Jamie Gisby


Acupuncture for stroke.

A lot of research has been undertaken to asses the effectiveness of acupuncture for stroke.  Different studies have reached different conclusions.  This probably reflects the fact that acupuncture trials are actually very difficult to do well and the quality of research varies hugely.  Studies have concluded that acupuncture has no demonstrable effect, an effect that is not significant, or a significant positive effect.  Different studies have looked at different aspects of stroke and at different therapeutic modalities of acupuncture (manual, electro-acupuncture, cupping, tuina, moxibustion).  Studies have looked at acupuncture treating whether it can improve movement following a stroke where this has been affected, depression following a stroke, urinary incontinence and so on.

The British Acupuncture Council have produced a very detailed fact sheet covering the effectiveness of acupuncture for stroke, click here.

Review paper for medical professionals:

‘Stroke and acupuncture: the evidence for effectiveness’, is a review paper for medical professionals produced by the British Acupuncture Council, click here to view.

The review paper concludes: “There is an increase in interest in using acupuncture as a treatment modality for stroke (Ernst & White 1996),and the recent Consensus Development Statement from a panel convened by the US National Institutes of Health to consider the evidence for acupuncture (NIH 1997) finds “positive clinical reports” for its use in this context. It would seem that the evidence to date suggests that acupuncture has a valuable role to play in helping stroke recovery.”


Ernst E, White AR (1996) Acupuncture as an adjuvant therapy in stroke rehabilitation?
Wien Med Wschr 146:556-558.

NIH, Acupuncture. Consensus Development Statement. Nov 3-5 1997. Washington
Parker VM, Wade DT, Langton Hewer R (1986) Loss of arm function after stroke:
measurement, frequency and recovery. Int. Rehabil Med. 8:69-73.


Follow the links below for further help and advice about strokes:

The Stroke Association.