Acupuncture for Stroke - Treatment Protocols

Below you will find some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for stroke, both as a preventative measure and in the case of post-stroke rehabilitation. There are many ways to treat this condition with Eastern Medicine and our presentation is only one of many possible options.

  • Differentiation:
  • Inernal Organs Deficiency (Flaccid) Condition
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Sudden coma and unconsciousness with flaccid signs such as closed eyes, open mouth, mild sweat on forehead/face, loss of bowel/urinary functions, cold limbs.
      • Tongue:  Swollen, possibly Pale
      • Pulse:  Minute
    • Treatment Points:
      • Valaskatagis Point Selection:
      • General Treatment Points - restore consciousness, clear channels and lower blood pressure:
      • GV 26 - restore consciousness
      • LI 4 - clear wind from head
      • PC 6 - calm spasms/clear channel
      • SP 6 - calm spasms/clear channel (possibly w/moxa)
      • LV 3 - clear LV wind
      • ST 36 - strenghten qi (possibly w/moxa)
      • LI 11 - clear heat
      • KD 3 - tonify KD yin
      • Tonifying Points for Deficiency (Flaccid) Condition:
      • CV 4 - tonify qi/yang (w/moxa)
      • CV 6 - tonify qi/yang (w/moxa)
      • CV 8 - tonify qi/yang (w/moxa)
      • Maciocia Point Additions:
      • GV 4 - "life gate", tonify qi/yang (w/moxa)
      • UB 23 - kidney shu, tonify qi/yang (w/moxa)
  • Internal Organs Excess (Tense) Condition
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Sudden coma and unconsciousness with tense signs such as clenching of the mouth a/or hands, redness of head/face, no loss of bowel or urinary functions, course breathing.
      • Tongue:  Red w/sticky yellow coat
      • Pulse:  Slippery, possibly wiry
    • Treatment Points:
      • Valaskatagis Point Selection:
      • General Treatment Points - restore consciousness, clear channels and lower blood pressure:
      • GV 26 - restore consciousness
      • LI 4 - clear wind from head
      • PC 6 - calm spasms/clear channel
      • SP 6 - calm spasms/clear channel (possibly w/moxa)
      • LV 3 - clear LV wind
      • ST 36 - strenghten qi (possibly w/moxa)
      • LI 11 - clear heat
      • KD 3 - tonify KD yin
      • Tonifying Points for Excess (Tense) Condition:
      • GV 20 - clear the mind
      • KD 1 - clear excess in upper body/head
      • Shixuan - extra point to restore consciousness
      • May also bleed the jing-well points which help to clear heat and internal wind
      • Maciocia Point Additions:
      • GV 16 - clear internal wind
      • GB 20 - clear internal wind
      • PC 8 - clear heat
      • ST 40 - clear phlegm
  • Symptomatic Treatment - Muscles/Channels (Rehabilitative)
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • There may be a variety of side effects from stroke, those commonly seen and treated with acupuncture are speech problems (aphasia), facial paralysis, and muscular paralysis/weakness (hemiplagia, rigidity).
      • The rehabilitative stage of the treatment involves treating any existing underlying factors such as hypertension, clearing wind from the body and fostering the smooth flow of qi and blood, and choosing points that deal with local issues.
    • Treatment Points:
      • Valaskatagis Point Selection (with modifications):
      • General Treatment Points - clear wind, tonify and smooth flow of qi and blood:
      • GV 26 - restore consciousness
      • GV 20 - clear wind from head
      • UB 7 - clear wind from head
      • LV 3 - clear LV wind
      • ST 36 - strenghten qi (possibly w/moxa)
      • KD 3 - tonify KD yin
      • Treatment Points Depending on Area Effected:
      • Choose appropriate points on the effected side/limb, largely (but not exclusively) from the Yang channels. Often the needles are threaded between two points to create a stronger sensation on the muscular/tendon level of the body.
      • Treatment Points Depending on Area Effected:
      • Arm/Shoulder: LI 15 to TH 14
      • Elbow/Forearm: LI 11 to LI 10
      • Elbow/Forearm: LI 11 to HT 3
      • Forearm/Wrist/Hand: TH 5 to PC 6
      • Other Arm Points: LI 16, LI 4, TH 3, SI 3
      • Leg: ST 36 to ST 37
      • Leg/Knee: GB 34 to SP 9
      • Leg/Foot: GB 39 to SP 6
      • Other Leg Points: GB 29, GB 30, GB 31, ST 32, ST 41, UB 23, UB 40, UB 57, UB 60
      • Facial Paralysis: ST 4, ST 6, ST 7, LI 4, LI 20, UB 2
      • Speech issues (aphasia): CV 23

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were consulted within this section:

  • St. John, Meredith: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes
  • Valaskatgis, Peter: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes

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