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An integrative rehabilitation programme that includes acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine alongside conventional care can improve stroke outcomes, according to a Chinese research team. One hundred and twenty patients, who had recently experienced their first subacute ischaemic stroke, were randomly assigned to a conventional rehabilitation (CR) group or an integrative medicine rehabilitation (IMR) group. Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal prescriptions were administered in the IMR group according to four Chinese medicine patterns related to stroke. Each patient received the same basic acupuncture prescription, with individual modifications based on constitutional type/dysfunction. Electrical stimulation was applied at Jianyu L.I.-15, Quchi L.I.-11, Zusanli ST-36 and Xuanzhong GB-39. All outcome measures (functional abilities, motor function, cognitive impairment and depression) showed significant improvements in the IMR group compared with the CR group over eight weeks of treatment, and outcomes in the IMR group continued to improve at an increased rate once the active intervention had finished.

Effect of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine on subacute stroke outcomes: a single-centre randomised controlled trial.  Acupunct Med. 2017 Nov 10. pii: acupmed-2016-011167.

 

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