake inside the skull; normally the brain is protected by the fluid around it that acts like a cushion that keeps your brain from banging into your skull, but if your head or body is hit with a large amount of force, your brain can knock against your skull hard enough to be injured.
What are the symptoms of concussion?
Mental symptoms of concussion include fuzzy thinking, slower thinking, difficulty concentrating, and not being able to remember new information. Physical symptoms include nausea & vomiting, headache, blurry vision, dizziness, light and/or noise sensitivity, balance problems, and being low energy. Concussion can also affect our mood, making us easily upset, sad, anxious, and more emotional than normal. Concussion also causes sleep disturbances, making us sleep more than normal, less than normal, or making it difficult to fall asleep.
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture can speed up recovery time from a concussion in several ways. Important repair work happens in the brain while we sleep. If you have a concussion and you’re not sleeping well, your brain isn’t getting the repair time that it so desperately needs after an injury. Acupuncture can help ease the sleep disturbances and let you have solid sleep at night (and often in one of our recliners!)
Acupuncture is also really effective for nausea, and for headaches of all kinds, as well as neck pain & strain (many blows to the head cause injury to the neck & shoulders). And don’t forget, getting hit hard enough to concuss is a traumatic experience, so it’s a good thing that acupuncture is a well known and documented therapy for post-traumatic stress! When it comes to mental-emotional wellbeing, acupuncture is also wonderfully effective for regulating mood and clearing the mind. Several of our concussion patients have commented that the acupuncture helped them think clearly (“I feel like myself again”) and gave them a sense of lasting calm.
So, if you’ve gotten a nasty bump on the head — get yourself to a hospital or your family doctor! Then come see us for support with your recovery, community-acupuncture style.