Treating Stroke With Acupuncture

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GreenLeaf Acupuncture Clinic, acupuncture, stroke, tcm, prevention, rehab

 

 

Did you know that strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in Canada, and the third leading cause of death?

 

They are a severe occurrence that can leave someone with temporary or even permanent disabilities. Luckily their risk factors can be controlled, and acupuncture can be implemented to reduce the likelihood of having a stroke. In addition, when acupuncture is used in conjunction with Western medicine, it can speed up the rehabilitation process of those who have suffered from a stroke.

 

A stroke occurs when the circulation of blood to your brain is interrupted or greatly reduced, therefore preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching your brain. This causes brain cells to rapidly die, which in turn results in a stroke. There are numerous lifestyle and medical factors that if left untreated, can greatly increase the likelihood of suffering from a stroke. Some risk factors include: 

 

  • Being overweight/obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking tobacco
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes

 

In Eastern medicine, systemic imbalances are formed when these symptoms/habits/conditions are sustained over long periods of time. Moreover, Eastern medicine also examines lifestyle factors more deeply as long-term emotional strain, and even the timing of your meals can affect the chances of you suffering from a stroke. Along with the health problems recognized in Western medicine that come with these risk factors, they also contribute to the weakening of the spleen, kidney, and liver systems in Eastern medicine.

 

When used to prevent strokes, acupuncture improves the circulation of your blood and internal energy known as Qi. This allows your body to begin returning back to a state of homeostasis as your organs start to work together more efficiently, offsetting the systemic imbalances formed by the risk factors and habits that lead to a stroke. Furthermore, acupuncture can be used to target pressure points that strengthen the Qi of the spleen, kidney, and liver. If you are already an individual with a high risk of suffering from a stroke, ensuring that these organs function properly in harmony together is crucial in preventing a stroke.

 

However, if you or someone you know has already suffered from a stroke, acupuncture can also be used in combination with Western medicine to speed up the rehabilitation process. If you suffer from a stroke complications can be severe, and are sometimes permanent. Some complications include:

 

  • Paralysis or loss of the ability to move certain muscles
  • Difficulty talking or eating
  • Memory loss and brain fog
  • Unstable emotional irritability
  • Chronic pain or numbness

 

Many of these complications are caused by problems with the nervous system as a result of a stroke, and when used in the rehabilitation process, acupuncture can repair the damage done to the nervous system. This is because acupuncture can promote neuroplasticity, which is the process in which your brain forms and cements neural pathways. In other words, acupuncture can help your brain re-learn how to move paralyzed muscles in your body and mouth, and reduce chronic pain and numbness that is the result of your nervous system misfiring pain signals. 

 

Many of the risk factors of a stroke, such as obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are general health problems that many Canadians face today. That is why it is important for us to work towards prevention. However, if you or someone you know has already suffered from a stroke, it’s important that we do everything we can by incorporating Eastern medicine and acupuncture into the rehabilitation process to accelerate recovery. If you are interested in utilizing acupuncture to prevent or treat a stroke, contact us today! 

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