Well, it's been two years but Nancy is walking again! I have not blogged or posted much about the challenges that she has slowly been overcoming...being over medicated, stuck in a wheel chair and not expected to return to her former life. That is all becoming a thing of the past as she now has a clearer mind and a renewed focus and expectations that in the past we're only a dream....but enough talk....check out the video!
its so exciting to see the support she gets daily from her WeChat group of family and friends! Way to go Nancy...keep up the great work and progress. God indeed is your strength.
As each of you may know I had spent a great deal of time during my original treatment to notice needle placement and effect. Today 25 needles were used and of that four needles were placed on the fingers of my non-effected hand. In fact half the needles were on my non effected side and yet they seemed to have a great impact and at the end of the acupuncture, electric acupuncture, and tuina I found that the fat feeling was absent from my right pinky and the next finger. I also discovered my grip on that hand in those fingers is greatly increased. Well, one more observation tomorrow after treatment 3 before I get a few days off for the weekend.
Well 16 years post stroke and 13 years after treatment I was surprised to find that my acupuncture treatment is indeed having an effect. Dr Zhang discussed my history of earlier treatment and immediately developed a plan. He started on my head and then went to work inserting needles in my right and left forearms and hands. He then moved to my legs and feet, inserting needles on both left and right sides.
After 20 minutes the needles came out of my arms, hands and legs and he kept the needles in my head during tuina (medical massage). Wow! Do I remember why I loved to hate good tuina.... it's definitely not comfy massage? As the tuina Doctor started slowly I could feel the strength and intensity as he moved, manipulated, and stretched various muscle groups and applied pressure to Acupoints, it was definitely intense but when all was said and done there was a renewed normalcy that was in my right little finger extending toward the next finger. After the 13 years since my stroke they've developed a puffy feeling and that was definitely subsiding.
I got a great nights rest and found myself sleeping hard and fully relaxed. I woke up reinvigorated and ready to get treatment number two.
Exercise: Once a client begins to receive TCM treatment they will also begin a series of exercises to reinforce the things that are happening in their body. In this we have an unfair advantage in that Ruth, one of our founders, was the first US patient to receive TCM therapy for treatment of her stroke. Unfortunately few rehabilitation physicians, therapists, and US acupuncturists know firsthand what a stroke can do and the devastation that it wreaks and the physical, mental, and spiritual challenges that a survivor faces.
Each of our clients are evaluated, photographed and videoed upon their arrival. Because we are working with clients daily we are constantly watching progress and assessing them. Exercises are listed and given to clients to complete in their daily schedule. Personal medical assistants assist as needed and provide additional support, massage, electric acupuncture, and manual stimulation of limbs as needed. These Personal assistants are irreplaceable and help our clients greatly in their daily tasks, increasing confidence, and regaining of independence.
Every two weeks we complete a formal evaluation but we are constantly talking with clients, watching them carefully, and modifying exercises immediately to take advantage of new and improving movements and changes. This constant monitoring and involvement sets us apart from other “rehab” programs, each client is an individual and is treated as such. No two individuals and therefore no two programs are exactly the same. Each person responds differently and so exercises and tasks are uniquely provided to each individual and monitored closely by the personal assistants. Ruth found that the phrase, “been there…done that” is very powerful when it means we can think out of the box and create exercises that actually offer improvement and great results. Too often in other programs patients are given unattainable or useless exercises that produce nothing but frustration. Here results of exercises must be “demonstratable” and repeated in order for us to ask the client if the exercises are successful! Only then can we state emphatically the exercises are a true success.
One of the biggest challenges I face is that of educating friends, family, and the public about care in healthcare. Often spouses and family members want to jump in and help too much, are satisfied with what physicians or professionals say is gospel and not up for debate, and their lives or apparent sacrifice should be honored beyond all. Hogwash! I realize that I may make some upset but please take a step back...hold your temper and listen a bit.
I became a stroke expert quite by accident after suffering one, being the first to seek and obtain TCM treatment in China, speaking with thousands of stroke survivors and family members and personally being involved in the treatment of thousands. I've watched family members and survivors try and use less than stellar excuses of why they didn't get the results they wanted. I've heard very educated physicians and medical professionals make statements of what they see as fact because that's all their experience has shown them.
Well I learned one very important thing in life... you see and get what you look for! If you set low expectations then you will reach them because that's what you expect....but if you set high goals you'll reach them too! Expand your thinking.... God is not the God of the possible or probable...if that were true why do we need Him? God is the God of the impossible! Reach for the highest and the best...expect your best and that of others and do not settle for less. Be an individual of hope and faith and if you feel week God will be there for you!
Treatment: Typically in the recovery and treatment phase, stroke patients are evaluated for the cause of a stroke, ischemic or hemorrhagic. They then prescribe medications to prevent reoccurrence and stabilize the health of the individual. The patient is then evaluated to determine what, if any rehabilitation is possible. During rehabilitation survivors undergo one or more of three types of rehabilitation; physical, occupational, and speech. These are the areas of division and a patient is rehabbed to the level to which the rehabilitation doctor or facility deem appropriate or if insurance or Medicare is involved only until a set number of sessions is reached.
Most individuals will tell you that when insurance ran out or session limits were met they were not where they wanted to be. Rehabilitation facilities are in a peculiar position in that they do as much as they can with the time allotted. Here at TCM Restoration we realize that the body needs to heal properly and completely and that TCM will affect and assist that healing. Rehabilitation then works in conjunction with the healing process to maximize results and bring about proper functioning of the body. It is a close relationship between the client, physician, and us… maximizing the effects and outcomes that the client wants. TCM in China is different from that in the US in - acupuncture needle placement, needle manipulation, depth, angles, TCM medications, tuina, costs, massage, personal assistants, and other TCM treatments. To be honest if we could do in the US what can be done here we would but we can’t. So we are here!
One of the most frustrating challenges that we face is that clients often hear of us years after their strokes so we have to overcome time, incomplete healing, bad habits and much more to see exciting things happen. In a perfect world no one would have strokes but barring that…. at least we are trying to get the word out and get people here ASAP! The sooner they are stabilized and can get here, the sooner that more complete healing of the body can occur. Most patients suffer with incomplete healing and are left in a state of mediocrity. We expand hopes and healing and work to create an environment for the body to heal itself and maximum results to be reached. If you know a healthcare provider or individual who has had a stroke encourage them to contact us.
Evaluation: Prior to being accepted into the TCM Restoration program you are evaluated for your level of determination and physical status and opportunity for healing and change. Just because someone applies to our program does not mean that they will be accepted. Because we have a number of clients here at any given time they must integrate well with the group and have the desire and ability to succeed in the program.
We are unique in that we see and work with clients daily and so we are constantly evaluating them and suggesting new techniques and exercises to maximize their personal outcomes for restoration. Every two weeks we complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine effectiveness of treatments and exercises. Because you are receiving TCM five days a week the doctors are also regularly assessing their treatments and modifying them daily as needed. This makes TCM Restoration truly unique and individualized in our approach. As we implied in Part 1 "attitude is everything" and it more than anything else will determine if an individual can be successful. We only maintain the highest standards and expectations so we look for and expect the best from our clients. Because this travel, program, and TCM medicine is extremely affordable and our margins are slim we currently can make no "scholarships " available but the amount is easily raised with a gofundme.com page so that no one who is seeking restoration cannot obtain it.