BELL'S PALSY HAS POSITIVE RESULTS WITH ACUPUNCTURE
Bell's Palsy often has rapid and gratifying results with acupuncture. It is best to treat this condition immediately following paralysis; however, even after several years of its onset, we have seen good results, often within the first few treatments.
For example, recently a 58-year-old retired teacher came to our clinic after living with partial facial paralysis for years. He said that when he substituted, the kids would make fun of him. He said he had tried everything in the past but never acupuncture, and although he wasn’t counting on it being effective, he thought he might as well give it a try. After the first session, he felt better. After the second session, he already has seen results (the effected side of his face feels more alive, and his lip is less droopy). He is very pleased and plans to continue with treatment.
Since acupuncture has been proven to be very effective for this condition, which affects approximately 40,000 Americans each year, we wish more people were able to benefit from Chinese medicine, thereby reducing the effects of paralysis along with anxiety. This disorder comes on suddenly. One moment you’re fine and the next moment half your face is numb and cold. There can be accompanying pain and disfigurement.
In Chinese medicine, Bell's Palsy is believed to be caused by Wind and Cold invading the meridians, muscles and tendons of the face. This condition is usually seen in spring and fall and can occur after exposure to wind ~ a boat ride, driving in a convertible or even sleeping near an open window. People with Bell's Palsy usually have a deficient immune system (perhaps a cold or the flu) and are therefore more vulnerable to outside sources such as physical and emotional stress factors or viral and bacterial pathogens. This exposure causes the immune system to produce an inflammatory response, resulting in swelling, which then obstructs the normal function of the nerves and vessels in the face. According to Chinese medicine, this obstruction of qi (energy) and/or blood deficiency results in the paralysis of facial muscles with numbness and tingling.
Acupuncture not only brings blood circulation to the area, it also is beneficial to the immune system, thereby enhancing the healing process. As with all other conditions, it is important to eliminate anything that taxes the immune system and to have a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a well-balanced diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and lean meats) and stress-relieving activities.