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Posts Tagged: Paralysis

Acupuncture Supports Survivors of Stroke

Acupuncture Can Aid Recovery from Stroke

Acupuncture Can Aid Recovery from Stroke

A stroke can change your life in an instant. 

But acupuncture can aid with the recovery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. The American Heart Association estimates that between 500,000 and 750,000 strokes occur in the U.S. each year, approximately 150,000 people dying from the stroke itself or from related complications.

A stroke happens when a part of the brain dies from lack of blood, usually because one of the arteries that supply oxygen-carrying blood to the brain has been damaged. This can be caused one of two ways:

Clogged vessel or ischemic stroke: Caused by blockage of a blood vessel in the brain, usually by a blood clot or by fatty deposits on the vessel wall. 80% of strokes are ischemic.

Burst vessel or hemorrhagic stroke: Caused by a ruptured blood vessel, preventing normal flow and allowing blood to leak into brain tissue, destroying it. This occurs in 20% of strokes.

Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body (hemiplegia). A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness (hemiparesis). Stroke may cause difficulties with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech.

A stroke can lead to emotional problems, as stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions and experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.

Acupuncture can improve not only the physical symptoms of stroke but also the emotional malaise that often accompanies such a significant life change. As you can see, there are a variety of side effects from stroke, and acupuncture can work for speech problems (aphasia), facial paralysis, and muscular paralysis/weakness (hemiplagia, rigidity). Acupuncture also works to preserve brain tissue by decreasing the stress response, stabilizing the brain’s healing process, and signaling the brain to keep making active connections to arms and legs which have lost their normal brain control systems, and helps to treat spastic dyskinesia (difficulty in performing voluntary movements), a common problem among stroke patients. Acupuncture can also work to boost balance for stroke survivors, as well as muscle strength.

The rehabilitative stage of the treatment involves treating any existing underlying factors such as hypertension, to balance the yin and yang, open the blood vessels, promote the flow of energy, while stimulating blood circulation and decreasing blood or Chi stagnation, and choosing points that deal with local issues.

Symptoms of stroke appear suddenly! 

Watch for these symptoms and be prepared to act quickly for yourself or on behalf of someone you are with:

  • 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.

If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms indicative of a stroke, do not wait. Call 911 emergency immediately. There are now effective therapies for stroke that must be administered at a hospital, but they lose their effectiveness if not given within the first 3 hours after stroke symptoms appear. Every minute counts!

For more information please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Photo: Woman Watching The Ocean by Karen Arnold

Acupuncture Used to Hasten the Improvement of Bell’s Palsy Symptoms


Bell’s Palsy Symptoms Eased By Acupuncture

Bell’s Palsy is the partial paralysis of the facial nerve, which results in the inability to control the facial muscles. It tends to be a temporary situation and commonly only impacts one side of the face. It most often has a rapid onset, often taking place in one day. The herpes zoster (small pox) virus has flared up on the stem of the trigeminal nerve near the ear, or just behind it.

These symptoms often disappear completely, often in under two weeks time and in the majority of cases, complete recovery occurs within one year. Symptoms include paralysis on one side of the face with an inability to control the facial muscles, including blinking, smiling and frowning, along with a general asymmetry of the face itself.

Immediately go to your doctor for the right medications (steroid short term, and an anti-viral), then come for acupuncture treatments. I will recommend correcting the ph of your body fluids as well. Viruses flourish in a low ph environment, so 7.4 is where you want saliva and urine to approximate.

Acupuncture is used to hasten the improvement, and I recommend several treatments per week. The blinking is the first to improve and is so important for moistening the eye. The last area to improve is near the mouth.

For more information please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com