Herbs Containing Caffeine

Caffeine is perhaps the most commonly used stimulant in the world. Several plants produce caffeine and theophylline and theobromine, which are close relatives of caffeine. Most people readily know that coffee (Coffea arabica and C. robusta) and tea (Camellia sinensis) have caffeine in them, but several other herbal medicines also contain caffeine. Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is the main ingredient in chocolate-flavored foods, from candy bars to hot cocoa. There are usually 20 to 60 milligrams of...

Financial Considerations and Length of Treatment

Fees for naturopathic treatments vary. An initial visit can range from 120 to 250. Laboratory tests cost extra (e.g., a complete red blood cell count test costs approximately 15 to 25, depending on your geographical area). The first two visits are scheduled closely together the third visit may occur a month later, depending on the recommended treatment. Follow-up appointments can range from 75 hr to 125 hr. Length of treatment is difficult to assess. Some cases resolve completely in 2 years....

The Ketogenic Diet

Despite the many new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), approximately 20 to 30 of children and adults continue to have seizures that are difficult to control. Some are candidates for epilepsy surgery to remove a seizure focus. Many must continue trying different medications. The ketogenic diet represents a promising, alternative therapeutic approach to improved seizure control for some children, and it is a potential but untested therapy for adults. A schematic diagram of the course of seizures and...

Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo is a popular herbal medicine for improving memory, and some good research suggests that it may be helpful in this respect. The ginkgo tree has characteristic fan- shaped leaves that are usually processed into an extract and sold in capsule or tablet form. The active ingredients in ginko are flavinoid glycosides and terpene lactones. It is uncertain how these improve memory, but they may increase brain acetylcholine levels. The FDA has received seven reports of people experiencing...

Commonly Used Herbs

The top-selling herbs in the United States are ginkgo, St. John's wort, ginseng, garlic, echinacea, saw palmetto, kava, pycnogenol, cranberry, valerian root, evening primrose, bilberry, and milk thistle. These are listed in Table 13.1, along with the indications for which they are most commonly used and the amount of annual retail sales associated with each in the United States (2). The total in U.S. sales amounts to a staggering 688.3 million, with these top 13 herbs accounting for 640.7...

Mugwort

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) has generated positive results in Western medicine for the correction of breech presentation (12). There is a lack of clinical data supporting mug-wort's safety and efficacy, however, and its use cannot be recommended. Synonyms for mugwort are ai ye, armoise commune, artemesia, carline thistle, felon herb, gemeiner beifuss, hierba de San Juan, sailor's tobacco, St. John's plant, Summitates artemisiae, and wild wormwood. The common trade name is Phyto Surge ....

Kava Piper methysticum

Kava is an herb native to the South Seas, where it is valued for its calming and sedative properties. Double-blind studies in humans have shown efficacy for treating anxiety (8). Kava also appears to have analgesic, muscle-relaxing, and anticonvulsant effects, though these have not been scientifically proven in humans. The anticonvulsant potential of kava may be mediated via an enhancement of GABA within the brain, or possibly via blockade of sodium and calcium channels, similar to the actions...

Discussion

The term double-blind is used in two different ways that impair its usefulness as a methodologic recommendation and as a descriptor. In its legitimate usage, double-blind implies that neither the patient nor the caregiver is aware of the intervention performed. In its aberrant use, however, this term is used to describe an experimental arrangement in which two parties are blind, but a critical third party is not. Most often, the patient and an external evaluator investigator are blind but the...

Definition and Etiology

In most Ayurvedic texts, epilepsy is mentioned as Apasmara (or Apasmrti) and classified as a mental disease. As implied by its name, it involves partial or total loss of cognition (memory and sense-perception). Epilepsy (Apasmara), like several psychatric illnesses (Unmada), is attributed to humoral derangement. The original cause of such derangement lies in wrong conduct (mithyacara) and improper gratification of senses. The bodily humors deranged by such conduct gradually invade the...

Therapies for Epilepsy

Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Epilepsy Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Epilepsy Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry NYU School of Medicine New York, New York Professor of Neurology Harvard Medical School Cambridge, Massachusetts Associate Professor, Department of Neurology NYU School of Medicine New York, New York Demos Medical Publishing, 386 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 www.demosmedpub.com 2005 by Demos Medical Publishing. All rights...

Comprehensive Neurobehavioral Approach

Reiter, MD Donna Andrews experienced complex partial seizures (CPS) following acute encephalitis at age 18 years. Medications did not control her seizures and resulted in severe side effects, including the life-threatening allergic reaction Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Through careful observation, she developed techniques that allowed her to completely control her seizures. Donna Andrews met neurologist Joel Reiter in 1979, when she was his student in a course at...

