There is a constant debate over the effectiveness of alternative medicine. Generally speaking, western (modern) medicine is what people rely upon when they have infections, broken bones or other conditions that are life-threatening and that require immediate and specific types of treatment. Alternative therapies include practices such as acupuncture and acupressure that are not entirely accepted by the mainstream, but that are used by millions of people around the world. Acupressure and acupuncture, in fact, are used by many cerebral palsy sufferers.
What Are These Treatments?
It’s important to understand what acupuncture and acupressure are before you decide whether or not they may help you or a child with cerebral palsy. A news story on TheStar.com recently reported that a Malaysian child has done well with acupressure massage, though the evidence is completely anecdotal in the story. Before you abandon the advice of your doctor, remember that treatment often consists of a variety of therapies and medications. There is no magic solution that can reverse damage to the brain.
Science vs. Naturopathy
Acupuncture and acupressure are based upon a system of meridians that are believed to channel energy through the body. If you dissected a human body, you would find no physical structures that conform to the meridians upon which acupuncturists rely. You’d also be very hard pressed to find way to measure, or even define, the energy that these practitioners claim to manipulate. These are both among the reasons that this type of therapy is not accepted as legitimate by many mainstream doctors, though it is increasingly being allowed in medical facilities as a treatment option.
Whether or not this treatment works for you or your child is something you’ll have to determine on your own. What’s important, however, is that you always consult with a properly-trained medical doctor before beginning or ending any treatment. Acupuncturists simply do not have the same level of training in anatomy that medical doctors have, and they don’t have the depth of knowledge about neurology or other sciences that aid in the treatment of cerebral palsy.