Image from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Movies:

If you are experiencing pain or spasticity or muscle cramping as a result of your stroke, then you may want to consider Acupuncture. The Chinese have been practicing acupuncture for thousands of years. Western medicine is paying attention too, and acupuncture is even covered by major insurance plans.

I went to my first visit with a heavy degree of skepticism. But, in the spirit of: “I’ll try anything,” I went for it. The spasticity in my hand was significant. I really couldn’t feel the ground beneath my feet on my affected side very well. My muscle pain was manageable at this point, even without pharmaceuticals. I still felt pain but had learned to disregard it.

So, after a brief consultation with the Acupuncturist, I laid down on her table and she went to work. I am right-side-affected, so she had me lay my left. The needles are so thin you can barely feel them going in. Only occasionally she would find a nerve bundle that would protest at being pierced. Nothing terrible at all. She put about 2 or 3 dozen needles all over my body; from my scalp to my face, in my spine, and in my affected hand, leg and foot. I looked like a pincushion. Again, I felt little or no pain.

After she placed all the needles, she dimmed the lights, put on some New Age music and left me alone. An hour later, she returned and reversed the procedure.

I got up feeling incredibly relaxed. The spasticity in my arm and hand were all but gone. And I could feel the ground beneath my feet better than usual. Any muscular pain that I had going into the treatment disappeared. The effects lasted for about three days. I considered this a win, so I scheduled weekly visits after that. It hasn’t cured me, by any means. But it has provided relief to extreme discomfort.

Check with your insurance company to see if it covers Acupuncture. I highly recommend it as an alternative to pharmaceuticals.