StrokeTo suffer a stroke is a devastating experience that often leaves the sufferer severely disabled. Unfortunately, strokes are common affecting 150,000 people every year in the UK. A stroke is caused by a loss if blood supply to part of the brain, either because of a bleed or clot (thrombosis). This commonly results in permanent weakness in an arm or leg or down one side of the whole body. However many other problems can occur such as impaired speech or vision, confusion, unsteadiness and problems going to the toilet to urinate or defaecate.
There is good evidence that acupuncture is effective as an additional treatment alongside physical therapy. However acupuncture should not be used as an alternative to medical treatment, especially in the immediate aftermath of a stroke when early treatment may reduce the impact of the stroke. Acupuncture may be particularly effective in assisting recovery from stroke in those who are moderately to severely affected.
In practice acupuncture is widely used in Eastern Europe (as well as, of course, China and Eastern Asia) for stroke patients.
Acupuncture is sometimes given as electro-acupuncture when used to aid recovery from stroke, and this is the method I personally prefer. Treatments should be given at least weekly, certainly in the early stages.