Rehabilitation that includes acupressure and other alternative therapies is feasible for stroke patients as a complementary treatment to conventional stroke treatment, and may lower stroke patients’ death rates, new research shows.

Danish researchers conducted a case-control study that included 73 patients with ischemic stroke, according to a report published on www.pubmed.gov. Death rates were compared with those of the general Danish population matched for age, gender and observation period, as well as data from the community-based Copenhagen Stroke Study.

“The integrative rehabilitation was conducted in an outpatient clinic, by professionals as well as by the patient: the former as a specific acupuncture treatment, the latter as a comprehensive, biofeedback guided stress-management program including diets, physical and relaxation exercise, Chinese health philosophy, cognitive and mindfulness-related exercises, and specific biofeedback guided acupressure,” the report noted.

The four-and-a-half-year accumulated risk of death was 11.6 percent for the 73 patients with stroke treated with integrative rehabilitation, compared to 18.4 percent for the general Danish population matched for sex, age, and time period. The corresponding figures for patients receiving conventional stroke treatment were 43.2 percent and 20.0 percent for the general Danish population matched for sex, age, and time period.

“The results invite further testing in a randomized trial,” the pubmed report noted.

The research is running in the April issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

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