"ON MY FEET" Rehabilitation Program
What is it?
It is a rehab program designed to help individuals who become disabled due to strokes, spinal cord injuries, traumas or diseases, to restore optimal recovery in their bodily functions (motor, sensory, speech, cognitive) , so as to return to active life as fully as possible.
Why is it necessary?
Every year in USA alone, the statistics of new incidence rate of some debilitating diseases are alarming – stroke 500,000, Multiple Sclerosis 10,000, ALS 5000 and spinal cord injuries 11,000. Due to better life-sustaining technology in the hospitals, the overall mortality rate has declined. However the cost of life-term care for people with these conditions is phenomenal. The cost is sky-rocketing each year due to our aging population, coupled with an upward trend of onset of these diseases at a younger age. The escalating number of patients with disabilities places an enormous burden on the patient's family, the community, and the healthcare system. Helping them to re-gain functions and independence as much as possible will benefit the individuals, families and societies.
How does our program "On My Feet" differ from other rehab programs?
Our program does not teach patients how to use a wheelchair. We teach them how to get rid of the wheelchairs and re-use their bodies. Our program has three cornerstones that are missing in other rehab programs.
The first is Zhu's Scalp Acupuncture. This special acupuncture modality can trigger changes quickly from the brain to all parts of in our body through the network of meridians. The combination of exercise and scalp acupuncture produces results much faster than exercises alone. It acts like a key that opens the door of recovery.
Furthermore, paralyzed patients are susceptible to many diseases. The most common ones are pain, bladder infections, autonomic dysreflexia, depression, insomnia and fatique. Our acupuncture treatments help these patients stay in good health, an essential prerequisite for functional recovery.
The second cornerstone is Daoyin, a Chinese term that means "guiding the qi energy and making the body soft and flexible". Daoyin involves not only physical exercises but also the use of the mind. We are not a fitness center for muscle building. Here our goal is to help the nervous system recover first so that it can once again control the muscles, then muscle mass will follow.
The third characteristic that differentiates us from other programs is the high "dosage" of our treatment. Our clinical experience tells us that the more intensive the therapy, the better and faster results. You get more benefits from a 3-hours session than three 1-hour session on separate days. Our progam is very cost-effective because in the long-run, it means a lot of savings in time, money and energy.
How is it implemented?
We start with a thorough examination, including a Chinese medical systemic review and a comprehensive assessment of physical and functional abilities, to set a baseline as well as a goal. A treatment plan will be drawn accordingly. A typical treatment session starts with acupuncture, followed by Daoyin. Our therapists will instruct the patient a set of mental and physical exercises, customized to each individual's condition and rate of progress. No two patients will be treated identically. The exercises are very varied, with breaks and massages in between to make them a balanced workout. Patient must work 3 to 6 hours a day, 2 to 6 days a week.
How successful is our approach?
Many factors affect the treatment outcome, such as the severity of the paralysis, age, health conditions and most crucially, time. Generally speaking, the earlier the treatments start, the more functions you can restore and at a faster rate. Patients who come promptly and follow through our treatments regain their functions significantly in a relatively short period of time. Many stroke patients who came within a week of the onset were able to walk again after 10 to 20 days of intensive treatments. One spinal cord injured patient was able to walk and returned to school after 3 months of intensive treatments. A myelitis patient walked again after 6 months of therapy.
Who will benefit?
A person with any of the following conditions:
spinal cord injury
motor neuron disease
and, no severe health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, asthma or cancer (*note: we offer less intensive treatments for this group of patients.)
and most importantly, the candidate must be strongly determined and motivated.
How long is the program?
Each treatment course varies from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the condition. Some chronic conditions require multiple treatment courses with break intervals.
For acute ischemic stroke, the average length is 2 to 4 weeks.
For myelitis, it may take 1 to 6 months.
For Guillain-Barre disease, it may take 2 to 6 weeks.
For spinal cord injury, it may take 3 months to 2+ years.
How much does it cost?
Please call our office for the fees.