Betony

Folklore suggests many indications for the use of betony (Stachys officinalis), including asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, heartburn, palpitations, renal disease, roundworm, seizures, stomachaches, toothaches, and wounds. Despite multiple claims, available evidence does not support the use of betony for any therapeutic application. Synonyms for betony are bishopswort and wood betony. Common trade names are Herb-a-Calm Formula , Herbagessic Formula , and HerbVal Formula . Betony is a member of the...

Treatment Principles

The Institutes have five basic treatment principles, which are nonsurgical and nonphar-macological. They are based on the fact that the function of the brain is to relate the organism to its environment. Twenty-six procedures and hundreds of techniques are used within those procedures. The five principles of treatment are Procedures that supply discrete bits of information to the brain for storage. Procedures that demand an immediate response from the brain to the discrete bit of information...

Traditional Approaches to Seizure Disorders

I am not a neurologist, neurosurgeon, or epileptologist. When the first child with a major seizure disorder was brought to me many years ago, I had no idea what osteopath-ic principles and practice could accomplish concerning the seizures, but I knew that their application would enable the child to function closer to the optimum of his potential. Since that early challenge, I have treated approximately 90 children, whose records were retrospectively studied. Every type of seizure was observed....

Achieving Balance between Acidity and Alkalinity

As discussed in Chapter 21, the ketogenic diet consists of high fat and low protein, low carbohydrate foods. The goal of the diet is twofold by forcing the patient to burn fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates, by-products known as ketone bodies (such as acetone) are produced. As a result, an acidic environment is created in the patient by metabolic aci-dosis. This diet can be beneficial, especially if it can be shown that the patient was previously in an alkaline state or had alkalosis (7).

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Peter Rosenbaum, MD, FRCP(C) and Kassia J. Johnson, Hon. BA, MD Neurons use oxygen and produce the by-products reactive oxygen species and carbon dioxide (CO2). Nitric oxide (NO) is also produced by neurons. NO increases cerebral blood flow, which also increases during a seizure (1). Neurons communicate using neu-rotransmitters, and changes in neurotransmitter activity through neuronal damage or dysfunction can cause a seizure. Every person with epilepsy has a level of disruption that they can...

Pending and Interdisciplinary Research

The neurochemical and neurophysiologic markers of massage therapy are not well defined. Similarly, the biologic markers of relaxation and restorative sleep are incompletely defined. Understanding changes in the levels of inhibitory neurotransmitters such as GABA may help shed light on both seizure-provoking factors (e.g., sleep deprivation, stress) and seizure-relieving therapies (e.g., massage). Based on cross-cultural RCTs of the four approaches presented here and their effects on seizure...

Increasing Motility

If estrogen is not eliminated quickly from the bowel (due to constipation), more estrogen will re-enter the blood stream. Reduced circulating estrogen can be achieved with a veg etarian, high fiber, low saturated fat diet (31). Women who eat a vegetarian, high-fiber diet that is low in saturated fat excrete threefold the amount of estrogen in their feces than their omnivorous, lower-fiber consuming counterparts they have 15 to 20 lower blood levels of estrogen. A healthy digestive system...

Why the Andrews Reiter Treatment Was Developed

Many individuals with epilepsy continue to experience seizures despite the best efforts of their neurologists. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) either do not control their seizures, lead to side effects, or both. Even if seizures are controlled, many patients experience fear, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness that significantly impair their quality of life. Brain surgery is an option for some with uncontrolled seizures, but many do not want to risk possible injury from surgery others have...

Seizure Triggers

Triggers are factors that often bring about seizures. These many potential triggers for CPS they can be isolated, multiple, or interactive, depending on the complexity and mass of brain tissue involved. Triggers can be physical (e.g., chemical imbalance, disturbed sleep, missed medication), external (people, places, or situations that cause pressure or stress), or internal (emotional reactions and stressful states of mind) (Figure 4.1). Standard medical approaches tend to ignore the emotional...

Efficacy of HBO in Epilepsy

As with many new and untested therapy ideas, HBO has been applied with good intentions but with little of the careful scientific study that is essential before a good idea becomes an accepted treatment. No clinical trials have assessed whether HBO adds benefit to the drugs and other therapies people with epilepsy are already receiving. We do not know whether HBO does more good than harm, even if it seems to be a good idea. This is, of course, essential information, because the golden rule in...

Relevant Research

Many studies of AT have not been properly controlled they do not have an experimental or treatment group that receives the treatment and a control group that does not receive the treatment or receives only a placebo. No trials focus on the use of AT in people who have epilepsy. The following are reports on the use of AT with different medical conditions. Ernst and Kanji (7) conducted a systematic review of all controlled trials of AT as a method to reduce stress and anxiety. They found that...

