Best Tennis Shoes For Stroke Patients in 2023
Dr. Scholl's - Men's Brisk Light Weight Dual Strap Sneaker, Wide Width (10.5 Wide, Black)
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New Balance Men's MW577 Hook and Loop Walking Shoe, Black, 9.5 W US
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Skechers Sport Men's Afterburn Strike Memory Foam Velcro Sneaker, White/Navy, 10.5 M US
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Stroke Recovery with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs
The benefits of Chinese herbs and acupuncture in the recovery of a stroke. Studies have shown increased quality of life for the patients receiving it. Patients also have a faster recovery time, thereby using less health care dollars.
Traditional Chinese Medicine's View of a Stroke
Traditional Chinese medicine diagnoses diseases by using terms found in nature. If someone has a runny nose, a practitioner might say they have "dampness." If someone has yellow phlegm with itchy eyes and a sore throat, the diagnosis is "phlegm heat." The "heat" is added, because the symptoms are more related to heat than cold. Acupuncture and herbs are chosen that would "clear heat" and "resolve the dampness" to restore a balance in the body. This way of diagnosing with nature seems foreign to western countries, but it is how the Chinese developed this medicine over 2,000 years ago. They observed nature and saw correlations with how are bodies are affected with diseases. Today in a modern world we aren't as connected with nature in our day to day lifestyle has a generalization. Yet, the traditional Chinese medicine practitioner still uses these terms and while they might seem odd to a patient at first, its really a beautiful and easy way to understand how the body is imbalanced.
In Traditional Chinese medicine a stroke's diagnosis is "wind invasion." This is interesting, because wind swiftly comes and changes just like symptoms resulting from a stroke. Sometimes a stroke can have a gradual one or two-day onset and sometimes it can occur without a warning sign just like wind.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
It is important for the public to recognize the symptoms of a stroke so that preventive medicine can take place to prevent the rupture of the blood vessel. Some of these warning signs according to the American Heart Association and other sources include a sudden onset of the following: numbness and/or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially unilaterally, loss of refined movement, problems swallowing, confusion, loss of ability to either formulate or comprehend speech, loss of vision on one side of the visual field, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and/or severe headache.
After a stroke occurs, the manifestations of symptoms depend on which type of stroke has taken place and what region of the brain the stroke occurred. The patient's symptoms will be less severe and they will have a greater chance of recovery if they do not lose consciousness during the stroke attack.
Triggers and Risk Factors
A stroke can be triggered by many factors such as: atherosclerosis, artheriosclerosis, heart disease, hypertension, encephalitis, diabetes, gout, aneurysm, blood coagulation disorders, tumors, drugs, age, diet, and stress. A lifestyle change is needed to help prevent stroke recurrence. The onset of a stroke happens swiftly, but it takes years of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle to build up to the event of one. Therefore, a change in lifestyle is needed, especially diet and exercise.
The biomedical treatment of a stroke depends on its nature. An ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot, so by removing the clot, the danger of the blood vessel rupturing is diminished. Drugs can be taken to reduce the formation of clots and to thin the blood. This is why so many elderly people take a baby aspirin everyday. Besides aspirin, clopidogrel may be administered to prevent platelet coagulation. Clopidogrel might not be helpful for all people to take though, because its adverse affects can ironically include hemorrhage. Dipyridamole may also be given to dilate the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure and reducing the number of thrombin receptors on platelets.
Chinese Acupuncture Treatment
In Asian cultures acupuncture and herbal treatment happens immediately after the onset of a stroke. In the United States, different sources suggest acupuncture or herbs two weeks after the onset. This is mostly due to the research that has shown acupuncture to dilate blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow in the brain. The two-week wait after the stroke for acupuncture treatment will hopefully give the brain and vessels within sufficient time to recover from a ruptured vessel before treatment. Even though treatment in Asian cultures is daily, in the United States suggested treatment is 2-3 times per week for a period of 4-6 weeks for stroke recovery (and then of course the acupuncturist can revaluate if more treatment is needed). However, different doctors will dispute this waiting period, arguing the faster a patient can get treatment after a stroke, the better the results will be with acupuncture.
Studies on stroke acupuncture recovery have shown increased quality of life for the patients receiving it. Acupuncture is able to help the manifestation of symptoms such as depression, stress, mobility, paralysis, vision problems, aphasia, nominal aphasia, and coordination. Patients also have a faster recovery time, thereby using less healthcare dollars. In addition to this, acupuncture could help with the prevention of strokes as it aids with hypertension, stress, and hypercholesteremia, saving even more healthcare dollars with preventive medicine.
Different forms of acupuncture have been used for results in stroke recovery. One method that is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) is scalp acupuncture. Different points are selected on the scalp and retained for extended periods of time in comparison with a normal treatment. In China, most patients receiving scalp acupuncture leave the hospital with the needles inserted and come back in 24 hours to have them removed. In the United States, a culture not accustomed to acupuncture as it is lawsuits, treatments for scalp acupuncture can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 1.5 hours with the patient staying at the office. Some doctors suggest that at a minimum scalp acupuncture should be 1 hour with needle manipulation every 15 minutes. Patients with brain disorders should also do active exercises to stimulate their brain while the needles are in. For example, a patient with nominal aphasia should try to express themselves with speech with the needles inserted.
Scalp acupuncture has two different theories used to select points. One school was developed by Dr. Jiao in 1958 and rose with popularity in the 1970's with the infiltration of Asian medicine to the United States. His theory is based on cerebral physiology and anatomy. The second school of theory is based on the meridian channels that join acupuncture points together. Of the two, Dr Jiao's theory is the more widely accepted and recognized by the WHO and biomedical professionals.
