Stroke is the second most common cause of death and results in the disability of a large number of people worldwide. Strokes are either ischemic or hemorrhagic. But more than 80% of stroke cases are caused by cerebral ischemia.
Despite progress, the prevention and treatment of ischaemic (or ischemic) stroke remains a challenge worldwide. A core problem is the risk of haemorrhage associated with anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs Note 1: .
Because of fewer side-effects, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is often sought to provide alternative pharmacotherapy for prevention and rehabilitation intervention of ischaemic stroke in China. Many ischemic stroke patients experience a poor prognosis with neurological and motor function impairment, such as spastic paralysis, which greatly lowers the quality of life of stroke survivors. Various therapies have been used to conquer the sequela of stroke, including medication, rehabilitation and surgery but the effectiveness of these treatments remains unsatisfactory.
From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, stroke is not just considered an illness of the brain. Stroke affects the meridians, other organs and blood vessels as well. It can be caused by internal and external influences that induce a build-up of qi and blood and create a high pressure state, which ultimately leads to a stroke. This condition is similar to the understanding in Western medicine which high blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke. Western medicine also suggests stroke can be caused by other factors such as smoking, heart disease, obesity, high blood cholesterol level and diabetes.
Preventing a Stroke
There is less incidence of stroke in China than western countries, and also greater recovery of function after a stroke. TCM practitioner believes that this is the result of the differences in diet, lifestyle and post-stroke treatment. A healthy diet should be high in fiber and low in fat, sugar and dairy products. Tai Chi is a proven way of lowering blood pressure and stress-related chemicals in the body. (Tai Chi_Do Tai Chi) (hyperlink to Tai Chi document)
Acupuncture has been used to treat stroke patients in China for a very long time. Evidence shows that acupuncture not only reduces the myocardial injury but also significantly promotes recovery of neurological function in stroke patients and thus improves their quality of life. It can help stroke recovery by making the nerve pathways regenerate quicker by sending strong signals along the pathway.
In recent years, many studies have shown that acupuncture has improved the symptoms of stroke in different stages of conditions. Acupuncture also helps circulation of qi and blood, bringing healing nutrients to the affected area. On the other hand, many claim that there is no benefit from acupuncture.
Researcher suggests that regular massage lowered blood pressure and heart rate in stroke patients, and also eased anxiety. Massage can help with stress reduction and combat feelings of depression that are common emotional health concerns of stroke patients. For both mental and physical well-being, keeping stress and depression under control is an important part of stroke recovery.
Note 1: An antiplatelet drug, also known as a platelet agglutination inhibitor or platelet aggregation inhibitor, is a member of a class of pharmaceuticals that decrease platelet aggregation and inhibit thrombus formation. They are effective in the arterial circulation, where anticoagulants have little effect
Stroke Treatment & Rehabilitation Stroke Is an Emergency - Be F.A.S.T