Psychotherapy

Current psychotherapy practice has become more problem-focused and time-limited. The goal of treatment often is to help manage a specific problem. CBT is frequently used to help people handle life stress and difficult situations. Interpersonal psychotherapy may also be a helpful approach if the stress is the product of a difficult relationship. This kind of therapy targets personal interactions and helps the person recognize how per sonal behavior and ways of relating to others influence...

Study Design

The study included a baseline period of 10 weeks, a treatment period of 8 weeks, and a follow-up of 12 weeks. The patients were divided into two groups by four-block randomization one acupuncture group with 18 patients and one control group with 16 patients. (In block randomization, the unit of randomization is not the individual, but a large group.) Two Chinese acupuncturists, both senior staff members of the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, gave the treatment. All the...

Training and Licensure

Four accredited colleges of Naturopathic Medicine are located in North America Bastyr University in Seattle (www.bastyr.com) (established in 1978) the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto (www.ccnm.edu) (established in 1979) National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon (www.ncnm.edu) (established in 1956) and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona (www.scnm.edu). All four institutions are graduate schools that require either a...

Acupuncture Technique

The acupuncture group was given bilateral needling of the acupoints LR3, LI4, and GV20, in addition to one or two points based on individual diagnoses. The needles were traditional Chinese acupuncture needles, diameter 0.3 millimeters and length 25 to 55 millimeters, placed at variable depths. The needles were rotated or stimulated manually to obtain the needling sensation (Te chi). As part of the individualized treatment, the patients also could have scalp needling or electroacupuncture using...

Physiologic Environment

The basic programs that improve the physiologic environment of the brain include Staff at The Institutes evaluate the child and then teach the child's parents neurologic organization programs, including the appropriate visual, tactile, and auditory stimulation. Parents do these intensive neurologic organization programs at home with their child, several hours a day, 7 days a week. In the Journal of Pediatrics, June 2000, Camfield and Camfield state, Several population-based studies have...

History of Epilepsy Treatment Using TCM

In China, 2,000 years ago, prenatal (congenital) factors were recognized as important in the development of epilepsy. Epilepsy subtypes were differentiated and herbal formulas were first used 400 years ago. The symptoms of epilepsy were described then just as they are today. At present, the diagnosis is made by interpreting clinical symptoms, supplemented with EEG and other modern tests, as needed. TCM has its own schema for the differentiation of epilepsy, the most widely used of which...

Herbal Research

Limited scientific research addresses the use of herbs for the treatment of epilepsy, and the experiments primarily involve animal models, rather than human subjects. Over 100 compounds from around the world have been tested approximately half of them show antiepileptic effects in one or more animal models of epilepsy (2). Only a small number of human studies have been undertaken, performed primarily in the Far East. The results are of questionable validity, however, because the studies involve...

Treatment by CAM Providers

An eclectic approach to the treatment of epilepsy is not a phenomenon unique to the modern era. For example, the first known documented case of epilepsy in China appeared in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, written by a group of physicians around 770 b.c. (32). At that time, the treatment of epilepsy, based on the principles of Ying Yang Wu Xing, consisted of herbs, acupuncture, and massage (32). Centuries later, accounts of epilepsy were reported in pre-Columbian America...

Implementation of Treatment

Daily massage is feasible if indicated from a therapeutic view (22). A RCT on smoking in 20 subjects found less anxiety and less cigarettes smoked in the group who used daily self-massage (22). Ideally, the use of massage therapy will include psychological parents persons with a history of positive interaction with the individual with epilepsy. Treatment designs utilizing laypersons as massage givers must consider that (as confirmed by video-EEGs) the quality of nonmanual interactions may also...

Exercise and Epilepsy

The benefits of aerobic and weight-bearing exercises are well established. Exercise improves the course of many chronic illnesses and, in some cases, prevents them. The signs and symptoms of hyperlipidemia (elevated triglycerides and cholesterol), high blood pressure, obesity, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes are all improved by regular exercise however, the benefits of exercise for epilepsy are less well established, and as a result, not routinely prescribed by most...

Training and Credentials

A music therapist is a professional who has undergone rigorous education and training at an approved academic program and completed a 1,000-hour clinical internship under the supervision of a trained music therapist. Individuals are eligible to sit for the national exam offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists upon completion of training. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential...

