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Loss of balance


Submitted By: daphne

My patient, an 84 year old female has been experiencing loss of balance (as she is unsteady when walking) and loss of sense of smell (don't know if they are related) for the past 5 years. Hypertension. Feeling some "heaviness" in head. No tinnitus, no headaches. Dislikes cold. Cold hands/feet. Pulse slow/tense. Digestion/stools normal. Occasional nausea. No lung pathology. Sleeps well. Tongue swollen, pale/bluish.
TCM dx: yang xu, with possible accumulation of dampness.
She had 8 sessions of tcm in the past which helped temporarily, then symptoms returned after she terminated tx.
I have treated her for 8 sessions now, and she indicates only that she feels less of the heavy sensation in the head. No change with balance.
Can tcm help with these symptoms? Any thoughts about the dx?


It is very likely that acupuncture can help with this condition, so after 16 treatment she should have improved. What points are you using? and has she had an MRI?


she has been tested from head to toe. No findings. Looking back, seems I may have been a bit off-track with the points. Mainly: GV-20, GB-20, LI-4, LI-20, cv-12, sp-6, st-40,
less frequent: st-36, cv-4, kid-7, kid-6.
maybe I need to focus more on the deficiency
and use kid-7, cv-4 and 6? Question is also, after improvment, can it last?


The points look more or less fine, although, sticking closer to your diagnosis is a good idea. Personally, I would add something like SI 3 with UB 62, GV 17, and/or GV 19 - along with what you have already. Most importantly, I would add fairly strong tuina along the neck, particularly along the SCM (so points like SI 17, TH 16 and along the cervical huatuo points.

These problems are most often less constitutional and more of a nerve problem from the neck. It is important, then, to work in that area as well as using a TCM-style differential diagnosis.

If it is, as I suspect, more of a nerve related issue, improvement should be fairly permanent within 4-8 treatments. If it is more of a constitutional deficiency issue, then, it should still improve but may require ongoing maintenance treatments.


thank you chad.

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