Bell's Palsy/Facial Paralysis
What are the common symptoms and causes?
Bell's palsy starts suddenly due to facial muscle paralysis and weakness, the symptoms aggravate fast within 48 hours. The cause can be infection, inflammation, stroke etc., the root cause is by damage to the facial nerve. Individuals may feel loss of feeling on one side of face, tearing, unable to control facial expressions on one side of face, drooling, unable to close eye on the affected side, headache.
How does acupuncture help treat it?
Acupuncture works by reducing local soft tissues inflammation and swelling, sometimes electrical stimulations is used to activate nerve fibres for paralysis or numbness. There are a handful of articles with high degree of research on acupuncture for facial paralysis, the control group(with acupuncture) show significant improvement comparing to other group, and also the use of acupuncture and western drug together show a greater recovery rate as well is quite encouraging.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, Bell's palsy or facial paralysis is a result of wind invasion(environmental factor), this alters the normal circulation of channels, causes stagnation within the vessels of qi and blood, it's often temporary and as the body regains back its normal circulation, symptoms slowly goes away, acupuncture can greatly shorten the amount of recovery time and very effective in the first few weeks following the incident.