I was delighted to see this article confirming that bilingualism aids in recovery from stroke, because it corresponds to my experience working with people recovering from concussions. Granted, concussions differ greatly from stroke, but both affect memory.
When I work with people recovering from concussions, I use a complex approach including herbs; shiatsu; specific acupoints for headaches, nausea, and other symptoms; and outgoing qigong, also known as qi projection. I often combine mental challenges with qi projection.
The client and I choose the mental challenge together, but it often involves language. Sometimes it’s rapid-fire transitions among languages, or telling a story – usually one that teases the memory in its own right, such as a minor conversation from three days ago; or a description of a scene from a five days back that includes details about smells, sounds, textures, and colors as well as conversation – and translating the story into at least one other language. The qi projection makes it easier for the client to remember both the details of the story and recalcitrant words.
Since I am a linguist and a philologist as well as an herbalist and shiatsu and qigong therapist, I particularly relish the opportunity to bring languages into healing. Fortunately, it turns out to be a very effective combination. In the future I may even combine language instruction with healing work.