Finding Support after Stroke: A Complementary Approach.

(Organ names in Chinese medicine differ from Western medicine’s understanding).​

After experiencing a stroke, it is important to receive support to aid in recovery and improve quality of life. Western medicine typically uses pharmaceuticals and rehabilitation therapy to manage the physical and cognitive impairments that result from stroke. While these treatments can be effective, they do not address the root causes of the symptoms and may have side effects.

In Chinese medicine, stroke is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi and Blood in the body. This can result in blockages and imbalances that lead to the symptoms experienced after a stroke. Chinese medicine aims to restore the flow of Qi and Blood and bring the body back into balance through a variety of approaches.​

One approach is the use of the Five Elements theory, which sees the body as consisting of five interconnected elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each element is associated with different organs and emotions, and imbalances can cause a variety of symptoms. By identifying which element is imbalanced, Chinese medicine practitioners can develop a treatment plan to restore balance.

Another approach is channel therapy, which involves stimulating specific acupuncture points to activate the body’s healing response. Channels are energy pathways that run throughout the body, and stimulating the appropriate channels can help to restore the flow of Qi and Blood and improve symptoms.

Qi and Blood are also key concepts in Chinese medicine. Qi is the vital energy that flows through the body, while Blood nourishes the organs and tissues. A stroke can cause a depletion of Qi and Blood, leading to weakness and fatigue. Chinese medicine practitioners aim to restore Qi and Blood through acupuncture, herbal remedies, and dietary recommendations.​

The Shan Han Lun and Wen Bing theories are also utilized in the management of post-stroke symptoms. These theories focus on the role of external pathogens in causing illness and aim to clear these pathogens from the body. The concepts of phlegm, heat, cold, wind, and other Chinese medical theory understandings are also used to diagnose and manage post-stroke symptoms.​

While Western medicine and Chinese medicine have different approaches to managing post-stroke symptoms, a complementary approach can provide the most effective treatment. Western medicine can provide pharmaceuticals and rehabilitation therapy to manage symptoms, while Chinese medicine can address the root causes of the symptoms and promote overall health and well-being.

​It is important to seek the advice of both a Western medical doctor and a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner when developing a treatment plan. They can work together to provide a holistic approach to managing post-stroke symptoms and improving quality of life.


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