Acupuncture as effective treatment for TN

Dear all new and long term sufferers,
I had TN for 3 years - xray, mri, the series of tests most of us went through.
Finally tried acupuncture at a licensed practioner in Canada - cured of the excruciating pain by the 6th session. I hope you will be able to find a licensed tcm/acupuncturist near to your home.
You can google for peer-reviewed medical journals on the effectiveness of acupuncture for TN.
Stay away from sugar as it damages our nerves (google diabetes, sugar and nerve damage).
All the best my fellow TN warriors.

Hi tnsaved,
That is great you have had success with acupuncture!
I too have used acupuncture with success with type 2 but has not helped type 1 for any length of time.
Everyone is different and there is no one “cure” that helps everyone.
I believe that you have to find a competent acupuncturist that understands TN and knows how the nerve is.
I recommend anyone to research all they can and check out the practitioner the best they can.
Again am happy for your success and thank you for sharing!

Thank you Scott!
Agree that everyone should do research.
Happy that acupuncture worked for your tn2.
Like you, I had tn1 & tn2.
I have been on zero (close to) sugar intake. Whenever I stray from it and go for the crepe/cheesecake, the odd intense tn1 comes back with a vengence.
Also, emotionally - we need to stay away from feelings of being victimised or anger whenever practical/possible (at least for me).
God bless!

I just wanted to issue a clarification, sugar itself doesn’t damage nerves. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerve fibers throughout your body, which is very different from simply eating sugar.

Are they interrelated? Sure, depending on what else is going on in your body and especially if you’re diabetic. If you’re not diabetic eating sugar isn’t such an issue. Is too much a good thing bad for you? Sure. Too much of anything can be bad for you. Eating sugar and not properly brushing your teeth with rot your teeth out of your head, too. It’s all about balance.

Hi Azurelle,
Thank you for the important clarification. Yes, sugar cause spikes in blood sugar and carbs (and possibly stress and caffine for some) that in turn lead to neuropathy - especially for people with diabetes. For non-diabetic patients, consumption of excessive sugar can lead to (like you rightly pointed out), cavities, insulin resistance, obesity and other health issues with prolonged periods of high blood sugar.
Kind regards.

Thank you both for the valuable input and info!

I’d like to clarify that even people who have not been diagnosed with diabetes, or even pre-diabetes, can have quite high spikes in blood sugar. My A1c (a typical measure of blood sugar levels over time) is quite good, but I’ve done a lot of testing and I can have very high blood sugar spikes (over 200 ml/dl) at times, depending on what I eat.

But high insulin levels can also be very damaging, and very few people have insulin levels tested. Blood sugar levels don’t get out of control until the pancreas and insulin system is completely broken down and overwhelmed, which may not happen for years or even decades. So a lot of damage can occur before one even has pre-diabetes.

I would encourage anyone who is concerned about blood sugar at all to get a blood glucose meter and do some testing. It is very interesting and you will learn a LOT about how your body reacts to sugar and other carbs.

Acupuncture in combination with Physio has been a life saver for me. It absolutely helps my pain level and sometimes will get rid of a flare up all together. It is by no means a cure, but another type of self-care to keep on your list!

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Acupuncture is an interesting thought. My only experience with acupuncture was with my cat. It worked very well on his spondylosis. My TN started screaming 4 weeks ago and will not stop. I am having trouble ramping up to the dosage of Gabapentin that the doctor suggested. I can only get to 3 pills 3x a day and that is making me feel out of sorts. I need some relief somehow. I am beginning to get depressed about this and am trying to not let that happen. I cannot speak or eat so something needs to be done soon. Thanks for the suggestion of accupuncture. I will look into it.

Hi ,
I am sorry you are having a bad time. I do know how you feel not being able to eat or speak let alone brushing your teeth.

What is the dosage of your gaba pills?

I hope you can find an acupuncturist that can help you out!

let me know how you are doing.


Sorry, Scott I didn’t mean to send an email. New to the site and trying to figure it out.

I’'m up to 900 mg a day and they want me to get to 1500 mg of the gabapentin. Previous episodes subsided with only 600 mg.

I am going to look into the acupuncture. Is it true that these episodes increase as time goes on and the intensity increases as well? That scares me!

Thank you for responding.

Sent on the new Sprint Network from my Samsung Galaxy S®4

No problem. It is true that it usually increases but with the different meds available most times experimenting can help and control the pain and episodes. There are many members that find what helps them with meds or surgery and fade into the background so there is always hope. Unfortunately there not a single one “cure” which makes it more difficult to find what helps you.

What kind of Physio therapy have you been having that’s been helping? Thanks.

My pain extends to the top and back of my head as well. I have physio for my upper cervical pain. The acupuncture is for that and my facial pain. It is all connected for me.

I am 74 years old and have had TN for about 25 years. I only diagnosed it about 5 years ago when the length of the remission periods decreased so drastically that I realized it wasn’t related to teeth. I have been on 1200 mg gabapentin and 800 mg carbamazapine daily since then. In the past 5 years the good periods (ie length of remission periods between attacks) have decreased to almost no time. Now I have been about 3 weeks with constant attacks with no remission in sight. My family is suggesting acupuncture. I have a couple questions: 1) what type of success have readers found (none, immediate but not permanent, after many treatments, permanent, ??) 2) how do you interview a potential acupuncturist to verify their experience in TN? 3) has anyone had the insertion of a needle on the table hit a nerve that triggered a “through the roof” immediate pain response?

I would like to hear testimonies from successes and failures. Thanks.

Also, followup from my above message…I have seen abbreviations in different postings using ATN, TN1, and TN2. Would someone who knows the difference in definition of these abbreviations please let us know? Thank you.

I have had TN for 10 years now. Finally was able to discover Trileptal and was cured for a few years (or so I thought). Pain came roaring back two years ago. I had CyberKnife surgery in Birmingham, AL. After about five months the pain stopped again. However, it was short lived. I went back to Neurosurgeon who performed and he then said I had TN2 or Atypical Trigeminal and did not recommend another attempt with the CyberKnife. So I’ve continued to suffer through more meds with no luck. I finally decided to give accupuncture a shot and went to see a Chiropractor that also performs accupuncture. I went twice and had no results and thought I was probably just throwing away my money. I skipped one session and then committed myself to five sessions just to see. After session number four, my pain had greatly subsided. After session five, it’s gone other than when eating. I’m still on same dosages of meds, but I swear I think the accupuncture was the reason the pain has left me. I went back for my weekly session last week and the Chiro informed me that I didn’t need the accupuncture on that visit. The visits cost me $50 per visit and take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hours. The needles are painless and you just lie on a bed and relax while they are in. My first visit required about 15 needles and my last I had only two. Of course this is just my experience, but I did want to share it if anyone is on the fence about it.