Stroke is one of the leading causes of long term disability in Canada, with approximately 741, 800 adults living with the effects of a stroke. That’s equivalent to the population of New Brunswick!
The devastating effects of a stroke happen to not only the survivor but the family as well, and can often leave us with more questions than answers. What therapy will I need? Will I get better? Can I go back to work?
The road to recovery begins immediately following the stroke. You may receive therapies from Physical therapy (PT), Occupational therapy (OT), Speech Language therapy (SLP) and Recreational therapy (RT). Social work and psycho- social services may be involved as well. In some cases, Stroke survivors are linked with a Physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation). Therapies can range in service delivery model and time, dependent on the needs and severity of the Stroke.
Acupuncture can support Stroke Recovery because it stimulates the nervous system which allows for the freeing of tight muscles and fasciae adhesions. It also promotes fluid movement in the tissues. Everything in the body happens in a fluid medium. Whether it is blood flow or interstitial fluid, the body does all of its work through the fluids. When we can stimulate and free that movement, we will get change. Acupuncture is a great modality as it does this safely and effectively with very little side effects.
Our Stroke Recovery program offers you another tool in your toolkit for treatment. Our Stroke Acupuncture practitioners work together as a team from your first session onward. On your first visit, you will meet with both Dr. Heather Fulker and Dr. Allan Fradsham to review your health history, goals and lifestyle routines. You are welcome to ask questions and try your first Acupuncture session, completely free. Book your free consultation and treatment here.
Meet your practitioners and watch some testimonials at this video link. For a more in depth history of what lead Dr. Heather and Dr. Allan to developing this program, check out our blog.
Stroke Recovery Program Pricing:
Initial consultation & treatment - FREE
Individual in-clinic treatment - $85
Individual mobile treatment - $120
Pack of 10 in-clinic treatments - $750 ($75/per)
Pack of 40 in-clinic treatments - $2600 ($65/per)
Acupuncture can assist in Stroke Recovery in the following areas:
- Oral motor
- Sensory motor control
- Stress and anxiety
- Memory and cognition
- Emotional lability
- Low mood
For a comprehensive list of how Acupuncture can support Stroke Recovery, check out our blog post: Top Ten Reasons to use Acupuncture for Stroke Recovery.
I had improvements in facial pain, speech, limb pain and hand dexterity. I would recommend treatments with Dr. Allan Fradsham to anyone who has had a stroke.
Back in 2010, I suffered a severe Stroke that totally paralyzed my left side. As a result, I developed a habit of not using my left arm. After several Acupuncture treatments, I am now holding my arm in a much more relaxed position to the side of my body and using my arm in everyday activities more frequently. Dr. Heather Fulker is a true professional and was very attentive to my concerns. Thank you Dr. Heather.
From setting up the first appointment to meeting Dr. Fulker, my life has never looked the same since. I was pleasantly excited by the immediate progress that I experienced after the first treatment. I am sensitive and the positive encouragement along with the treatments are enough to get anybody’s pathways to begin again. Thank you for this magic you share, and I look forward to my further progress. We can do this!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Acupuncture hurt?
One of the most frequently asked questions around Acupuncture is “Does it hurt? There are many different styles of Acupuncture, some more “stimulating” than others. However, with Traditional Acupuncture, people often report a “dull ache” and/or tingling sensation around the needle site. After all the needles are placed, it’s typical to not feel the needles at all and patients often report feeling extremely relaxed.
- How many treatments will I need?
The number and frequency of treatments can vary depending on the needs and severity of the patient's condition. Treatments will often be more frequent in the beginning and taper off to a "maintenance phase" as the client improves. It’s important to discuss a treatment plan with your Acupuncturist, so the both of you are on the same page and working together towards your progress. We are happy to discuss what your own treatment plan will look like in your first (FREE!) session with us.
- What should I expect at my first treatment?
For your first treatment, you will be required to complete an in-depth questionnaire, either through prior paperwork and/or during an intake discussion with your Acupuncturist. Be prepared to answer questions about your current medications, current therapies, bathroom routines and sleeping habits. These are just a few of the possible questions you may be asked which are necessary for us to best determine how your body is functioning internally. It’s also common practice for the Acupuncturist to see your tongue and feel your pulse. This too, is to help us have a better understanding of how your body is operating and how to select Acupuncture points for your treatment.
- How should I prepare for my Acupuncture session?
Please come to your session on a full stomach. Bring a bottle of water as we are not currently allowed to provide this to you due to COVID-19 protocols. Wear something that’s comfortable and that you can relax in. It’s encouraged to wear loose fitting clothing that can be rolled up to your elbows and knees, or you may bring shorts and a tank top that you can change into. And lastly, don't forget to bring a positive mindset - this is an exciting step in your healing journey!
- I’m in a wheelchair and have some mobility challenges, can I still have Acupuncture?
You betcha! Our clinic is wheelchair accessible, including the washrooms. Our treatments can be adapted to however you are most comfortable. If this means staying in your wheelchair, we’re happy to provide the treatment to you in your wheelchair. If transportation poses its challenges, ask us about our mobile services and we can come to you!
- I’m on blood thinners. Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture has been deemed one of the safest alternatives, however it’s important to let your Acupuncturist know if you are currently on blood thinners. Because blood thinners cause changes in coagulation, bleeding can happen more frequently at needle sites, and in some cases cause bruising. Through proper communication with your Acupuncturist this is very manageable.
- I have Aphasia, can I still have Acupuncture?
Aphasia is the loss of ability to understand or express speech caused by brain damage. Currently about one third of stroke survivors have aphasia. We have aphasia friendly resources to help with your communication and to help make the most of your Acupuncture experience.
- Can Acupuncture treat Aphasia?
Research is still being done around Acupuncture and Aphasia and the results remain inconclusive. However, some high level evidence (level A) from the Canadian Stroke Best Practice suggests Acupuncture as an option for speech and swallowing difficulties.
- I have Ataxia with some uncontrolled and involuntary movements. Would you still put needles in me?
A qualified Chinese Medicine Doctor and Acupuncturist has many tools in their toolkit, with Acupuncture being just one of them! In Chinese Medicine, we can treat ataxia in a multitude of ways. Things like, acu-pressure, auricular (ear) acupuncture, cupping, gua sha and herbal medicine are just a few of the options your practitoner may use to treat ataxia.
Stroke Acupuncture Research
- Paralysis Improvements
Many research studies are under way with Acupuncture and Stroke and many more concrete and conclusive studies need to be done. This is a difficult area to research given the complexity of Acupuncture and the variations of the theory behind it. However, one recent study has found that Acupuncture can be effective for post-stroke paralysis.
- Swallowing Improvements
As human beings, eating and enjoying food is a significant part of our lives. Acupuncture has been found to help swallowing capabilities in clients with dysphagia. Read the study here.
- Balance Improvements
This study shows that Acupuncture was found to reduce the risk of falling and improve balance.
- Spasticity Improvements
Electro-acupuncture has been found to reduce spasticity when combined with conventional care. Check out the study here.