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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Physician Ignatius Ooi Yong Chin and Dr Angelica L Dumapit on August 18, 2022

Tips To Help You Return To An Active Life After Stroke Treatment

Timing is everything when it comes to stroke treatment. The sooner you get help, the faster you'll recover. These tips can help you get back to a normal life after you've been treated for a stroke.

Post stroke recovery min scaled

If you recently had to undergo stroke treatment, you might think the hard part is done. However, returning to an active lifestyle after you have a stroke may be difficult for some people.

Despite this, it’s important to recover properly and become active again. Doing so helps you get back to enjoying your life.

It may also help reduce the risk of having another stroke. Research shows that one in four people develop another stroke within five years after the first one.

In this guide, our experts provide tips for recovering after stroke treatment using natural and holistic lifestyle habits.

Recovering Holistically After Stroke Treatment

After a stroke, you will need to undergo treatment in a hospital. During this time, you will be given medicines to restore blood supply to the brain and prevent further damage.

If given early, the medicine may even help to reverse the damage caused by the stroke. The amount of time it takes to recover from a stroke differs from one person to another.

It may take you a few weeks, months, or even years to regain your health. Some have a complete recovery in a few days.

Others, unfortunately, may have prolonged or permanent disabilities. These include:

  • Paralysis or weakness on one or both sides of the body 
  • Difficulty understanding or forming speech, chewing and swallowing, controlling the bowel or bladder, and regulating or expressing emotions 
  • Numbness or other unusual sensations 
  • Pain in the limbs that worsen with movement or temperature changes 
  • Difficulties with awareness, attention, judgment, memory, learning, and thinking 
  • Depression 

It is important that you continue to take your medications regularly to prevent a recurrence. Simultaneously, work on persisting disabilities with alternative therapies. With a positive mindset and determination, you will soon be able to go back to normal life.

Consider a rehabilitation program

The ideal time to start a rehabilitation program is 48 hours after a stroke.

The key to recovery from a stroke is rehabilitation. You should ideally start rehabilitation within 48 hours after a stroke.

“Early intervention or treatment can improve the chances of a complete recovery. Combining clinical and traditional rehabilitation modalities can aid with post-stroke paralysis.

It’ll enable you to recover limb motor functions, re-learn daily living skills, and reduce the risk of disability,” advises Eu Yan Sang Physician Ignatius Ooi. 

Rehabilitation comprises physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Physical therapy uses exercises to improve muscle memory and coordination skills.

It also helps to prevent spasticity and loosens the muscles. Some examples of these are walking and exercises, which allow you to manage your disability.

Speech therapy helps with speech formation and understanding words, while occupational therapy focuses on recollecting how to perform daily activities like eating or drinking, taking a shower, and writing. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), stroke rehabilitation aims to restore health to the five internal organs and tackle conditions that are imbalanced.

Licensed TCM practitioners will also consider internal and external factors and use syndrome differentiation when proposing suitable remedies.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle 

Consume a light, balanced diet. Monitor and control your blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Limit alcohol consumption and eat fewer sodium-rich foods.

Instead, opt for more beans, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables. If you’re a smoker, quit the habit, pronto.

Maintain a calm mind and stay in positive spirits. You should avoid events that provoke excessive psychological stimulation, which are:

  • Anger 
  • Fear 
  • Joy 
  • Sadness 
  • Shock 
  • Worry 
  • Overthinking  

In addition, ensure that you stay warm and take your prescription medications on time. If you experience dizziness, immobility, delirium, or slurred speech, seek medical treatment immediately.

Use herbal treatment and acupressure

Generally, acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbal formulas can be the primary treatment for post-stroke disabilities.

Taking a red yeast rice supplement may help control cholesterol levels and support healthy blood vessels to reduce the risk of another stroke in the future.

The medicinal mushroom Lingzhi also has anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular protective properties to assist with circulation and blood flow, which may help reduce the risk of stroke.

Research shows that ginseng root can be used to treat ischemic stroke. One study found that a combination of ginseng root and aspirin improves outcomes better than aspirin alone in people with a recent mild or moderate stroke. 

If you’re experiencing paralysis, acupressure may activate blood circulation and promote blood and qi (vital life force) flow in the meridians. The acupressure points to work on are: 

  • Jian Yu (LI15)
  • Qu Chi (LI11) 
  • Shou San Li (LI10) 
  • Wai Guan (TE5) 
  • He Gu (LI4) 
  • Huan Tiao (GB30) 
  • Zu San Li (ST36) 
  • Yang Ling Quan (GB34) 
  • Feng Long (ST40) 
  • Jie Xi (ST41) 
  • Kun Lun (BI60) 
  • Tai Chong (LV3) 

On the other hand, facial distortion can be treated with Qian Zheng powder and acupressure on the Di Cang (ST4), Xia Guan (ST7), Jia Che (ST6), Feng Chi (GB20), and He Gu (LI04) points.

Holistic Remedies Can Support Stroke Treatment

A rehabilitative environment is conducive to holistic recovery after stroke treatment. It’s also advisable to seek advice from a certified practitioner before using TCM modalities. In doing so, you’ll be able to prevent misdiagnosis, and they can monitor your response to therapy.

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