Acupuncture can speed recovery from stroke
A few years ago, a powerful documentary detailing acupuncture’s role in stroke recovery called 9,000 Needles was released. Not let that number scare you, the story is miraculous. The story is also recreate-able.
Acupuncture is uniquely able to speed recovery time after a stroke because acupuncture works on the nerve and energetic pathways of the body. Acupuncture can help wake up muscles after they have been disabled by a stroke.
This doesn’t mean rehab isn’t necessary and the road to recovery isn’t difficult, but acupuncture can make a big difference, making that road being a little less bumpy. This is especially true when treatment is started as soon after the stroke as possible.
How does acupuncture aid stroke recovery?
The body is covered by acupuncture channels, also called meridians, which mirror major nerve and muscle pathways. If you’ve ever had acupuncture before, you might have felt a “Qi sensation,” a zing along the channel’s pathway. Researchers believe acupuncture works on the nervous system by exciting nerve pathways and releasing neuro-transmitters, the chemicals of nerves.
When a stroke disable a part of the brain that controls movement, the nerves fall asleep, so to speak, and the muscle atrophies without their constant signaling. Acupuncture, by virtue of the channels, begins to send signals to wake up those nerves and stimulate the portion of the brain that controls them, the same portion that was disabled by the stroke.
Acupuncture helps speed stroke recovery by making the nerve pathways regenerate quicker by sending strong signals along the pathway. Acupuncture helps circulation of blood, too, bringing healing nutrients, oxygen and fluids to the affected area. Acupuncture also helps to improve energy and mood, which can improve the common depression after a stroke.