Bob Cís Story Ė A case of Stroke (Hemiplegia)
Bob C. was forty-nine when he suffered a stroke. It left him with his left side paralyzed in what is known as hemiplegia and a visual field impairment (he was blind in the left half of both eyes - hemioptia). His two major concerns were regaining the use of his contracted left arm and hand and improving his visual field. Read more
He had owned his own computer technology business and was an avid reader When I first saw him it was already one year after his stroke. He was walking with a cane but had no use of his left arm and hand and after physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy he was at a crossroad. No further improvement was occurring.
Acupuncture was the therapy of choice. I had worked with many stroke patients at the Rusk Institute at New York University Medical Center and had treated post stroke patients during my internship at school. I listened to Bobís frustration since his stroke and with the difficulty he had when he was reading a book. His eyes were strained easily because he visually was always missing the left half of whatever he was looking at. He always had to move his head to adjust his visual field. He also had resigned himself to his loss of physical mobility. This was difficult for him. He was athletically active until his stroke. To say Bobís perspective on life had changed was a dramatic understatement. He had come to the realization of just how mind and body affect each other.
After my review of his medical history and a thorough Oriental Medicine evaluation we worked together and developed a treatment plan.
Acupuncture for improvement to his visual field included both body and scalp acupuncture with active participation by Bob in visually scanning optical illusion patterns, hidden words or pictures within pictures and the current novel he was reading. The sessions were somewhat tiring but proved productive. About halfway through our acupuncture sessions he casually mentioned that he had read a five hundred page book that week. Within three months his visual field improved and he was able to work with his ophthalmologist and optician to be fitted with a pair of glasses that increased his visual field even further. During his biweekly treatments for improving his visual field I performed acupuncture locally to his contracted left hand and arm. There are well documented successes using acupuncture for Bobís spastic type paralysis. Initially he was not able to feel the acupuncture needles. Both his motor and his sensory nerves were impaired. I was able to have the opportunity to work with Bob for three months before he moved out of the area. During this time he had partially regained the ability to open his clenched fist and he also began to feel the needle placement and stimulation. About six months after our sessions had ended I chanced to meet him in the city and he told me that with further refinement of his prescription glasses he was now able to drive.