Acupuncture & Foot Drop

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Foot drop, an effect from having a stroke, can be relieved using acupressure. Restore feeling and function to your foot with help from a doctor of Oriental medicine in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Acupressure & Acupuncture
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Hilary Talbott, acupuncture physician, and clinical herbalist. coming to you today from Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies. Today, we will be discussing acupressure for foot drop. No, foot drop is a - it's a side effect of having a stroke. Oftentimes, you'll see someone walking, and you can tell just by their gait that they probably have, in fact, had a stroke. The bottom of the foot becomes paralyzed, and they're unable to pick it up and have a normal gait. Acupuncture, and acupressure, are phenomenal for restoring the body back to balance after a stroke. The sooner you get to the patient from the stroke, the better outcome that you're going to have. You want to wait a little bit, if not a couple of days, after the stroke. But, I would say, in the window of six months after the stroke is your best scenario for a good outcome. However, that being said, I have seen people that, years after they've had a stroke, acupuncture has helped to restore motor function, sensory functions of the hands and feet, as well as even speech. So, we use a technique called scalp acupuncture, which is kind of a modern day idea when you compare it to 3,000 year old Chinese acupressure. And, what they've done, is they've used brain mapping of the brain and now what we know with neurology, to try to figure out what parts of the brain do what. And then, we stimulate the area over that part of the brain in the hopes of bringing Chi and blood circulation into the brain, so that that part of the body can actually regrow itself. It was previously though that, in a stroke, that part of the brain that was affected, the tissue, died. And now, with modern research, we're finding out that that's simply not true, that the sooner you get to someone, the more hopes you have of restoring that. So, for the idea of foot drop, we would use the motor and the sensory lines of the brain, and so, these are a little bit more complicated to find when you're using a needle, but if you're just going to use acupressure techniques on yourself or a loved one, I can get you in the general direction pretty safely. So, what you're going to do is, you're going to take your hands, and you're going to locate Du 20, which is the point at the top of the head. You're going to do that by coming to the top of the ears, and where your thumbs come together at the top of the head is Du 20. And, you're going to kind of search around in that midline for a depression. And, once you find that, that's kind of your marker point. Now, the motor and sensory lines of the brain come out on either side of this point to this area, so they kind of wrap around, almost as if you'd put your hand breadth like this. This would be where the lines are. And, the line is divided based on how you want to, which part of the body you want to break up. The foot, actually, the foot and the lower appendages happen to be the top fifth. So, anywhere under my hand here in this area is going to be a good place to do self massage. So, let's just say our patient had a drop foot on the right foot. I would predominantly want to massage the left side of this line here. So, at the top of the head here, just to the left of Du 20. I'm going to show you a diagram, because it's sometimes hard to see. So, you see here, this is the top of the head, and the motor sensory area, that line comes right here, and the sensory line is right behind it. So, being in this general ballpark here, at the top fifth is going to be helpful. I'm Hilary Talbott, and that was acupressure for drop foot.

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