Learn To Use An Acupuncture Pen For Stroke Patients

When my father fell victim to a stroke, I could see the pain in his face. I’m not just talking about physical pain, and I mean the pain that comes with fear.

The attack left him wheelchair-bound. This man used to cycle every day, and now he was trapped in a chair forever.

There wasn’t much I could do to help, so I started researching at-home kits to help relieve the pain, at least. That’s when I came across an acupuncture pen for stroke patients.

With the help of the pen, my Dad was able to relax his body. Although he might not be able to cycle again, he has regained the ability to walk.

Quite simply, the benefits of using an acupuncture pen on a daily basis have been amazing for my Dad’s post-stroke recovery. I know this is the same for many post-stroke patients.

Clinical study has shown that the use of an acupuncture pen has aided with motor function recovery, speech therapy, cognitive impairment, motor recovery, and overall quality of life.

So, let’s take a look at the acupuncture pen benefits for stroke patients.

Where Acupressure And Stroke Recovery Meet

Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

Before we dive into how to use an acupuncture pen for stroke patients, I should explain what acupressure is and why the two are connected.

Acupressure is a Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment. If the physical therapy involves needles, it’s called acupuncture, but it’s called acupressure if it only uses fingers or tools.

Medical professionals who use the effective treatment are called acupuncturists.

They understand where the acupoints are in your body and the pathways they take. The overall concept is about following the body’s flow of energy or “qi.”

This treatment is used for all types of medical issues in the east, including insomnia, digestion, and, most importantly, pain.

In western medicine, acupressure isn’t considered a typical “daily living” medicine. Due to study protocol, it is only recognized for pain relief.

This is because the previous studies on the treatment have only brought up supporting evidence in this area.

Although this might be bad news for anyone trying to solve their digestion issues, it’s excellent news for treating stroke patients.

Electrical acupuncture (or acupuncture using electrical stimulation) is essentially what the acupuncture pen is. It is a widely accepted rehabilitation therapy for anyone needing pain relief treatment.

Acupuncture Pen Benefits For Stroke Patients

The use of an acupuncture pen for stroke patients has many benefits for their recovery. The following are examples of where the use of an acupuncture pen can assist in the treatment of stroke patients:

Improved Motor Function Recovery

Using an acupuncture pen for stroke patients can improve motor functions after a stroke. This includes walking, cycling, and even running.

Speech Therapy

A lot of people who suffer from a stroke lose their ability to speak. Using an acupuncture pen for stroke patients can help sufferers regain their voice.

Cognitive Impairment

Strokes can cause confusion, memory loss, and other cognitive impairments. With the help of an acupuncture pen, these symptoms can be reduced.

Quality Of Life Improvement

If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue, then you’ll find the acupuncture pen helpful.

Increased Blood Circulation

When blood circulation improves, so does the healing process. When there is less blood clotting, the risk of another stroke decreases.

Reduced Pain

If you’re experiencing pain due to a stroke, then you’ll want to try out the acupuncture pen. It can reduce the amount of pain you feel.

Research Into Acupressure For Stroke Patients

If you are feeling a little skeptical, that’s understandable. Acupuncture is still considered alternative medicine in the western world.

However, there is a lot of scientific evidence that supports the use of this alternative treatment for stroke patients. This evidence includes clinical trials, statistical analysis, systematic review and meta-analysis.

For instance, this 2005 study shows that stroke patients who received acupuncture treatment saw a dramatic improvement in the patient’s pain relief. There was also an improvement in their post-stroke spasticity.

Likewise, in this 2012 study, researchers found that body acupuncture coupled with exercise significantly reduced shoulder pain caused by strokes. As such, it improved their quality of life and day-to-day experience.

And lastly, in this 2017 study, the acupuncture treatment proved helpful in regulating blood flow in patients in the early stages of a stroke. The blood flow was increased, allowing more substance into the injured area without harming the blood vessels.

You should also take a look at this article titled Do Acupuncture Pens Work to feel more assured.

Acupoints To Use

Acupoint: Bl-10 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-10/Tian Zhu/Celestial Pillar)

Bl-10 Urinary Bladder-10 Tian Zhu Celestial Pillar

The acupoint Bl-10 is located at the starting points of the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back. If this area becomes stiff, the sympathetic nerve, which has the effect of narrowing blood vessels, becomes stronger.

When blood vessels become thinner,  such as after a stroke, blood flow to the brain and internal organs deteriorates, nutrients and oxygen are difficult to reach, which makes it difficult to work, and the risk of recurrence of cerebrovascular disease and the development of major diseases such as cancer increases.

Acupoint Bl-10 is a good choice for stroke patients as stimulating this acupoint can help with dizziness and blurred vision. It is also one of many good acupuncture points for swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Acupoint: GB-20 (Other Names: Gallbladder-20/Feng Chi/Wind Pool)

Similarly to acupoint Bl-10, this acupoint is located at the base of the neck and can be simulated by applying firm pressure on the acupoint for 5-10 seconds whilst inhaling deeply and slowly.

To locate GB-20, trace a finger to the back of your head. Stop at the point where the skull ends and the neck starts; at the depression beside the tendons of the trapezius muscle.

Acupoint GB-20 is one of a few really great acupuncture points for relaxation so is a very good option for stroke patients.

Acupoint: LI-4 (Other Names: Large Intestine-4/He Gu/Joining Valley)

He Gu

The acupoint of LI-4 has the function of suppressing the tension of the whole body. This acupoint is often used by people who have problems with spasticity.

You can find the acupoint between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones on the back of the hand, at the midpoint of the radial side of the 2nd metacarpal bone

By stimulating LI-4, you can expect to improve blood circulation in your hands and eliminate stiff neck and shoulders. Since the acupuncture points are in a position that is easy to touch, it is better to perform self-moxibustion and self-acupressure in-home care.

This acupoint is actually a particularly versatile point. Learn more about it in this article about pressure points for tonsils.

Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)



Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)

ST-36 is one of the typical acupoints that are effective in improving autoimmunity and is also an effective acupoint to promote dorsiflexion movement of the ankle.

As a sequela of stroke, many people are unable to bend their ankles to the instep side, and one of the causes is that the anterior tibialis muscle, which is the muscle of the shin, is weakened.

ST-36 is the acupoint on the anterolateral side of the calf, 3 cun below the eye of the outer knee, a finger lateral to the anterior border of the tibia, in the middle of the tibialis anterior muscle. Stimulation of Zusanli’s acupoints is effective in promoting dorsiflexion of the ankle.

Like the point above, this acupoint is also very versatile. In fact, it is one of many really effective acupressure points for lower abdominal pain.

Other Uses Of Acupuncture Pens  

Acupuncture pens are very versatile therapeutic tools. Regardless of what ailment or type of pain you suffer with, an acupuncture pen can likely help to relieve your symptoms if it is used properly.

From ensuring prostate health (read this article about acupuncture pen for prostate for more information) to healing pinched nerves (read this article about how to heal a pinched nerve with an acupuncture pen for more information), and everything in between, an acupuncture pen can aid in the treatment of a huge range of health problems.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that if you feel nervous about acupuncture treatments because of the use of acupuncture needles, you don’t need to worry about this with acupuncture pen treatment. This is because acupuncture pens use electrical stimulation, and so isn’t an invasive treatment.

The electrical stimulation omitted by the pen works to mimic the effects of traditional acupuncture needles. This aspect of acupuncture pen treatment also makes it safer than traditional acupuncture treatment.

Author: P. Sze

P. Sze P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. S he also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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