Assessment of Effects of Meditation

Meditation practice started on_ Posture_ Word used_ No. of sessions completed_ The instructor asks each patient these questions and completes this form at the end of each session Questions Score No. of intrusions 1. Were you able to fix your attention on your breathing rhythm in the first 5 minutes _ If not, how many times did drifting of your 2. Did your attention drift during word repetition _ If it did, note the number of drifts in each period 3. Did you feel relaxed after meditation _ 4. Do...

Exercise and Yoga

Comprehensive epilepsy centers offer the latest in medical and surgical treatments to alleviate the crippling effects of recurrent seizures however, despite our best efforts, many patients have poorly controlled seizures or suffer from commonly associated depression or anxiety. With growing frequency, patients and their physicians are looking to complementary techniques, especially nonpharmacologic ones, to reduce the burden of seizures and to ease anxiety and depression. Exercise and yoga have...

Hormonal Therapy

The mainstay of hormonal therapy for epilepsy in women is natural progesterone. Important issues for women are related to estrogen, birth control pills, and menopausal hormone replacement therapy, and issues related to reproductive hormone disorders. The clinical observations that led to the idea of using progesterone to treat epilepsy were reports by over one-third of women with seizure disorders that their seizures were more frequent and or more severe at certain times in their menstrual...

Eastern Herbs

Herbs, as well as other alternative therapies, have historically played a much greater role in Eastern medicine, which often uses mixtures of herbs rather than single agents. As a result, it is difficult to know which of the components may actually be responsible for antiepileptic effects. In addition, published studies on these herbs do not include comparison with a placebo or blinding of the experimenters, thus the results may not be scientifically sound. Qingyangsen is a mixture of Chinese...

Modern Research on TCM Herbal Treatment in Epilepsy

As practiced in China today, TCM relies on herbal formulas as the principal treatment method for all diseases, including epilepsy. Acupuncture is used as a supplemental treatment (4). During the past few decades, many studies in China have examined the clinical effectiveness and pathophysiologic effects of the TCM herbal formulas used in treating epilepsy. One focus of modern research has been to compare the effectiveness of TCM herbal treatment to conventional Western pharmacotherapies....

Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Epilepsy Relation to Western Medicine

Jessica Levine and Orrin Devinsky, MD Mainstream medicine, oriented toward science-based care and prevention, is a recent advent in our species' 150,000-year history. The first effective medications for epilepsy, the bromides, were introduced 150 years ago. During the preceding 99.9 of our time, therapies we would call alternative were the only treatments. In their time, these treatments for epilepsy were largely considered mainstream and ranged from creating holes in the skull, exorcism of...

Treatment of Epilepsy in Ayurveda

Various Ayurvedic treatment modalities that include strong elimination and alleviation therapies, depending upon specific requirements, are useful for epilepsy patients. When epilepsy is associated with extrinsic factors, then mantras (hymns) have been recommended. The physician is advised to first take steps to awaken the heart channels and unblock the mind blocked by the dosas through drastic emesis (Vatika Apasmara), enema (Paittika Apasmara), and purgatives (Slaismika Apasmara). Drug...

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Shaobai Wang, MD, NYS, LAc and Yanmei Li, MD Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the study of human physiology and pathology, and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases. It is a system that consists of the clinical and theoretical investigation of the physiology and pathology of organs and functions. Current TCM practice is based on the cosmologic principles of Chinese philosophy, including holism, differentiation, yin yang, and the five elements. Herbal medicine,...

Hypnosis Combined with Aromatherapy

Many patients with epilepsy are warned against hypnosis. One problem is that it has become associated by many with entertainment. Say to the average person, I am going hypnotize you, and she will step back in alarm because of the fear of being taken over or losing control (a fear well known to anyone with epilepsy). One or two isolated case reports document people with epilepsy who have had seizures precipitated by a hypnotic technique, and there was one case in the United Kingdom of hypnosis...

The Regulation of Herbal Medicine

There is a tendency to put great trust in herbs because they are natural and, therefore better than artificially produced pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs are not considered drugs by the FDA, but rather dietary supplements that are largely unregulated, unlike drugs. As a result, the amount of active ingredient can vary between products manufactured by different companies, and even between batches produced by the same company. A company that produces herbs has to provide a reasonable assurance that...

Kava

Kava Piper methysticum is widely used as an anxiolytic, and is commonly used in the South Pacific as a ceremonial beverage. Limited studies have identified several mechanisms of action. Kava is a strong L-type Ca 2 channel inhibitor and weak Na channel blocker. Kava increases early K outward current and GABA transmission. A serotonin 1A agonist effect has also been described 5 . Limited human data exist on the use of kava in anxiety disorders. A meta-analysis of seven double-blind, randomized,...

Valerian Valeriana officinalis

Valerian is a flowering herb native to Europe and Asia that has been known as a sedative for thousands of years. It has remained an extremely popular herb in Western countries, particularly in Germany and Russia. Research has shown it to improve the quality of sleep 5 , and it is the active component in many of the prescribed and nonprescription preparations used for nervousness and insomnia. Although it has been perhaps the most common herb prescribed for epilepsy throughout the ages, there...

Autogenic Training for Stress Management in Epilepsy

AT was integrated into a stress management program for 12 patients with epilepsy at The Epilepsy Institute in New York. The patients were taught four different methods of relaxation, including diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery visualization, and AT. The effectiveness of the program was studied during its 1-year duration. The results have not yet been analyzed completely, but preliminary results indicate that some patients who practiced AT experienced a reduction in...

Clinical Studies

Several small clinical studies examined the effects of exercise on people with epilepsy. Denio and colleagues surveyed an epilepsy clinic population on their exercise habits and concluded that patients who exercised regularly had fewer seizures 10 . After a 4-week program of exercise in 19 patients with uncontrolled seizures, Nakken found no increase in seizure frequency associated with the training program, but he did report that six of the patients had seizures while exercising 11 . Whether...

Effectiveness of Music Therapy in Epilepsy

Although the research in the field of music therapy in epilepsy is limited, hundreds of peer-reviewed articles are available on the applications of music therapy to improve psychologic well-being. Several published clinical studies have shown that certain types of music can decrease seizure activity. Increased research into specifically how music is processed in the brain will soon help explain the anecdotal reports of this therapeutic effect in the treatment of epilepsy. Using various...

The Art of Homeopathy

The clinical practice of homeopathy is founded on empirical principles, primarily that substances capable of causing physical and psychologic disorders can be used to remedy similar illnesses. The growth and evolution of homeopathy is based on evidence of verifiable cures using these proven medicines. It is not, as is often thought, the degree of dilution that makes medicines homeopathic, but the similarity homeo of the disease or suffering pathos to the pathogenic affects of the medicine....

Craniosacral Therapy in Epilepsy

Unfortunately, no controlled trials using craniosacral therapy to treat epilepsy have been undertaken however, some studies provide clinical evidence that craniosacral therapy can improve several neurologic disorders. When treating patients with seizure disorder, as with any other complaint, the functional integrity of the entire system should be addressed from the scalp down or the feet up. Common findings in the skeletal system for people with epilepsy are rotation in the temporal bones....

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is difficult to define because it is experientially oriented. As a cran-iosacral practitioner, it is easier to put my hands on somebody and feel what is happening than to describe what I feel with words. With this caveat, I will attempt to provide a basic understanding of craniosacral work and how it may help individuals with epilepsy. The cranial bones and sacrum, and the membrane structures that connect these areas, form an anatomic and physiologic system. A distinct...