Arnold Chiari Malformation (ACII) & Scalp Acupuncture

So I’ve been doing some research on quite a few different subjects recently. I’m going to post what I’ve learned for future reference & discussion.Β  No need to comment for commenting sake.Β  I’m just wanting to get the information documented so I don’t forget.Β  πŸ™‚

As some of you know, I’ve recently read two books on scalp acupuncture. As I was reading, the conditions of symptomatic ACII kept jumping off the page at me. And I kept wondering, could scalp acupuncture prevent a decompression or even just help ease the symptoms before or after a decompression.

But my biggest question was, will scalp acupuncture help these problems when they are caused by a physical structural limitation. Just because it helps standard or idiopathic apnea & apraxia & others, will it help those things when they are caused by a structural malformation?

I posed this question to my acupuncturist (who is currently doing online training with Dr. Hao)Β via email yesterday and to my surprise she responded today with an answer from Dr. Hao himself. I love my acupuncturist!

So after explaining ACII and decompression surgery, my question to her was:
“All this to say, if you ever hear them mention an Arnold Chiari Malformation or Decompression Surgery or anything like that, I would love to be able to recommend scalp acupuncture as something to try BEFORE decompression, but I don’t know if it would help. My main hesitance to recommend is. . . just because scalp acupuncture helps apraxia, aphasia, apnea and some of the other symptoms, doesn’t mean it will help when, in this case, the symptoms are caused by a structural problem in the head. You know?”

She responded with this:
I asked Dr. Hao your question regarding the above. He said that the spina bifida children he has treated showed improvements in standing and walking but he has not treated any children with Arnold Chiari Malformation so is difficult to give any suggestions, however did say scalp acupuncture may help this child.”

So I continue to wonder.Β  But I can tell you this. . . if Pooka was symptomatic and her doctors were recommending decompression, after all the amazing, almost miraculous stories I have read, I would march her straight to New Mexico for a series of scalp acupuncture treatments before even considering a decompression surgery.


P.S. FYI MrsK, Dr. Hao said the same thing as your therapist about waiting until the sutures in the head close, before starting scalp acupuncture on a child.


  • I just wanted to add that scalp acupuncture is a modern technique with just 40 years of history. It was developed by a Chinese neurosurgeon, who combined his Western medical knowledge of the brain with his ancient Chinese needling techniques.

    I dropped by my acupuncturist’s office today. She was in the middle of watching one of her online scalp acupuncture courses and was all excited. She told me all about how scalp acupuncture has helped MS and Parkinson’s. She said that patients with Parkinson’s have actually gone into remission after treatment and that MS patients have started walking again, no longer needing their wheelchairs. She was so excited about it!

    She said to tell those who are skeptical of Eastern medicine that scalp acupuncture is a non-invasive way to access, pinpoint and stimulate the various nerves of the brain.

  • I’m sending this post to several friends who deal with type 2 chiari. Not SB related, but still good info for them.

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