Evening Primrose Oenothera biennis and Borage Borago officinalis

Evening primrose has become a popular herb for premenstrual syndrome, although whether it really helps is uncertain because the results of research have been inconsistent. Borage has a reputation for treating depression, inflammation, fevers, and coughs, but these effects have never been tested. Both plants are sources of the fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid, but it is not certain what effect gamma-linolenic acid has on seizures. Some research suggests that these herbs may reduce seizures some...

Commentary

Caspi and his colleagues provide a valuable look at the vexing problem of proof. How do we determine if a standard or alternative complementary therapy actually works and is safe Western medicine has faced a challenging road to reach its current burden of proof. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) remains enormously popular among diverse segments of Western and non-Western societies. Proving the efficacy and safety of these techniques poses significant challenges. In part, the...

Case Studies

Published cases of epilepsy treated with homeopathy can be found in many American and European scientific journals. An 18-month-old male patient with congenital epilepsy was cured with a homeopathic remedy (12). It took approximately 2 years for his seizures to subside. After 18 months of homeopathic treatment, a 10-year-old female patient with 300 absence seizures a day experienced a fraction of that number after 12 months of treatment (13). The role of parasitic infections in epilepsy is...

Herbal Treatment of Epilepsy Phytotherapy

Luciano, MD and Marcello Spinella, PhD Phytotherapy is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that uses plants to treat diseases, including epilepsy. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 80 of the world population uses some form of herbal medication, and it is estimated that greater than 50 of the United States population uses herbs for medicinal purposes, at a cost greater than 3 billion annually. Herbs and other forms of alternative therapy are most...

Conclusion

Abundant references to all aspects of epilepsy appear in the Ayurvedic literature dating from the second millenium b.c., including symptomatology, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. In most texts, epilepsy is mentioned as Apsmara (or Apsmari) and classified as a mental disease. Mention has also been made of the classification of epilepsy into four subtypes and its treatment. The Ayurvedic system of medicine made significant contributions to world civilizations. Over the years, Ayurveda has...

Professional Counseling

Counseling by a massage therapist who knows the patient well, especially on the issue of contraindications of preventive massage, is mandatory but not sufficient. Individuals considering massage for their epilepsy should always consult their personal physician before beginning therapy. Assessment by massage professionals should supplement the physician's advice. Counseling on indications, contraindications, and measures for seizure inhibition also is desirable because individuals with epilepsy...

Sample Autogenic Training Exercise

The six different formulas are taught in a gradual, specific order. For the first few weeks of training, the patient concentrates on the first formula, heaviness. After this formula is learned, the others are added over a period of weeks. The training time for the complete set of exercises is 8 to 10 weeks. The following is the complete training exercise including all six formulas. Close your eyes and find a comfortable body position. Allow yourself to concentrate on what is going on inside...

Ginseng Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius

The name ginseng typically refers to two plants, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). A third plant, Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is unrelated to actual ginseng and little is known about it. American and Asian ginseng have several of the same active ingredients, ginsenosides. Both plants have a reputation for treating many different ailments, including memory loss. Although animal research indicates that ginseng may improve memory, very...

Neurophysiologic Studies

The development of noninvasive technology allows for improved measurement of the (dys)functions of the human body as well as mechanisms of action for manual interventions. These measurements include, for example, details (size, duration) of the release of endogenous seizure-inhibiting neurotransmitters e.g., gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) , or the restoration of consciousness and the stabilization of respiration follow- ing the well-defined stimulation of specific acupoints (55). Study data...

Possible Benefits

Aromatherapy may be useful to those who can recognize lengthy auras during seizures, or who have recognizable prodromes or triggers to their seizures. One of the advantages of the smell memory technique is that it does not require a great amount of cognition to use. Thus, even if people are slightly confused during an aura, they may still be able to interpose their aroma. We have found that patients with olfactory or taste auras find aromatherapy a particularly useful countermeasure....

Pet Therapy

Employees experience lower stress levels when they are allowed to bring their pets into the workplace. The presence of pets has a positive effect on employee health and on the workplace in general. In one study by Wells et al., the authors noted that participants who brought their pets to work experienced greater benefits than participants who did not bring their pets to work and participants who did not own pets (1). The presence of a dog in a room can lower the blood pressure of children,...

Seizure Generation

Epilepsy has been viewed as a simple medical condition for many years. This medical model of epilepsy assumes that seizures have a physiologic cause, that they arise as a result of abnormal brain discharges due either to genetic causes or to brain damage, and that the appropriate treatment is with drugs. Today, however, many recognize that this medical model is too simple and that there is another way of looking at epilepsy. As far back as 1881, Sir William Gowers said Of all the immediate...

