Embarking on the road to recovery post-stroke is no small feat, yet within the challenges lies the potential for profound well-being. Join me on this journey as we explore a trio of holistic strategies—homeopathy, acupuncture, and neurotransmitter support—that can be game-changers in the healing process. As a naturopathic doctor with over two decades of experience, I've witnessed the remarkable impact of integrative approaches on stroke recovery. In this blog, I'll share insights into the transformative tools that can empower individuals to not only navigate but reclaim control over your life. Let's explore the three pivotal tools that could lead on a road to self-empowerment.
Homeopathic Solutions for Pain and Emotional Well-being: Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine that dates back to the late 18th century. founded by the medical doctor Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy operates on the idea that the body has an inherent vital force that, when imbalanced, leads to illness. The remedies aim to stimulate this vital force, promoting self-healing and restoring balance. Since homeopathic medicine also called “remedies” are highly dilute substance that no long contain the original substance they were made from and are taken sublingually (under the tongue) they generally do not interact with other medications. It is always important to consult with your doctor before using homeopathic remedies and consult with a skilled homeopathic practitioner for the best remedy for your individualized case. Here are four homeopathic remedies that could support individuals on the road to stroke recovery.
Homeopathic Arnica Montana is a remedy used for effects of injury, bruising, swelling, and pain post stroke. This remedy helps promote healing after local trauma and may reduce overall pain and swelling. It can be used for sore muscles if you have overworked your muscles when compensating for paralyzed limbs. It can also help when you have overworked the mind to help you feel calmer.
Homeopathic Ignatia Amara is a great remedy for grief. When you feel sad, teary, a heaviness on your chest from grief or when there has been a loss. This can be an actual loss or loss of your normal life routine. Not having the ability to do what you once could do is an actual loss that you may be grieving. Ignatia can help lift some of the grief and sadness and you feel lighter and more hopeful.
Homeopathic Arsenicum Album is a remedy for general anxiety and restlessness of the body and the mind, especially after a traumatic event or health scare. There is great fear of health issues and disease.
Homeopathic Lachesis is a remedy for irritability, being short tempered snappy, and feeling claustrophobic. Especially good for left sided paralysis. You may have hot flashes, be very talkative, not tolerate tight clothing and dislike anything around your neck. You are irritable and everyone around you knows it. When your health is impaired it is natural to get frustrated but if you feel your anger is affecting your relationships because you are snappy and lashing out verbally, this remedy can help you feel calmer and more grounded.
Acupuncture for Stroke Rehabilitation: Acupuncture is ancient Chinese medicine practice over 6000 years old involving the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow. In general terms, acupuncture enhances blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and promotes the body's natural healing processes. Although acupuncture rooted in ancient wisdom, it has flourished to become an efficacious tool in the Western scientific paradigm. In fact, acupuncture is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an alternative and complementary strategy for stroke treatment and for improving stroke care. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture in improving balance function, reducing spasticity, and increasing muscle strength and general well-being post-stroke. Acupuncture exerts a beneficial effect on ischemic stroke through modulation of different mechanisms originating in the central nervous system (1). Furthermore, acupuncture reorganizes not only motor-related network, including primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, frontoparietal network, and sensorimotor network, as well as default mode network, but also language-related brain areas including inferior frontal gyrus frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes, as well as cognition-related brain regions (3). Acupuncture alone or combined with other therapies also appears to be effective in improving depression symptoms of stroke survivors (2). Additionally, acupuncture is linked to improving the structural plasticity of post-stroke patients (3). Research studies have concluded that acupuncture alone or combined with other Western medicines could be more efficacious in stroke rehabilitation compared with the use of western medical therapy alone (4). For stroke survivors, acupuncture can be a valuable tool for addressing many areas including mood, motor skills, neuroplasticity, and more to manage and uplift post stroke recovery. Working with a licensed acupuncturist can help tailor an individualized and productive path along your journey of stroke recovery.
Neurotransmitter Support for Improved Mood and Memory: Neurotransmitters are key players in mood regulation and balance. How can we determine if our neurotransmitters are off? Since we can’t go directly measure neurotransmitters in the brain, there is another diagnostic tool – urine testing that look at metabolites of neurotransmitter biochemistry assessing levels of serotonin, GABA, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and more. This type of test was first used to monitor neurotransmitter levels of patients on medications but has come to be an effective tool to assessing ways to naturally support precursor to neurotransmitter production and/or narrowing down medications that might be more beneficial than others. This test does not take the place of psychiatric evaluation and care but can be an added opportunity to tailor an individualized treatment strategy to help navigate the best treatment approach to address depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Those dealing with chronic health struggles naturally experience a higher incidence of depression and anxiety. Certain nutrients play a key role in supporting neurotransmitter function, influencing mood, sleep, and energy levels. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, for example, may contribute to improved cognitive function. Additionally amino acids like tryptophan and L-tyrosine can support the production of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Nutrients specific to imbalance illuminated by neurotransmitter testing can be an asset in helping mood, sleep, and day to day coping during stroke recovery. Remember, always consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating any new treatments, and work collaboratively with your medical team to ensure a safe and tailored recovery experience.
Stroke recovery is a multifaceted process that requires an integrative approach. Weaving integrative strategies including homeopathy, acupuncture, and neurotransmitter-supporting nutrients into your recovery plan adds a robust and effective healing experience. Remember, it's crucial to consult with healthcare professionals to ensure your recovery path is personalized and safe. With these practical tips, you can actively reclaim both physical and emotional well-being, feeling more empowered on your stroke recovery journey.
Kiera Lane, N.M.D., MSAc, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., FABORM is a Board Certified Naturopathic Physician and Acupuncturist in Chandler, Arizona, and the Medical Director of Arizona Natural Medicine Physicians, PLLC dba Arizona Natural Medicine. Dr. Lane is not only a seasoned practitioner for over 23 years but also an esteemed author and health & wellness advocate. Her unwavering commitment is dedicated to promoting elevated well-being among her patients and beyond.