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Acupuncture and Physiotherapy Enhance Stroke Recovery

By HERWriter
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A stroke can leave alot of damage in its wake. Location is everything, determining which systems are affected, and what treatments are needed for recovery. You may have minimal damage, or be bedridden and paralyzed. You may be unable to talk, or diminished in your ability to think, reason and understand.

Let's look at a woman whose stroke left her cognitive abilities intact, but with some paralysis in her right arm and leg. This is called "hemiparesis". She suffered damage to her left brain, which controls muscle function for her right side.

She and her family decided to pursue physiotherapy and acupuncture.

Physiotherapy began within days of her stroke. This often brings swift initial results. Pace of recovery usually slows down after this initial burst, and further gain can be slow. But treatment should be continued in hopes of reclaiming as much lost ground as possible. Physical therapy, done daily, can increase muscle movement and repair brain damage.

She also chose acupuncture. This combination of treatment can help to relieve her pain and paralysis.

At one time acupuncture was quite unfamiliar in our culture, but over the last 30 years this has changed dramatically. More people are seeing the acupuncturist as they search for relief they haven't found within our medical system.

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. It involves a trained practitioner inserting tiny needles into the skin. This procedure is usually painless. The needles stimulate nerves and muscles, ease pain, and improve energy flow, or "qi" (pronounced "chee"). Twenty meridians (pathways) connect 2,000 acupuncture points. Each point has its own identity in relation to its location within the meridians.

Ideally, in the case of stroke, acupuncture should be done every day, though generally that is not possible. Two to three times a week is quite beneficial. A combination of traditional acupuncture and scalp acupuncture, which is based on neurological mapping of the brain, is frequently used.

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EmpowHER Guest

A controlled study on Acupuncture and Strokes was conducted at the Lund University Hospital in Sweden. It found that a group of 38 patients who received acupuncture treatments twice a week for ten weeks reported significant improvements in the areas of walking, balance, emotions, quality of life, ease of daily activity, and mobility in comparison with a control group of 40 patients who did not receive acupuncture treatments. The Acupuncture Group spent fewer days in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities than the Non-Acupuncture Group, with an average savings of $26,000 per patient. In the follow-up period, it was found that one year after suffering their stroke and receiving treatment, 89% of the patients in the Acupuncture Group were living at home vs. 66% of the patients in the Non-Acupuncture Group. I found this information on http://acufinder.com - the acupuncture directory. It is a great website to find an acupuncturist that specializes in neurological problems including strokes.

August 18, 2009 - 3:54pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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