Updated: Sep 5, 2022
Stroke is one of the top five leading causes of fatality and of disability. Recovery from stroke can be a long road, with some patients still struggling to manage independently after 6 months or more. With acupuncture, you can manage your symptoms and reduce recovery time!
A stroke occurs when blood flow is cut off to part of the brain. Without blood, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and die, affecting abilities controlled by that area of the brain. One type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel or aneurysm in the brain bursts (hemorrhagic stroke), and the other occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke). Ischemic strokes are the strokes most commonly experienced. Strokes can happen to anyone, at any time. Depending on where the stroke happens and how much of the brain is damaged, the effects can range from relatively mild to severe.
Warning signs of stroke:
arm weakness or numbness on one side
trouble speaking and understanding
loss of balance or coordination
Acupuncture and Stroke
Acupuncture should be implemented promptly after suffering a stroke. Since acupuncture reduces inflammation, if administered before the brain swells within the first 72 hours after a stroke (known as cerebral edema), it can reduce or prevent edema and its effects. Studies show that acupuncture administered within the first 3 weeks after a stroke achieves the fastest and fullest recovery.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effect, acupuncture also improves blood flow to the brain and the affected parts of the body. By restoring blood flow to the damaged parts of the brain, it can speed up the regeneration of brain cells (called neurogenesis) and the healing process. Improving blood flow to the paralyzed or otherwise affected body parts keeps the muscles from atrophying and can reduce overall recovery time.
Improving blood flow to the brain and reducing inflammation helps restore motor coordination, language abilities, and damaged facial nerves. Based on case results, acupuncture can restore function to 95% of patients and reduce recovery time to as little as 2 weeks, depending on condition severity.
Stroke patients should continue to receive rehabilitation and therapy from other sources, particularly if they suffer from paralysis or a speech disorder such as aphasia or dysphasia. Acupuncture is a medical practice that should be implemented along with the necessary recommended therapy for the greatest results. In one study, stroke patients receiving traditional drug therapy for paralysis along with acupuncture experienced an 82.36% effective rate, where patients using drugs alone experienced only a 70.59% effective rate in treatment.
Acupuncture can work to help restore independence and quality of life for all stroke patients. If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke, call us at (321) 972-2940 to set up an initial health consultation today.
Zhu, Ming Qing, Moyee Siu. "Can Acupuncture Really Benefit Stroke Recovery?" (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2015/07/27/can-acupuncture-really-benefit-stroke-recovery
Stroke.Org "What is Stroke?" (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/what-stroke
"Acupuncture Found Effective for Stroke Paralysis Recovery." (July 6, 2017). Retrieved from http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1768-acupuncture-found-effective-for-stroke-paralysis-recovery