Alternative treatments for stroke can help complement the therapies you doctor will prescribe for you following a stroke.
However, you should be aware that none of these treatment options are a direct treatment for a stroke; rather, these should be considered as tools to help you rehabilitate from a stroke and to aid in the prevention of future strokes and other health issues. There is no evidence that any alternative treatment for stroke is better than medical therapy. Most of these other modalities lack significant or extensive clinical research. Always consult your doctor before beginning any alternative or complementary treatment, as there can be some treatments that will work at odds with each other.
Used for centuries in Asian cultures, the insertion of small needles into specific points in the body can help alleviate pain and treat paralysis and other muscle problems affected by stroke. A similar therapy, acupressure uses the same points as acupuncture, yet it doesn’t involve needles.
If you suffered an ischemic stroke—one involving a blood clot—you will be instructed to pay extra attention to your cholesterol levels, as unhealthy amounts of cholesterol in the blood can lead to embolus and clotting. Healthy cholesterol levels can be achieved through healthy eating habits, such as avoiding foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat, sodium, and other things harmful to your blood and blood vessels. It is very likely that, despite your best efforts at managing diet, you will need medication to manage your cholesterol levels.
Massage is a common treatment for numerous problems. It can help stroke patients by elevating mood, lowering blood pressure, easing anxiety, and otherwise relax the body and mind. It can help stroke-related muscle problems by increasing blood flow to the affected area.
Yoga can help people with a stroke by promoting smooth physical movements and improving breathing. The meditative qualities that also accompany yoga can help improve mental focus that may have been compromised due to the stroke. In addition, any type of exercise will help with blood circulation, blood pressure, and overall health; yoga is a good option for a low-impact exercise regimen.
Certain scents can help people relax and can help relieve pain. Rosemary, lavender, and peppermint are three scents commonly used to help with pain, which may be present in people who have had a stroke.
Certain herbal medicines may help improve blood circulation in the brain, improve brain function, and protect against another stroke. However, you should use caution and consult your doctor before using any herbs or nutritional supplements as they may interfere with medication you are already taking.