Acupuncture for stroke – a widely used treatment
Acupuncture is more widely used for stroke recovery and prevention than for any other reason in China, but its use in the West, to help patients after a stroke, is much less well known. Acupuncture has a very long history as a stroke treatment in China, and early medical texts suggest it has been used continually for 2000 millennia – specifically to help stroke patients.
Acupuncture for stroke in the West
A pioneering integrated research based medicine program in New York, has, for the last decade, brought modern biomedical and applied healthcare knowledge together with Chinese medical perspectives on stroke treatment, to develop a gold standard integrated stroke recovery and prevention care programme.
What role can acupuncture play?
Many aspects of recovery are dealt with through acupuncture including: speech recovery, help with constipation digestion and swallowing, aphasia, recovery of movement, balance and stability and stroke prevention. If you have already had a stroke then prevention is a most important aspect of self care. Through Chinese medical diagnosis and theories an acupuncture practitioner can develop a treatment strategy that is tailored to your specific needs, in terms of risk of future stroke. We look not just at what has happened in terms of health issues, but what is likely to happen next, if the person’s system is not supported, balanced and harmonised.
How I can help you
Having studied with Claudia Citovitz, who developed the programme, through her hospital work and PhD research at the University of Westminster, I am able to bring you the Chinese medical element of this program and will try to help you recover from your stroke as quickly as possible, as part of your support team. I am very happy to work together with conventional medicine colleagues on the NHS and to support other acupuncturists working with stroke patients to consider if there may be further benefits for you from their treatment, that I can offer or advise on.
When should I start having treatment?
It is best to begin as soon as possible after a stroke has occurred but if this is not practical then acupuncture may have a role to play in health improvements weeks, months or even years after a stroke has occurred. One of the real strengths of acupuncture is as a illness prevention treatment, and in stroke this is very important, as the risk of stroke increases after a stroke has occurred and with age.
Does acupuncture work for stroke?
Research shows acupuncture is a safe treatment offering potential benefits for stroke, with a Cochrane review, the highest standard of evidence. conducted and updated in 2016. However, further research is needed as many studies were not high quality.
Please get in touch with me to talk about what acupuncture may be able to do for you, or a friend, or relative in need, if a stroke has occurred.