Thursday, April 21, 2011

Acupuncture helps stroke recovery, study finds

Taipei, April 21 (CNA) Acupuncture stimulation could help the blood circulation in patients who have suffered strokes, according to a recent study conducted by a team of local doctors.

The study, published in the March edition of Microvascular Research, documented the therapeutic effects of acupuncture on 18 Taiwanese patients who had suffered strokes, Taipei City Hospital said.

The patients, all in the rehabilitation stage, received acupuncture in certain areas associated with improved blood flow and were later tested for changes, said Chen Chao-tsung, the director of traditional Chinese medicine at the hospital.

The results showed that acupuncture can decrease blood flow resistance and increase microcirculatory blood flow, a situation that is deemed helpful for the recovery of stroke patients, he said.

“Many Chinese people have trust in the effectiveness of acupuncture, but there has been little supporting evidence, aside from patients’testimony,”he said.

“The main contribution of this research was its evaluation of acupuncture therapy in a scientific way,”the doctor said.

The next step would be to come up with more scientific evidence to explain how acupuncture stimulation can be used to supplement Western treatments for stroke, he said.

The study was based on a trial launched by the Department of Health to combine oriental and western therapy. Patients in the trial can ask their doctors to refer them to Chinese medicine doctors and receive treatment at a reduced cost.

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