What is stroke?
When the blood supply to the brain is disturbed in some way and brain cells are starved of oxygen causing some cells to die and leaving other cells damaged or dead, it's called stroke.

Stroke refers to a disorder manifested by sudden loss of consciousness with unilateral weakness, numbness, paralysis and dysphasia, or to a disorder manifested by sudden onset of unilateral paralysis and
facial paralysis without experiencing unconsciousness.

Acupuncture treatment techniques for stroke:
•  Needling : using needles to stimulate the acupoints and meridians
•  Needling + electrical stimulation
•  Scalp needling
•  Moxibustion : warming the needles burning moxa wool to stimulate the meridians and acupoints
•  A combination of two or all of the above.

Is acupuncture similar to physiotherapy?
• In physiotherapy, various special aids/ appliances, heat/ short wave treatment are used to
improve/restore the neuro-muscular functions of the affected parts.
•  Acupuncture stimulates specific acupoints which are part of an energy network running throughout the body, thereby restoring balance and promote healing.
•  When used in combination, they complement each other to enhance and promote the  healing process.

Effects of Acupuncture on stroke patients
It is through the stimulation of the meridians and acupoints that acupuncture helps to regulate the qi and blood and then restore the ying/yang balance.

Based on Western and medical research, acupuncture has the following effects:
It can
•  Lower blood pressure
•  Lower blood cholesterol level
•  Regulate heart function
•  Direct stimulation of the nerves and muscles, restoring its function
•  Increase blood circulation to the brain

Hence, acupuncture is not only effective in treating stroke, it can also help to prevent it.

How soon should you start treatment?
•  For cerebral haemorrhage: 2-3 weeks after condition stabilised
•  For cerebral ischemia: 1 week after condition stabilised
•  The earlier you start treatment the better the chance of a more complete recovery.

How effective is acupuncture treatment?
•  The efficacy is best when treatment is started as soon as possible
•  The efficacy on haemorrhagic and ischemic stroke is similar
•  Generally, recovery of the upper limbs will be better and faster than lower limbs
•  The recovery rate for speech, incontinence and mobility of the smaller joints (e.g. fingers and toes)   will be slower and gradual.
•  The stroke patient will not be able to have a complete recovery (except for very mild cases),
but he may be able to lead a fairly independent life

What is the duration of acupuncture treatment?
•  45-60 minutes per session
•  12 sessions per course, 1 to 3 times per week
•  Depending on the severity of your conditions, you may need to come for one (for mild stroke) or more
courses of treatment.

DOs and DON’Ts during treatment
•  Do continue with the medicine that your doctor had prescribed for you
•  Watch your diet – take more fish, fruits, vegetables and bean products. Avoid foods rich in salt, fats, and sugar
•  Attend physiotherapy and exercise regularly and consistently to build up your strength and speech
•  Don’t smoke
•  Don’t drink alcohol
•  Learn to relax

Stroke Acupuncture Treatment Denver