Bell's Palsy - Facial Paralysis


Bell's Palsy  


Bells Palsy is most commonly found with young adults (20yrs -35yrs)  but can be found in both men and women at all ages.  Approximatley the odds of having bells palsy is 1 in 5,000 each year.  It is very uncommon for this disorder to strike the same person twice. Bells palsy is an acute attack of facial paralysis affecting one side of the face.  The paralysis generally comes on overnight suddenly giving rise to numbness and weakness.  The effecting person will have difficulty closing one of their eyes, closing their mouth on the effected side fully, change of taste and noise sensitivity.  Generally there is no pain but occasionally there is pain behind the ear or other places of the face. 

Bells palsy cause is a slight mystery in western medicine.  Recent research has pointed towards a virus beeing he cause of this paralysis.  Herpes Simplex was found in approximatley 80% of cases in japanese research recently.  This is the same virus which causes cold sores.  When Herpes Simplex effects the 7th cranial nerve it makes it swell which inhibits the inervation of the face creating numbenss and paralyis with possible pain.  


Recovery from Bells Palsy is very common.  Most patients will recover with only 10-20% of people having permanent mild facial paralysis.   People who are over 55, experience facial pain, both sides of face are effected or have a lack of tearing will have a higher incendence of permanent damage.  


Western medicine treatment of Bells Palsy may include anti-viral drugs as this may help.  Generally people who have a lack of tearing and control over one eye will be given eye drops to help give the eye moisture until the eye can close properly again.   


Chinese Medicine Cure and Diagnosis of Bells Palsy: 


In chinese medicine, bells palsy is generally caused by external invasion of a pattern called Wind.   When wind enters the body it bocks proper circulation blocking nourishment and control over certain areas, in the case of bels palsy the area is the face.  


Acupuncture is a very common and effective treatment of Bells Palsy. Using acupuncture points on the effected side of the face, neck and head as well as other body parts we can increase the healing time curing this disorder.  

Acupuncture points for Bells Palsy:

Common points used to treat this condition are:

SJ 17, ST 4-6, LI 4, LR 3, GB 20, LI 20, 19, Du 26, Jia Cheng Jiang

Points used specifically for the eye not closing properly:

Yin Qiao KI 6, Yang Qiao BL 62, BL 2, GB 14, Yu Yao


Most acupuncture points will only be used on the effected side of the face although some acupuncture points wll be used bilaterally.   



Alternative Treatment Methods for Bells Palsy

Electrical Acupuncture- when facial muscles begin to twitch the stimulation is sufficient.


Other helpful advice is for people to chew gum or give themselves a facial massage after the application of a hot cloth compresses which helps support blood flow.  Keeping away from drafts and wind is also helpful.  Trying to wear scarves and high jackets to keep the cold and wind away from the effected side of the face may help. 

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