Rehabilitation after Stroke
Our brain is the body’s control center. The trillions of brain cells need blood supply for oxygen and nutrients. When a stroke occurs, blood supply is interrupted at the lesions. After 4 minutes or more without oxygen, brain cells become damaged and may die. Consequently, the body parts controlled by those cells cannot function. For instance, a patient may feel numb (loss of sensory function) and cannot move his arm (loss of motor function).For a hemorrhagic stroke, things are often worse. The blood that leaks out of the vessel take up space in the brain, compressing on surrounding tissues. Damages are therefore more extensive. Many hemorrhagic stroke patients suffer from an excruciating headache or lose consciousness (in coma). If bleeding is massive, the brain may even be shifted to one side or pushed downward through the foramen of the skull. The latter case is fatal.As the cells die, edema is formed, thus causing more damages. So, symptoms continue to deteriorate for a few days before they stabilize. The peak is around Day 4 or 5.The loss of function from a stroke may be mild or severe, and temporary or permanent. This depends on where and how much the brain is damaged and how fast the blood supply can be returned to the affected cells.
Acupuncture is very beneficial to stroke patients. The earlier the intervention, the better are the results. Acupuncture therapy helps in several ways:
- It prevents or reduces edema in the brain, thereby stops further damage to brain tissues.
- It promotes perfusion in the brain, restoring blood and oxygen to brain cells and save them from dying.
- It helps to break down blood clots.
- Acupuncture accelerates functional recovery.
- Regain mobility, build strength and improve balance.
- Restore muscular function and enhance the skills needed to perform everyday activities.
- Improve speech and swallowing as well as vision.
- Enhance cognition and memory.