Acupuncture for Bell’s Palsy, Facial Paralysis
Waking up in the morning only to see in the mirror that half of your face is not responding is not a pleasant experience. Bell’s Palsy is where part of the face becomes paralyzed. Visiting your family doctor will confirm the diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy – Facial Paralysis.
The Medical treatment is usually steroid treatment for a few days. Some people will recover within a month or two, and some may take up to six months. Some people will not get a full recovery without sufficient treatment.
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Should I Worry About Bell’s Palsy?
Although it is not a life-risking condition, it may be uncomfortable, especially in the early stages. There might be some pain, some dryness in the eyes and abnormal sensations in the face, ear and neck. For many people, the greatest difficulty accompanying this condition is the aesthetic impact. Showing up to work or school with a face that is partially paralyzed can be highly embarrassing and unpleasant.
But the good news is that acupuncture, especially Balance Method Acupuncture, can speed up the healing process. In most cases, improvement is seen after the first treatment.
Why Use Balance Method Acupuncture for Bell’s Palsy
Speed – Although Bell’s Palsy usually heals by the body, it is a very unpleasant condition – physically, mentally and emotionally. Balance Method Acupuncture can speed up the healing process.
Complete the healing – Another reason to use acupuncture is to prevent an incomplete healing process. A slow healing process can leave the face partly paralyzed, and in some cases, some of the typical facial expressions may be unattainable.
Distal treatment – Balance Methos Acupuncture uses distal points in the hands and legs to treat the face. Distal acupuncture usually gives faster results than local acupuncture, but in this case, there is another important reason for using distal acupuncture.
During the initial stages of the paralysis, the face and the nerve are still inflamed and painful. Local acupuncture needles on the face may be very unpleasant and may cause aggravation if done incorrectly.
Electro-Acupuncture for Bell’s Palsy – After the inflammation in the face has passed; if the face hasn’t healed entirely yet then we will use Electro-Acupuncture.
Combined with distal acupuncture, the acupuncturist places needles locally and connects them to low voltage electricity. The acupuncture needles are placed in specific acupuncture points that stimulate the face’s nerves and muscles. These electricity pulses cause an involuntary movement in the face which promotes the healing of the nerve and muscles. The process is almost painless.
Treating the root cause of Bell’s palsy
In Chinese Medicine, we can diagnose the internal cause or weaknesses in the body that can cause Facial Paralysis. The two most common reasons are external-wind-cold (like a virus invasion) or internal wind in the liver (can cause migraine, vertigo, high blood pressure).
Treating the root cause of the condition is important, especially in complicated cases, to facilitate faster healing and to prevent the reoccurrence of the paralysis. Chinese Herbal Therapy is also vital to treat the root cause.
When to Treat Bell’s Palsy With Acupuncture?
The sooner you start treating Facial Paralysis, the better. As mentioned before, the needles won’t be placed on the face in the first treatments. Electro-Acupuncture will be used when all signs of inflammation and pain are gone.
Some people will come to acupuncture after a few years of incomplete healing of Bell’s Palsy. It may take more time to reach complete healing compared to a recent case. Still, it is possible to achieve a good result with chronic conditions.
Massage and Exercises for Bell’s Palsy
Self-massaging the face can accelerate the recovery of Facial Paralysis. Some basic principles for the facial massage are to start gently and slowly to warm up the muscles. Then massage more deeply and robustly until the skin is red. To finish the massage, you can slow down to create relaxation.
Massage from the center-out. From the nose to the ear, mouth to jaw etc. Circular movements are also good to stimulate the muscles. At the end of the self-massage, lay your warm hands on the face for a few seconds.
Your acupuncturist may guide you with appropriate exercises. Any movements of the face can help, such as chewing gum.