While conventional treatments for many mental problems remain problematic and unsatisfactory in therapeutic outcomes, there is great demand for an effective yet economical treatment method that can alleviate the suffering of psychiatric patients. In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture on the scalp has been used for centuries. Not until recent decades did acupuncturists and clinicians develop new understandings and theories on the effect of scalp acupuncture. Upon elaboration on the therapeutic value of scalp acupuncture, it shows great potential in treating mental health disorders including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and insomnia. Its profound treatment outcome in clinical use has caught clinicians’ attention in recent years. However, controlled studies and investigations on its effect on psychiatric problems remain relatively small in number, and determinative evidence has yet to be found. In order to provide conclusive evidence on the use of scalp acupuncture to these disorders, more data from high-quality controlled trials are urgently needed. Since scalp acupuncture has advantages over the use of traditional acupuncture or body acupuncture in clinical and investigation settings, we are expecting a shift of attention from individualized acupuncture to a standardized universal scalp acupuncture treatment in clinical practice and academia.
Part of the book: Acupuncture
No current conventional treatment methods have been proven effective in improving core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In pursuit of a potent remedy for ASD, scalp acupuncture, one of the complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), may have potential in treating children with ASD according to recent clinical studies. In our first study, the effect of scalp acupuncture on prominent symptoms of ASD was investigated. Factors contributing to the effectiveness of ASD such as age and onset pattern had also been evaluated. Results showed that verbal communication and social and behavioral aspects of the patient could benefit from scalp acupuncture. Moreover, early intervention before 3 years old will bring about better therapeutic outcomes. The effect of scalp acupuncture on emotional and behavioral problems in children with ASD was further elaborated in the second study. Our observation on patients noted drastic improvements in emotional and emotion-related behavioral problems after the introduction of scalp acupuncture. Feedbacks from parents also reflected a positive progress in performance on cognitive, social, and behavioral aspects after treatment. The influence of scalp acupuncture on the sleeping quality and habit in children with ASD was investigated in the third study. Children had shown less resistance and anxiety toward sleep after scalp acupuncture.
Part of the book: Autism Spectrum Disorders