February 16, 2011

Do this immediately after a stroke
to save a loved-one's life

Nearly 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year. Have you ever wondered why some of them recover from stroke and others don't? There are many reasons. But I'm about to tell you about a costless treatment that you won't find in any hospital — at least not as an official treatment. But a new study says it might be the most cost-effective way to treat stroke damage we have.

Right now, there's only one conventional treatment available to treat stroke. It's a clot-busting drug called tPA. It has two drawbacks. The doctor must administer it within 4.5 hours of the onset (most stroke victims don't even get to the hospital in this narrow window). Second, as you might expect, it's pricey.

Researchers at UC Irvine reasoned that our body has the inherent ability to find alternate ways to deal with a challenge. It's much like hitting a road block on your way to work. You look for alternative routes to get to the same place. Well, these researchers wanted to see if simply stimulating the body with touch would encourage your body to find these alternative routes.

The scientists inflicted ischemic (clot induced, the most common kind of stroke) strokes in mice. Then the researchers stimulated the whiskers in the afflicted mice. Those that received the stimulation within two hours of the stroke recovered normal cognitive function. The researchers looked at the animals' brains only a week later. They found that the "touching" of their whiskers caused the mice to reroute blood flow to the damaged area to compensate for the blockage.

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To prove this, the researchers took some animals and severed blood vessels farther from the damaged area. These animals, deprived of the "rerouting" of blood, didn't recover.

This is an incredible finding. All it took was simple touch to stimulate the body to heal itself. I love reports like this. There's no technology, no drugs, nothing at all — except touch. I've seen people languish alone in the ER for hours with stroke. It's a terrible tragedy. All they need is someone to touch them to speed their healing. But hospitals won't consider it.

If your loved one suffers a stroke, touch him/her immediately. And keep your hands on them as much as you can. It will stimulate the brain. And the touch, according to this, might respond by rerouting blood flow to the damaged area. I've seen it work.

When my dad was in a coma for six weeks at the age of 90, my mom visited him every day and constantly touched him. She touched his arms, his hands, and his head. He's now home, at age 92. He had other natural treatments, as well. But I know the touching helped.

Ref: LA Times 11-19-10.

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