Acupuncture is effective for trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is a swelling of one of the trigeminal nerves often due to exterior invasion of wind and cold. Depending on where the pain is localized and which trigeminal nerves are inflamed, a licensed acupuncturist will be able to prescribe an appropriate treatment .Acupuncture produced beneficial effects in the majority of patients in this series. Acupuncture should be considered as a safe therapeutic option in patients with TN, especially before invasive intervention is done.
To observe the clinical efficacy on primary trigeminal neuralgia treated with joint needling method at the trigger point,Chinese Changzhou municipal hospital has done a research about this. Their One hundred and three cases of primary trigeminal neuralgia were divided into a joint needling group (53 cases) and a conventional needling group (50 cases) according to the visit sequence. In the joint needling group, the joint needling method was used at the trigger point in the mandibular joint [the positive point near to Xiaguan (ST 7)]; the conventional needling was used at Hegu (LI 4), Waiguan (TE 5), Taichong (LR 3) and Neiting (ST 44). In the conventional needling group, Xiaguan (ST 7) and Fengchi (GB 20) were used and the supplementary acupoints were selected according to the involved branches of trigeminal nerve. The conventional needling method was used. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the score of trigeminal neuralgia were adopted to assess the pain severity and the comprehensive symptoms before treatment and after the 1st and 2nd sessions of treatment separately. The efficacy was assessed.
They found that the joint needling method at the trigger point achieves the significant efficacy on primary trigeminal neuralgia, which is superior to that with the conventional needling method.
-----Herbal medicine can also be used together with the above acupuncture protocol to enhance the effect. An often used Chinese Herbal Formula for TN patients is known as xue fu zhu yu tang. This combination of 11 Chinese herbs includes peach kernel (Persicae Semen), safflower petals (Carthami Flos), Szechuan lovage root (Chuanxiong Rhizoma), and Chinese angelica root (Angelicae sinensis Radix) as the first 4 herbs. These herbs are considered in the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory to have a strong invigorating or circulating quality, and serve the role of alleviating pain by eliminating blockages or stagnations in the body
Reference:Chen ZM, Wu XT.Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Jun;32(6):499-502. Chinese.