I know that Chinese Herbal Medicine has been used in the treatment of tetanus, but is acupuncture ever indicated in such cases? I can't seem to find any information on treating tetanus with acupuncture, so I am right to assume it is not done? Would acupuncture perhaps have an adverse effect on a tetanus patient? If not, which points would one use? Tetanus patients seem to have to wait months to fully recuperate, since apparently their nerve endings have to regenerate...
Thank you very much for your thoughts!
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Acupuncture would be very useful. Lack of specific point protocols on the web, however, is simply because there are no "tetanus" points or points for any specific condition. You would treat this like any other case of qi and blood stagnation with a combination of local and constitutional points specific to the person. Bloodletting with cupping as is common in many shingles treatments, for example, can be helpful as well, but that would be on a case by case basis... Just treat the person overall with some focus on the local areas affected and you should do fine.
General points that might be useful, again depending on the case:
SP 10 - to clear heat from the blood (can be bloodlet)</li>
LI 11, PC 8, PC 4, GV 10, UB 17 - all blood heat related points</li>
All huatuo points related to affected areas, particularly the upper back which also modulate the immune system (i.e. T1 - bone marrow, T2 - thymus gland, T3 - lung/lymph).</li>
Window of the sky points (possibly better with deep tuina) - SI 16, SI 17, LI 18</li>
Then cupping possibly with bloodletting on the upper back in patients where both or either are appropriate.</li>
I wouldn't worry about that much. The needles generally relax muscle tissue so even in spasmodic cases problems are rare. You can start by massaging the point mildly before insertion but then just use normal needles with reasonable insertion depths and minimal or no (my preference) manipulation. I've had a few patients where we had to start first with all tuina, then move to needling with short retention times and then move to full treatments, but these were extreme cases.
I developed a habit of massaging a bit before and after most sessions (I never planned for this, it just developed by itself as I worked), so I am glad that in this case it might actually be a good way to start...Thank you for all your help, and hopefully I can now use that information to make a positive difference for this patient! :)
Thank you very much for your thorough answer, I think I was a bit concerned because of the common symptom in tetanus of hyperaesthesia (but I suppose I can try being very gentle and using very thin needles to start, and proceed based on feedback)...I was also worried about the tendency of the tetanus affected muscles to tense up with certain stimuli (I am worried of causing muscle spasms from needle insertion)...What do you think?
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