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Acupuncture therapy for stroke: approaches from the acupuncture literature
  1. Russell J Erickson
  1. 10 Ridge Place, Pleasant Hill, California 94523 USA, Email: russpat{at}


    Acupuncture therapy for rehabilitation following stroke is very popular in China and has also been investigated in the West, notably in Scandinavia. The traditional method is body acupuncture using yang meridian points. Yin meridians are probably more beneficial when treatment has been delayed for some months after the stroke. Scalp acupuncture, either the Japanese Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture, a microsystem which requires great accuracy, or a Chinese variety such as the Zhu approach or the Shanghai scalp technique, has become very popular and published work has demonstrated superiority to traditional body acupuncture. Additionally, a new technique, Xingnao Kaiqiao, has been developed that uses strongly stimulated body points to induce twitching in the affected limbs. This method seems to have given good results in large-scale usage and is not difficult to learn. However, all of these acupuncture techniques require many sessions of treatment and are thus, with perhaps the exception of Yamamoto scalp acupuncture, heavily labour intensive. None the less, the benefits in terms of cost savings as well as effective return to an independent life-style are clear.

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