There are 14 lines in scalp acupuncture for needling. They are named for their location and also given a number. Most all of these acupuncture lines could help with stroke recovery. The motor area line is located near the primary motor area of the brain (near the temple). The motor area could be needled on the right side of the head on the upper 1/5 of the line to help with left leg paralysis. The lower 2/5 of the motor area could be needled to help contra-lateral central facial paralysis.
Besides paralysis points chosen could help with aphasia, nominal aphasia, fine motor movement, shuffled walk, vision problems, and other symptoms resulting from a stroke. These points can be very specific such as the one anterior to the motor line. This line is the vascular dilation and constriction line that could be used to treat essential hypertension or cortical edema. Speech area 2, which is located over Wernicke's area (sensory speech area), could help nominal aphasia.
Chinese Herbal Treatment
The primary focus of herbal treatment is focused on blood. An herbalist will choose herbs to prevent clots from forming, remove blood stasis, improve blood flow and blood quality, and support the blood vessels. One confusing thing about traditional Chinese medicine is the language that is used to diagnosis and treat (as mentioned earlier). Understanding these terms and what they mean in biomedicine can be very helpful to learn how herbs can be used instead of or in conjunction with western drugs to prevent and treat strokes.
Herbs that "open the orifices and induce consciousness" stimulate the brain's sensory orifices. Moschus (She Xiang) is a Chinese herb that is used to stimulate blood circulation. This herb is one of the strongest herbs in traditional Chinese medicine to awaken consciousness. It does this by stimulating the sensory orifices in the brain, thereby reducing cerebral edema and increasing blood flow to the brain. Small dosages of the herb can "have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, while large doses have an inhibiting effect" so special detail should be taken with dosages (Chen). Styrax (Su He Xiang) can also stimulate the sensory orifices of the brain. Styrax has an antiplatelet action though and should be used with caution for those patients on blood thinners, as it might increase the function of those drugs.
Herbs that "calm and extinguish wind" could moderate and lower blood pressure and treat hypertensive related symptoms. Rhizoma Gastrodiae (Tian Ma) works on the cardiovascular system by increasing blood flow to cardiac muscle. It can be used for almost any case of hypertension and also treats the related symptoms. Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis (Gou Teng) also helps with blood pressure, but does so by slowing the heartbeat and vasodilatation through relaxing the aorta.
Herbs that "remove blood stasis" can be antiplatelet and anticoagulant in nature. Rhizoma Ligustici Chuanxiong (Chuan Xiong) reduces the number of marked platelets, but also lowers blood pressure through vasodilatation. It can increase blood flow to the heart and decrease oxygen use by the heart muscles. Rhizoma Curcumae (E Zhu) contains essential oil that prevents/prolongs the form of a clot and has been shown to be helpful to patients with coronary artery disease (CAD and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Rhizoma Curcumae works to break up blood clots very strongly and is effective in cases where other herbs have failed.
An herbal formula could be made for a patient depending on their manifestation of symptoms. These formulas could be made for each patient individually, or adapted from a classic formula that is hundreds of years old. One classic formula, Gastrodia and Unicaria Decoction (Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin) can be used when a patient is experiencing a lot of stress, irritability, hypertension, hypercholesteremia, sudden hemiphlegia, unilateral numbness, headache, dizziness, and weakness. The ingredients include Rhizoma Gastrodiae (Tian Ma) and Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis (Gou Teng) mentioned above as well as other herbs that help "calm the liver," "extinguish wind," and "remove blood stasis." A balance of herbs within a formula is important for the body.
A balance of herbs with different properties and functions will help a formula not be too harsh on the body. This is one difference between western drugs and Chinese herbs that many patients enjoy over western drugs. While western drugs are often extracts of chemicals from another source, herbs are generally whole items that provide balance of their properties. For example, an extract of a certain plant when used alone may cause liver damage, but when used in conjunction with the whole plant there is protection against damaging the liver from the other chemical compounds within the plant. Balance within a formula not only helps herbs that are astringent and work to reduce "dampness" or "phlegm" associated with high levels of cholesterol, but also helps herbs to harmonize the formula and nourish the body so it is not "dried out" by the formula being to harsh.
Recovery is based on the stroke victim's body constitution, but also the location and severity of the stroke. For example, a small vessel being obstructed by a clot would have a greater chance for recovery then an obstruction in a larger vessel. Also, infarction (death of cells due to lack of blood supply) can happen when blood flow is obstructed for a period of time, making recovery time longer or causing permanent damage if not tended with emergency care soon enough.
In the medical field there is worth in both medicines. Biomedicine offers much help and aide that can't be disputed. However, traditional Chinese medicine also offers insight to the body and a recovery plan that should not be discarded by modern medicine. In stroke recovery it has been debated that traditional Chinese medical treatments are superior though when done within 2 weeks after onset of the stroke. Each needle put into the skin with acupuncture stimulates the brain and an immune response, calling on the body to repair itself using its own chemistry. Traditional Chinese medicine also offers benefits of preventive medicine, therefore preventing the onset of a stroke. It is expected that with strokes and a small window before traditional Chinese medical treatment is started, a near full or full recovery of symptoms can be expected for most patients.
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The information here is not intended to diagnose any aliment, but rather for academic purposes. This articles and conditions listed are not a substitute for proper evaluation and treatment. Without medical history and exam, there is no way of knowing your exact problem, and there is no way of knowing if this doctor or any doctor can help your condition.