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Wenhui Qiao, OMD, LAc
Acupuncture Therapy For Stroke
Holycross Acupuncture and Herbs

Acupuncture Therapy For Stroke

More than 2,400 years ago the father of medicine, Hippocrates, recognized and described strokethe sudden onset of paralysis. In ancient times stroke was called apoplexy, a general term that physicians applied to anyone suddenly struck down with paralysis. The first person to investigate the pathological signs of apoplexy was Johann Jacob Wepfer. Born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, in 1620. He was the first person to suggest that apoplexy, in addition to being caused by bleeding in the brain, could be caused by a blockage of one of the main arteries supplying blood to the brain; thus stroke became known as a cerebrovascular disease.
There are two forms of stroke ischemicblockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic
bleeding into or around the brain. An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery supplying the brain with blood becomes blocked, suddenly decreasing or stopping blood flow and ultimately causing a brain infarction. This type of stroke accounts for approximately 80 percent of all strokes. When an artery in the brain bursts, blood spews out into the surrounding tissue called a hemorrhagic stroke. Such strokes account for approximately 20 percent of all strokes.
Symptoms of stroke appear suddenly sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble talking, or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Stroke prevention is still the best medicine. The most important treatable conditions linked to stroke are high blood pressure.Treat it. Cigarette smoking. Quit. Heart disease. Manage it. Diabetes. Control it. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). Seek help.
Therapies for stroke include medications, surgery, or rehabilitation. The most popular classes of drugs used to prevent or treat stroke are antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants) and thrombolytics. There are two prominent types of surgery for stroke prevention and treatment carotid endarterectomy and extracranial/intracranial (EC/IC) bypass. Rehabilitation therapy is available to help rehabilitate post-stroke patients.
Acupuncture therapy for stroke-caused conditions such as paralysis, speech and swallowing problems, and depression is commonly used in the Orient. Many studies involving thousands of patients have been published in China and Japan, demonstrating significant help. These studies indicate that patients get well faster, perform better in self-care, require less nursing and rehabilitation therapy, and use less healthcare dollars. Ancient Chinese medicine explained the stroke (paralysis) as the result of Fong or Wind injuries which attack the human patient and become Yin or Yang, producing leprosy or hemiplegia. Another names for stroke is Trung fong and for leprosy is Fong cui.
Acupuncture has been applied to treat paralysis patients as long ago as the first Chinese medical publications appeared in print. In the book Shu-Wen (Huang-Ti Nei-Ching) it is stated that the most important points in treating paralysis were on the stomach meridian. Recently, the cerebral acupuncture technique has been reported to be used widely for stroke victims in China with a very successful recovery rate.
The basic explanation of how cerebral acupuncture works is found in the “interior-exterior” rule which theorizes that by needling the scalp (exterior), the treatment can be realized in the cortex (interior). At least one of the following cerebral acupuncture points has been used, depending on the patients condition motor point, sensitivity point, controlling tremors and chorea point, vertigo point, speech point 1 and point 2, walking coordination point, or equilibrium point.

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