Using Herbs Wisely

Herbs, although natural, can have significant side effects. In addition, because they are not closely regulated, many side effects may not be reported. There has been concern over kava potentially causing liver damage (8). Twenty-five cases were reported in other countries, and the FDA is investigating cases reported domestically. It is difficult to know whether kava actually caused the liver problems, or whether these cases are chance association. Pacific Islanders have been using kava for...

Nutrition and Epilepsy

Mark Rudderham, ND, Rachel Laff, BA, and Orrin Devinsky, MD Nutrition plays a central role in health and disease processes. The body draws all of its resources except oxygen from the diet. What we consume and how much we consume determines these resources and can influence health and disease. The traditional balanced diet recommended by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) consists of a mixture high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fats. Some researchers are criticizing this...

Herbal Therapy in Epilepsy

Pearl, MD The use of complementary and alternative medications (CAM) in the United States has skyrocketed in the past decade. A 1998 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that the use of herbal medications increased from 2.5 to 12.1 in the adult population between 1990 and 1997, and that 18 of all prescription drug users were also taking herbal remedies or high-dose vitamins (1). The clinical benefit of CAM is largely unproven,...

Blue Cohosh

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is used as an anticonvulsant, to increase menstrual flow, and to induce labor. A national survey of the certified nurse-midwives who endorse herbal medicine use found that 65 used it in labor. The active agent, methyl-cytisine, is similar to but less potent than nicotine. Synonyms for blue cohosh are blue ginseng, caulophyllum, papoose toot, squawroot, and yellow ginseng. Common trade Drs. Conry and Pearl provide a careful, evidence-based review of the...

Ayurveda The Ancient Indian System of Medicine

The chief source of ancient Indian Aryan culture and medicine is the four Vedas. The exact source and date of origin of the Vedas has always been a debatable issue, but according to Indian traditions, the Vedas were revealed to the sages by Brahma (the creator) approximately six thousand years before the Christian era. Most Western scholars believe that the oldest of the four Vedas was compiled during the second millennium b.c. The word Ayurveda (in Sanskrit Ayu means life, and Veda, to know)...

Epilepsy and Ayurveda

Abundant references to all aspects of epilepsy can be found in the Ayurvedic literature, including symptomology, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. The eighth chapter of Nidanasthana (diagnosis) and tenth chapter of Chikitsasthana (treatment) of the Caraka Samhita are devoted exclusively to epilepsy (2). In Ayurvedic literature, the diseases of the head, nervous system, and mental afflictions are well classified and their treatment is given in detail. Convulsions (akshepaka), apoplectic fits...

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,...

Scientific Methods in Medical Research

Science is the orderly arrangement of knowledge, and scientific methods are the careful, systematic ways in which this knowledge increases. The scientist suggests a theory and then carefully performs tests over and over to confirm the hypothesis. The tests may include laboratory work, other observations, and clinical trials. The results of basic medical science give evidence of basic mechanisms of action that occur in vitro in cell cul ture and intracellularly, and in vivo in living organisms...

The Osteopathic Approach to Children with Seizure Disorders

The osteopathic approach to healthcare originated in the work of Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. 1 , who founded the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri in 1884. A student of that school, William Garner Sutherland, D.O. 2 , through sudden inspiration and diligent research, extended the osteopathic principles and practice to the head region. Osteopathy in the cranial field was first published in a book by Sutherland called The Cranial Bowl in 1938 3 . The fundamental principles,...

Adverse Reactions to Spinal Manipulation

The reported incidence of adverse reactions to spinal manipulation is high, with a frequency as high as one of every two patients, but these reactions are generally reported to be mild and self-resolving. In one of the largest studies examining the incidence of side effects from SMT, Senstead 28 reported that the most common side effect was local discomfort 53 of mild or moderate intensity 85 that resolved within 24 hours 74 . No serious injuries or complications were reported during the study...

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...

Advantages and Disadvantages of Autogenic Training

- It is cost-effective because it can be taught in a group format or individually. - AT gives the patient a high degree of self-control. - It is not time-consuming to practice, although for maximum benefit, it should be practiced two times daily. - AT provides lasting benefits and can be combined with other approaches. - AT requires regular training to obtain and maintain its benefits. - It must be taught by a skilled professional, making it inaccessible to some. Powerful emotions may sometimes...

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...

Classification and Types of Epilepsy Apasmara

Ayurveda classifies epilepsy into four types, individually originating in the disordered states of the three dosas humors Vatika Apasmara, Paittika Apasmara, and Slaismika Apasmara, or all combined. The fourth type, the Sannipatika form of the disease, is caused by the simultaneous vitiation of all three dosas and is incurable however, it is open to palliative measures. An unusual feature of all four types of epilepsy is the sudden manifestation of violent symptoms without any warning and also...

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...