Talk by: David Bomzon, Boris Tchalabian, Suzy Ratner, Ortal Asa, Katalin Goldenberg. Background: Following an acute neuroischemic event, many patients suffer hemiplegia which restricts their mobility. In addition to physical (rehabilitation) therapy, acupuncture has been reported to improve the patient`s mobility and ability to perform daily tasks, to alleviate pain and to facilitate muscle contraction. Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA) is a type of acupuncture in which specific acupuncture points (somatopes) on the scalp are needled and has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and improving mobility in stroke and musculoskeletal pain suffering patients. Objective: To investigate the effect of YNSA on the walking speed of stroke patients.
Methods: This pilot study was comprised of 20 hospitalized patients with stroke (17 men; age range 37-63 years) in the rehabilitation department of Bnai Zion Medical Center. All patients were capable of walking without the help of a physical therapist. Each patient was treated with YNSA twice weekly for four weeks before conventional physical therapy, and their walking speed with and without the acupuncture needles over ten meters was recorded.
Results: The walking speed of the patients with the acupuncture needles was significantly faster (p<0.001) than their walking speed without the acupuncture needles.
Conclusions: Although we found that YNSA increases walking speed of all acute stroke patients, the study should be repeated with a control group in order to validate the findings.