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Stroke Rehabilitation & Chinese Medicine

A recap of Ben’s talk at            Cooley Dickinson Hospital Last month I gave a talk to some folks at Cooley Dickinson hospital on the effects of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for stroke rehabilitation.  I had a great time talking with them, as well as answering their questions and concerns about Chinese medicine.   I would like to share with you some of the things... 

we discussed so that you are aware of the incredible benefits for stroke patients, as we all probably know someone close to us to has suffered from such a problem.

First of all, the best way to treat a stroke is to prevent it.  No matter what modality of medicine you use, this is a fact.  And Chinese medicine is great at detecting unbalanced health before it actually causes a problem.  (There is no better way to prevent disaster than to take the time now to invest in good health! And Acupuncture 1-4x/month does just that!) For example, one of the leading causes of stroke is high blood pressure.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, along with lifestyle changes, do a remarkable job at maintaining healthy blood pressure without the use of drugs.  In this way, the chance of stroke can be lessened or prevented, allowing you to remain fully functional in your later years. Now if one is unfortunate and experiences a stroke, Chinese medicine can be immediately used to combat the effects of lost motor function, numbness, pain, circulation, weakness, cognitive function, and aphasia.  In fact, studies in China show that the sooner stroke victims receive acupuncture, the better their chances are for regaining function, and returning to work.  This is a big deal, as many patients even after rehab still can not take care of the themselves with out help of others. 

Intensive treatment ASAP is recommended because after 6 months the rates of recovery start to decline. However, even if one had a stroke many months or even years ago, it is still worth a shot as there are patients who do regain some function, experience less pain and numbness, as well as increased energy and well-being. Stroke rehabilitation is a multi-discipline approach and should not be undertaken by Chinese medicine alone.  Western medical therapy, physical therapy, massage, and nutritional therapy are all necessary.  Working with a speech pathologist is important for those patients with speaking difficulties.  Also, having a supportive, caring environment is essential for the patient to reduce negative emotions that may hinder their progress. If you know someone suffering the effects of stroke, let them know acupuncture is an option and that we are here to help.

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