current news from naturheilzentrum bottrop: alternative medicine in neuro-rehabilitation
the consequences of an intracranial injury are manifold. they include speech and swallowing disorders. physiotherapists, ergotherapists and speech therapists work with those affected to alleviate the problems. naturopathic methods can also be helpful
“it was more than a break. he was torn out of his life.” monika meinradt still finds it hard to talk about the accident. the accident, in which her husband andré suffered such severe injuries. the 37-year-old teacher was on his way to work when he was hit by a car while crossing an intersection. the doctors’ diagnosis: severe traumatic brain injury, and in consequence, andré meinradt has had to contend with a speech disorder (aphasia) and a swallowing disorder (dysphagia). the english and social-sciences teacher spent almost ten months at various clinics. the hospital stay was immediately followed by rehab. the doctors, speech therapists, physiotherapists and ergotherapists worked intensively with the patient during the ‘early rehabilitation’ and rehabilitation phases. andré has made visible progress. his swallowing disorder has improved significantly thanks to the therapeutic treatments.
the 37-year-old first came into contact with acupuncture during this phase of the therapy. in retrospect, monika meinradt is certain that it was vital to have the treatments together. “andré has achieved a lot since we combined conventional medicine and naturopathy. there have clearly been improvements.” the 35-year-old is proud of her husband, of his will, his strength. "his limitations are most noticeable when he speaks. andré’s speech has significantly improved through the therapy, but he still has difficulties with word formation to this day”, reports his wife. "you have to have patience. above all because he does not always have much of his own.”
speechlessness at any age
‘aphasia’ comes from greek and means ‘speechlessness’. doctors understand it as a speech disorder. more than 250,000 People in germany are affected by a chronic aphasia – as estimated by the federal association for the rehabilitation of aphasics e.v. in addition, 80,000 new cases occur annually in adults, and the number is 3,000 per year in the case of children. damage to the brain is often the reason for the speech disorder, as in andré’s case. aphasia can be, for example, the result of stroke, intracranial injury like andré experienced , or brain tumors. a 100% cure is difficult, partly impossible, or a long way off.
nevertheless, therapeutically significant improvements can be achieved for the affected patients. with training and patience, lost language can be recovered - at least to some extent, although this can also be greater in many cases - depending on the degree of aphasia. "the more serious the damage to the brain structure, the more patience is necessary," says the naturopath, farid zitoun. those affected require patience as well.
alternative medicine in neuro-rehabilitation
the consequences of an intracranial injury are manifold. they include speech and swallowing disorders. physiotherapists, ergotherapists and speech therapists work with those affected to alleviate the problems. naturopathic methods can also be helpful. “acupuncture can get things going, allow the patient find something that seemed to be lost and thus, in large part, give him back his quality of life,” says christian rüger. in the treatment of dysphagia, the goal of the therapy is, in this case, an improved diet. “this becomes possible when the swallowing mechanism can be reactivated,” explains christian rüger from the practice. ultimately, it is a matter of opening up the greatest possibility of independence for the patient. “the Human brain often succeeds in compensating for the damaged functions through specific measures. and even with chronic conditions, i.e., months and years after the onset of brain damage, considerable improvements to the respective limitations can be observed. however, the important thing here is that those affected and their relatives are actively involved.”
needle therapy in aphasia
current studies from china show that the use of acupuncture improves the language skills of aphasia patients. acupuncture is also becoming more and more prominent in germany. prof. dr. m. ptok, head of the clinic for phoniatrics and pediatric audiology in hanover, already reported on this in 2007 in the ‘sprach-stimme-gehör’ magazine. by his account, good results were achieved - especially in the case of broca’s aphasia, which is mainly affected by speech production and less by speech comprehension. however, reliance is no longer only placed on the effect of acupuncture in china. “needle therapy is even making advances into western countries,” observe farid zitoun and christian rüger, who focus on so-called microneedle techniques - a special form of acupuncture. numerous studies have examined the effect of acupuncture over the past few years. “it was shown by means of magnetic resonance imaging how the mechanisms of needle therapy work,” explains christian rüger, head of the bottrop facility for alternative medicine.
microcirculation in tissue can be visibly stimulated. a group of experts from the university of sichuan, consisting of neurologists and acupuncturists, has taken a close look at the use of acupuncture, particularly in acute stroke cases. a total of 14 studies with more than 1,200 patients overall form the basis of their research. it has been shown that treatment with specific needle techniques can lead to a noticeable improvement in quality of life and independence - even in these cases. however, this does not yet mean that it has been given the green light for everyday clinical use. this step can only be carried out after prolonged controlled studies with increased sample sizes, long-term observation and more extensive data collection. the two bottrop-based naturopaths see confirmation for an interdisciplinary treatment approach in such research results.
making use of synergies. linking tradition, on the one hand, and the possibilities of modern technology on the other, in a meaningful way, together with the efforts of speech therapists, physiotherapists and trainers. to enhance the view of new therapeutic concepts, in addition to conventional medicine and accompanying therapies (physiotherapy, ergotherapy, and speech therapy). andré and his wife have decided to supplement his treatment with complementary medicinal therapies at naturheilzentrum bottrop. "for me it is the right step - one that feels good and ultimately, will prove us right,” reports his wife, “if you could see my husband today, his unbroken optimism, and the joy at any improvement that occurs, you would unreservedly agree with me.”