Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture in the Treatment of Stroke

Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture (ZSA) is a specialized microsystem acupuncture technique that has been found to be particularly effective in treating neurological disorders and disabilities. It is, in our opinion, the best therapy for stroke.


It’s important to note that the earlier treatment starts, the better. Every day of delay in beginning treatment during the acute phase can equal months or even years longer in the recovery phase. If you or a loved one have had a stroke and want to get acupuncture treatment, skip to the bottom of the article to find out how. We may even be able to help if you are in hospital.

Scalp Acupuncture and Strokes

Stroke, a sudden injury of neurons due to lack of blood supply to the brain, is the second leading cause of death globally and a major cause of disability. It can be classified as ischemic (when a blood vessel is blocked) or haemorrhagic (when a blood vessel bursts). Scalp Acupuncture can help minimize the scope of damage and promote more rapid recovery, regardless of whether the stroke is ischemic or haemorrhagic. This therapy has proven to be extremely effective in the treatment of acute stroke and post-stroke limb dysfunction.

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials conducted in May 2021 revealed that scalp acupuncture improves motor function in patients with acute to chronic stroke, regardless of whether the stroke was ischemic or hemorrhagic. The study concluded that scalp acupuncture is effective for improving motor dysfunction in patients with stroke. However, due to a lack of methodological quality, further thoroughly planned clinical studies are still required.

How Can Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture Treat Strokes?

Zhu's Scalp Acupuncture in the Treatment of Stroke

Scalp acupuncture works by inserting needles into specific areas of the scalp. This is thought to stimulate brain neurons underneath that area, helping to restore and strengthen the functions of the body, organs, and tissues. In the case of stroke patients, it can help increase muscle strength, reduce spasticity, and improve mobility – even for individuals with paralysis.

Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture, developed by Dr. Ming Qing Zhu, is based on the principles of both ancient Chinese Medicine and modern biomedicine.

Modern Biomedical Theory

Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture promotes circulation to restore blood flow, thereby restoring oxygen supply to brain cells. The exact mechanism by which these effects are achieved is not yet fully clear.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) identifies the head as the convergence point of all Yang-meridians and the house of the original spirit. This is where the convergence between meridian Qi and Blood occurs.

In Zhu’s system of acupuncture, there are three main zones (Eding zone, Dingzhen zone, and Dingnie zone) subdivided into a total of 11 portions, and three secondary zones, each divided into two portions. The zone names are based on anatomical descriptions. The treatment technique relies almost exclusively on scalp acupuncture, sometimes using a dozen or more needles in the scalp at one time for the more severely debilitated patients. Don’t worry – scalp acupuncture is pretty painless and generally even well-tolerated by people who don’t like needles.

Dr. Zhu believes that one function of scalp acupuncture is to improve or re-establish the connections from the central nervous system to the peripheral nervous system. The sending of signals between these two parts of the nervous system during treatment is critical. The intention of the patient to move the affected body part sends signals from the central nervous system to the periphery, while actual movements of the body part send signals from the periphery back to the central system.

Zhu's Scalp Acupuncture

Is Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture Safe for All Stroke Patients?

Scalp acupuncture is generally extremely safe, because the skull protects the brain. Some websites claim that it is contraindicated for people with post-operative scars in the acupuncture area, individuals with very high blood pressure (220/120), some cases of pregnancy (mainly habitual miscarriage) and people who are extremely nervous, but this is not correct. The only real contraindication for scalp acupuncture is infants whose fontanels have not yet closed, and even then as long as you avoid the area of the fontanel it can be used.

Despite its relative safety, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before undergoing scalp acupuncture. When performed by a qualified professional, scalp acupuncture is generally very safe.

My Loved One Has Had a Stroke and is in Hospital – Can You Help?

Absolutely. We can arrange ‘house calls’ to Waikato Hospital. Please call us without delay on 07 846 7956 (remember, early treatment is crucial to ensuring a better prognosis). Be sure to let our receptionist know it is a stroke and therefore urgent. If you need to contact us outside our normal business hours (which are Tuesday through Saturday 9am to 6pm) Facebook messenger is your best bet, although we cannot guarantee we will always respond immediately.

If you or your loved one are in hospital, you will need to obtain permission from the doctor in charge of your case for us to visit. Only once you have cleared it with the doctor can we arrange to visit you to apply acupuncture.

Read More

Treating Acute Stroke with Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

My Mum had a Stroke on Thursday Night 27/05/2021

Day 5-Acupuncture for Mums Recovery from Stroke

Acupuncture for Black Face After Stroke

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