Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Stroke
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 buildup 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.
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)
Chinese Herbs for Stroke
1) Shan Zha (Hawthorn Berry) can be used to treat high blood pressure in Chinese medicine. Studies indicate that hawthorn berry can improve blood fat levels. Imbalanced blood fat levels can result in plaque buildup in blood vessels. When plaque continues to accumulate, it could lead to serious problems, including stroke and heart attack.
Where to buy: Hawthorn Berry
How to use: Hawthorn Berry is available in many different forms including liquid extract, powder and capsules.
2) Bai Guo Ye (Ginkgo Biloba) is a useful Chinese herb that helps to prevent stroke. Research indicates that Ginkgo Biloba improves blood circulation, strengthens mental capacity, lowers plasma cholesterol concentrations and can prevent stroke and heart attack.
Where to buy: Ginkgo Biloba
How to use: Ginkgo Biloba is available in many different forms including liquid extract, powder and capsules.
3) Nan Gua Zi (Pumpkin Seeds) are long used to prevent stroke in Chinese medicine. They are rich in magnesium. Studies indicate that magnesium can help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke.
Where to buy: Pumpkin Seeds
Acupuncture is the most popular treatment for stroke patients in China. It can help stroke recovery by making the nerve pathways regenerate quicker by sending strong signals along the pathway. Acupuncture also helps circulation of qi and blood, bringing healing nutrients to the affected area. Many studies have shown acupuncture to improve stroke recovery. On the other hands, many claim that there is no benefit from acupuncture.
Researchers suggest 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.