New research demonstrates that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of post-stroke hand movement and walking dysfunction. Researchers from the China Rehabilitation Research Center of Rehabilitation (College of Capital Medicine University, Beijing) investigated the use of acupuncture points TB3 (Zhongzhu) and TB5 (Waiguan) in relation to restoring hand function following a stroke. A randomized trial of 60 patients was divided into a treatment group and a control group. Both groups received physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other standard rehabilitative procedures. Both groups were evaluated with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) to measure changes in walking, hand function, and activities of daily living (ADL). The group receiving acupuncture at TB3 and TB5 showed significant improvement over the control group in all areas of measurement. The acupuncture group demonstrated superior hand function, greater walking ability, and enhanced ADL. The researchers conclude that the combination of acupuncture with routine post-stroke recovery procedures produces significantly improved patient outcomes.
Cheng XK, Wang ZM, Sun L, Li YH. [Post-stroke hand dysfunction treated with acupuncture at Zhongzhu (TE 3) and Waiguan (TE 5)]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2011 Feb;31(2):117-20.