Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture Helps Stroke Recovery Research

New research concludes that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of spasticity and paralysis due to stroke. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture have been scientifically proven to relieve stroke spasticity. Investigators discovered that acupuncture effectively reduced spastic hemiplegia, paralysis on one side of the body with muscle and tendon spasms, in patients who suffered a stroke. The researchers concluded that acupuncture combined with rehabilitation training is effective for the treatment of post-stroke spastic hemiplegia.

This research is consistent with other investigations demonstrating that acupuncture benefits patients have have had a stroke. One recent study concluded that acupuncture stimulates brain cell proliferation in the cerebrum. They discovered that electroacupuncture “exerts a neuroprotective effect in ischemic stroke” and found that acupuncture activates the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) pathway, an important protein communication pathway involved in cell proliferation. The acupuncture points measured in the study were LI11 (Quchi) and ST36 (Zusanli). The investigators concluded that acupuncture “significantly ameliorated neurological deficits and cerebral infarction” in cases of cerebral injuries.

Another recent study concluded, “The evidence from clinical studies suggested that SA (scalp acupuncture) therapy may produce significant benefits for patients with acute ICH [ intracerebral hemorrhages].” The researchers note that studies confirm that scalp acupuncture “has rapid and powerful effects to remove limb paralysis caused either by cerebral infarct or by cerebral haemorrhage….” The researchers note thatf acupuncture points GV20 and GB7 significantly regulate the cascade of endogenous inflammatory chemicals released after a stroke. Additionally, the investigators note that scalp acupuncture at GV20 and Taiyang improves “coordination and compensation functions among cortical functional areas” in ICH patients.

Zhang, Yan, Guo-cheng Liu, Jin-yu Wang, Yun-guang Sun, and Liu-jiang Yang. "Clinical observation on acupuncture treatment for post-stroke spastic hemiplegia." Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science 11, no. 4 (2013): 230-234.

Xie, Guanli, Shanli Yang, Azhen Chen, Lan Lan, Zhicheng Lin, Yanlin Gao, Jia Huang et al. "Electroacupuncture at Quchi and Zusanli treats cerebral ischemia‑reperfusion injury through activation of ERK signaling." Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 5, no. 6 (2013): 1593-1597.
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.

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Mar;32(3):193-7. Observation of clinical efficacy of acupuncture for cerebral vasospasm after embolization of ruptured aneurysms]. Jiang YZ, Li C, Xu JY, Lu YZ, Xu R, Han B, Lu WH. Department of Neurosurgery, Wuxi Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Jiangsu Province, China.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2012 (2012), Article ID 895032, 9 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/895032. History and Mechanism for Treatment of Intracerebral Hemorrhage with Scalp Acupuncture. Zhe Liu, Ling Guan, Yan Wang, Cheng-Long Xie, Xian-Ming Lin and Guo-Qing Zheng.

Jung Ah Lee, Si-Woon Park, Pil Woo Hwang, Sung Min Lim, Sejeong Kook, Kyung In Choi, and Kyoung Sook Kang. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. September 2012, 18(9): 818-823. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0457.