Natural remedies for stroke recovery offer a gentle way to heal the body without the potential harsh side effects of pharmaceuticals. While modern medicine can play an important role in your recovery, this article will tie everything back to natural solutions.
Although some may not seem like your typical ‘natural remedies,’ they’re still great options to consider.
Defeating Spasticity without Drugs
Natural treatment: rehab exercises
Spasticity is caused by miscommunication between the brain and the muscles. When the brain can’t properly tell the muscles what to do, they contract (or spasm) in order to protect themselves.
This spastic reaction can only be naturally and permanently relieved by reteaching the brain how to communicate with them again; and this communication can be restored through stroke recovery exercises.
The more you rehab the affected muscles, the more control you gain over them. Then, as you continue to increase control, the spasticity will progressively go away. (See the Brunnstrom stages of stroke recovery to figure out when that will be.)
Natural Pain Relief
Natural treatment: acupuncture and TCM
When discussing post-stroke pain, it’s important to distinguish between the two different types: localized pain and central post-stroke pain.
Localized pain is typically caused by spasticity in one specific area of the body, and it can be treated using the methods we discussed previously.
Central post-stroke pain is caused when the brain mistakes all stimuli (like heat and cold) for pain, resulting in very severe pain that’s difficult to treat.
If you’re looking for natural solutions for either type, acupuncture could help.
For those who don’t know, acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where your skin is pricked by needles to help encourage energy to flow through the body.
There are a few studies that have proven the efficacy of TCM for stroke recovery, but more are needed.
However, we found a book called Stroke: A Long, Challenging Journey where Peter Fee, a stroke survivor, personally talks about his experience with acupuncture; and according to his story, acupuncture has the potential to work wonders for post-stroke pain.
So if you’ve failed to alleviate post-stroke pain through other means, acupuncture could be a great option.
Natural Stroke Recovery Boosters
Natural treatment: meditation, good food, and proper vitamins
So far we’ve covered natural treatments for stroke recovery, and now we’d like to discuss a few natural practices that can boost stroke recovery as a whole.
First, meditation is an excellent practice that can help alleviate depression, improve information processing, and relieve tiredness and fatigue. Yes! Aaalll those things can be improved with meditation!
Second, eating natural foods instead of processed foods can help reduce your risk of recurrent stroke and provide extra energy that can be used towards your recovery.
Lastly, ensuring that you’re getting all your essential vitamins and minerals is a great step towards boosting your recovery and overall health.
There are some vitamins that are good specifically for stroke recovery too. We recommend focusing on those without forgetting about the rest.
The best way to get your vitamins is through your diet. By ensuring that you’re eating a variety of whole foods, you’ll naturally cover all your bases.
Natural Mood Boosters
Natural treatment: probiotics
For many survivors, emotions can take a downturn after stroke, which can make the recovery process more difficult and put a strain on relationships.
To boost your mood naturally, probiotics can be a great solution.
Not many know about the importance of gut health in relation to brain health, which can be summed up as this: A healthy brain is a happy one.
There are many studies that have linked an unhealthy microbiome (i.e. your tummy) to anxiety and depression.
This means that if an unhealthy microbiome was the cause of your post-stroke depression, then supplementing with probiotics can help you feel better.
You can also eat naturally probiotic foods like yogurt, tempeh, and miso if you want to go the extra natural route.
And there you have it! Natural solutions to post-stroke spasticity, pain, and motor impairments, as well as some natural tricks for boosting your recovery as a whole.
Have you tried any of these natural remedies before?
Do you have any natural stroke recovery tips of your own?
Leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear your advice!