ALS or "Lou Gehrig's Disease" is a quickly debilitating and near exclusively fatal neuro-degenerative disease with no known cure. Chinese Medicine including herbal medicine, acupuncture, Tong Ren Therapy, Tuina and other aspects has been used to help slow the progression of the disease, but has of yet to reverse it. A small US study recently used acupoint injection therapy using enercel (an herbal preparation described below) to look for neurological improvement.
Researchers had only two patients and one, while they improved, dropped out of the study. So these results should be taken somewhat lightly but anything that shows improvement of such a destructive disease should be considered at this point.
First, what is enercel?
"Enercel is an herbal preparation consisting of very small dilutions from plants of the desert and rain forests such as cactus (Cacti grandiflora), aloe, arnica, lachesis, and licopodium in a 2% to 8% alcohol base." (source: American Cancer Society)
Enercel is thought to have a range of immune boosting effects and may be helpful in neurological diseases and cancer, yet except for this small study there is limited peer-reviewed medical journal study submissions at this time.
Within this study, patients were administered .25-.5cc of "Enercel Plus IM" (a trademark name for a commercial product) 5 days/week for 4 weeks to specific acupuncture points. One patient showed neurological improvements in speech, swallowing and movement, yet did not continue treatment after the study and followed a progressive decline. Another patient had significant improvement in speech and motor control during the 4 weeks of treatment and at a 3 month followup showed a maintained state of improvement.
Acupuncture points (with enercel dosages) that were used within this study include:
As Lou Gehrig's has an autoimmune aspect to it, there can be modulations from various treatments and substances that appear to be helpful yet the decline continues after a period of time. Further studies of this nature, however, should be considered and carefully evaluated by practitioners.
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