Similarly to Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary shaking, affecting various areas of the body. The movement of the tremor is not dangerous. However, when it is severe, it can affect daily activities like writing, eating, and drinking. Often, it affects the hands. Essential tremor can run in families and is common in ages 10 and 19 or 50 and 59.
Unlike Parkinson’s, essential tremors do not cause other health problems. The main symptom is only tremors. They are commonly bilateral but could affect only one side of the body. There are two types: action tremors which happen during actions like writing, and postural tremors, which occur when your body is in specific positions.
Tremors begin gradually and often in the hands; they can progress into “yes” or “no” neck movements and affect the voice. Anxiety, stress, fatigue, and caffeine can aggravate them. While rest and the therapeutic cooling of your arms can provide relief according to studies.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), tremors can be due to Wind. Wind is a pathogenic energy movement caused by the stagnation and rising of Liver Qi. For TCM, the Liver refers to a set of functions not just performed by the organ as we know it but other controlling and regulating factors that are paramount to TCM. Other disharmonies can cause tremors, including deficiency of the Kidney and Spleen.
Acupuncture has proven to be a therapeutic modality for people with essential tremors. In many cases, it has reduced and even eliminated the symptoms. Using the traditional tools for diagnosis (the tongue and pulse), a trained acupuncture physician can determine what disharmony is causing the symptoms of essential tremors. Then, applying acupuncture and additionally, the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine can strengthen and restore the body’s natural energy. These therapies can reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue all while restoring wellness.