Stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to your brain is suddenly cut off or when a blood vessel in your brain bursts. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke continues to be a significant cause of death and disability in the U.S. Each year, there are nearly 800,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke. Depends on which area of the brain is damaged, different types and degrees of disability follow a stroke, including Hemiplegia, Aphasia, Difficulty swallowing, Facial Palsy, Blindness, Shoulder pain & partial dislocation, Inversion of foot, Hearing Impairment, Constipation, Difficulty in urination, Urinary incontinence, Decubitus, and Cognitive disorder.
What's the typical stroke rehabilitation?
After hospital stay, the typical post-stroke rehabilitation involves one to two weeks of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy in a rehabilitation facility. After three or more weeks of rehabilitation, the treatment usually comes to an end, but the patient's recovery is far from complete. Most of the patients still have certain degrees of disabilities.
Are acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine effective for post stroke rehabilitation?
Acupuncture therapy for stroke-caused conditions such as paralysis, speech and swallowing problems, and depression is commonly used in the Orient. Does acupuncture really work to help stroke victims improve? Although there are few scientific supports for the effectiveness of acupuncture in stroke rehabilitation, several small studies indicate that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are effective in treating stroke patients. In 2009, a study involving 30 patients indicated that after undergoing a single acupuncture treatment, the balance in people who have suffered a stroke were boosted. In 2005, a study of 33 stroke patients with chronic hemiparesis, some patients did experience gains in motor function. A study published in 2007 involving 96 stroke patients also showed that acupuncture may help treat spastic dyskinesia.
In our experience with stroke patients, we found that the sooner a patient receives the acupuncture treatment, the better the chances of recovery. The most successful case I had was a 50-year-old male who suffered from paralysis on right legs and facial paralysis,even can not speak well for 1.5 months. He came to my office on wheelchair. After acupuncture treatment twice a week for one month and taking herbal formula once day for one month, he could stand up to walk a little and can speak pretty fluently.
Although results vary for each individual patient depending on the severity of the stroke, the affected area and the length of time since the onset, we definitely see the gradual improvement post-stroke patients make in their recovery every day with acupuncture and herbal medicine therapy.