Using Botox as an alternative medicine may sound strange. Botox advertisements almost always suggest botox for cosmetic injection in order to reduce forehead lines, laughter lines and other wrinkles.
But, there are great indications that it can also help with dystonia, excessive drooling, hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating) and even migraines. And, best of all, side effects appear to be minimal.
That these kind of results can occur at all is especially surprising when you consider that Botox is derived from the same toxin that can kill us in spoiled food.
The reason that the toxin botulinum becomes deadly in food poisoning is that it causes muscles in the body to weaken, since botulinum can keep muscles from contracting.
The key to using botox as an alternative medicine however lies in using an absolutely minimum dose of the toxin, and injecting the botox very precisely into the muscles that you want to relax.
Being able to force certain muscles under very prescribed conditions allows physicians to effectively treat dystonia - a type of involuntary muscle contraction.
People with cerebral palsy often has dystonia - it's what explains the odd, uncontrolled spasm movements often associated with cerebral palsy.
In many cases, the dystonia is 'focal' - that is, it is focused on a particular set of muscles.
In this case, botox can be injected into the affected muscle group to effectively reduce contractions and allow individuals greater control of their body movement.
Using botox as an alternative medicine in this way will usually create relaxed, controlled muscle movement for several months. In order to maintain the increased movement control, additional botox injections are usually required.
For kids with dystonia, using botox as an alternative medicine can be especially useful.
This is because kids can use the time period of botox induced relaxed muscles to learn how to control their body movements.
In cases of kids born with cerebral palsy, this may be the first time that the child has been able to perform this function.
Since the brain is at its most 'plastic' in the early years, there is the possibility that over time, the child can learn to control their body movements even after the effects of Botox have worn off.
Another promising use of botox as an alternative medicine is in the treatment of involuntary drooling. In this case, the botox injection occurs in the salivary glands. It turns out that dry mouth is often a side effect in using botox for cosmetic injections.
But, in the case of someone with a condition like cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis, the body's ability to deal with saliva is greatly compromised. By using botox to reduce the amount of saliva produced, patients can dramatically reduce the amountn of drooling. In some cases, treatments may last up to 12 months.
In the case of hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating), botox is an effective alternative medicine.
That's because the sweat glands use a neurotransmitter that can be effectively blocked by injections of the botulinum toxin.
The effect is to temporarily reduce and sometime even abolish the production of sweat in the areas treated.
According to a recent study, Botox was effectively used for people who suffer severe migraines. They experienced fewer migraines, and those were of lesser severity. This allowed them to reduce other types of medication used to treat their migraines as well.
Although using Botox as as alternative medicine show tremendous promise, it's important to distinguish its use and application from using Botox for cosmetic injections.
The therapeutic use of Botox should only be performed by doctors that are skilled in the practical use of this alternative medicine. Similarly, using Botox on children should only be done by physicians skilled in the practice. Children need much less of a dosage than adults to get good results, and recent findings indicate that minimal doses work equally well.
So... do check into using Botox as an alternative to medicine, especially if your child has any of the conditions noted above. But, be sure to do your homework first and find the latest research results and the closest experts in the field.
These videos give another in-depth view of how botox has been used specifically as a cerebral palsy therapy.
As parents we need to make decisions on behalf of our disabled children. When it comes to using a potentially dangerous process like botox therapy, it is worth thinking about the actual process of getting the injections as well as the overall potential therapeutic benefit.
This next video will help you learn a bit more about what that process is like, and may help you in making your decisions.
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