The Remarkable Benefits of Acupuncture for Ataxia: Restoring Balance and Hope

Restoring balance3

Acupuncture:  proof that stabbing someone can make things better.

Robert Southey

Living with ataxia, a neurological disorder that affects coordination and balance, can be a daunting and challenging journey. However, among the various treatments available, acupuncture has emerged as a promising therapeutic option for managing the symptoms of ataxia. This ancient Chinese practice, rooted in the concept of rebalancing the body’s energy flow, has shown remarkable benefits in restoring balance, improving motor skills, and enhancing overall well-being for individuals with ataxia.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of acupuncture and its potential to bring hope and relief to those affected by ataxia. I will also detail my personal journey with acupuncture and ataxia. In my opinion, it has been one of the best things I can do naturally to stop my progression.

After researching alternative therapies for my condition, I decided to try acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), late last year. Luckily, my insurance does cover some acupuncture treatments and I started to look at who was in my network. As if it was meant to be, I found a doctor that studied under some of the best movement specialists. 

Restoring Balance:

Ataxia disrupts the body’s ability to coordinate movements, leading to imbalance and an unsteady gait.  Acupuncture aims to restore balance by targeting specific acupoints along the body’s meridians. These meridians are believed to be channels through which vital energy, known as Qi, flows. By stimulating the relevant acupoints, acupuncture helps regulate and restore the natural flow of Qi, promoting harmony within the body. The gentle insertion of thin needles starts an outpouring of responses, including the release of endorphins and a change in the autonomic nervous system, which aids in regaining balance and coordination.

My story:

I cannot begin to explain how my life has improved since starting acupuncture. My balance, coordination, and gait have improved. And just as important is the steady feeling I have, inside of my body. That is a somewhat difficult feeling to explain, but those of us in the community will understand. But it is not just me saying that……

Improving Motor Skills:

One of the primary goals of acupuncture in managing ataxia is to improve motor skills. Acupuncture can enhance fine motor control and coordination. It also reduces tremors and muscle stiffness associated with Ataxia. The stimulation of acupoints prompts neural pathways and triggers the release of neurotransmitters.  Thereby assisting in the restoration of damaged neural connections. Acupuncture helps individuals regain control over their movements, enhancing their overall quality of life.

My comment:

I also go to physical therapy and after a couple of months of acupuncture treatments, she was telling me things like “Who are you?” or “What did you do with the guy that first came in here?” I can do more and attempt activities that previously, I could not do.  Ha-ha, don’t get me wrong, I still have Ataxia, and nothing is perfect. But I am so much more improved!

Managing Symptoms:

Ataxia often manifests with a range of difficult symptoms, including fatigue, pain, and muscle weakness.  Acupuncture offers a holistic approach to symptom management. By addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of the condition. These treatments stimulate the body’s natural pain-relieving tools, reducing discomfort and easing muscle tension. 

Additionally, acupuncture sessions can also help manage stress, anxiety, and depression, which commonly accompany chronic conditions like ataxia. The relaxation and sense of well-being prompted by acupuncture, contribute to an overall improvement in your quality of life.

My story:

In addition to helping with coordination and balance, this has helped with pain management. I also have ankylosing spondylosis, which sometimes causes severe back and joint pain. These treatments have helped me to reduce my use of OTC painkillers.

Enhancing Circulation:

Decreased blood circulation can intensify symptoms of ataxia and obstruct the body’s natural healing processes. These treatments enhance blood flow by expanding blood vessels and improving circulation, on a micro level. Increased blood supply to affected areas helps nourish damaged nerve cells.  This promotes their recovery and helps reduce the progression of Ataxia symptoms. 

For me:

At first, I wasn’t feeling the energy at different points in my body. But once it happened, it is a feeling I have every time. Imagine sitting by the ocean and feeling a warm breeze on your face. Now, think about that same feeling running across different parts of your body, all while you drift off to sleep. I’m sure everyone has a different description of their experience. But for me, it is so calming and energizing.

Complementary Approach:

Acupuncture can be an effective complementary therapy when used alongside conventional medical treatments for ataxia. It can seamlessly be incorporated into your own treatment plan and does not affect medications or therapies that have been prescribed to you. Collaborating with healthcare professionals knowledgeable in both acupuncture and ataxia is essential to develop an integrated treatment strategy that maximizes the benefits. Ataxia management can be tailored to each patient’s specific symptoms and requirements during acupuncture sessions.

My Approach:

As I said earlier, I intend to try every option I can to slow my progression. Currently, I am focused on the natural treatments for Ataxia and the symptoms that come with it. Physical Therapy, home/gym workouts, and acupuncture are all part of my current routine. 


The ancient practice of acupuncture holds incredible promise in the management of ataxia. Offering a holistic and complementary approach to conventional treatments. Acupuncture brings hope and relief to those affected by ataxia. By restoring balance, improving motor skills, alleviating symptoms, enhancing circulation, and supporting overall well-being.  Despite the need for additional research, acupuncture has the potential to significantly improve the lives of people with ataxia. If you or a loved one is battling ataxia, considering acupuncture as part of the treatment journey may offer new avenues for healing and improved quality of life.

Unlock transformative benefits with the wisdom of acupuncture. Discover its profound impact on physical and mental well-being. Read more about it in “The Ancient Wisdom and Transformative Benefits of Acupuncture

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