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facial palsy acupuncture brisbane
October 17, 2015
facial palsy Acupuncture Brisbane
Bell’s Palsy How and Why It Happens
During my time in China, one of the most common ailments I ran into was Facial Palsy. At least half of the cases in our acupuncture department were Facial Palsy patients. Often times, patients come in and say they woke up, then all of a sudden they were unable to move one side of their face. It may be a very frightening experience for many as it is not commonly seen in the west. The common approaches include administering prednisone at the hospital and then being released the day of unless it is a stroke. Patients often times find it frustrating since there are not alot of answers in western medicine on how to approach Bell’s Palsy. In this post we will go over how Bell’s Palsy is treated in our Acupuncture Brisbane Clinic.
Causes of Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s Palsy or Facial Palsy is a form of paralysis that results from inflammation of the facial nerve. Facial nerve palsy may also be caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. Manifestations associated with lesions at various points along the path of the 7th cranial nerve.[I]
The face may feel stiff and pulled to one side. There may also be restriction of eye closure and difficulty eating and fine facial movements.[II] Symptoms may also include pain behind the ear, loss of taste sensations from the tongue. The disease usually has an acute onset, reaching its peak within 48 hours.
According to western medicine facial palsy may be caused by exposure to a virus, such as herpes simplex, viral meningitis or Epstein-Barr virus, or caused by bacteria such as Lyme disease.The extent of nerve damage determines the extent of recovery. Recovery times vary based on the degree of nerve damage. Corticosteriods are often prescribed, but not much care or attention is paid to it afterward.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, Bell’s palsy is a condition caused by one of three pathogens: Wind cold, Wind heat, or blood deficiency pattern. Any one of these pathogens prevents blood or qi from flowing properly to the effected area resulting in blockage of the meridians in the face.
Below are just a few things you should do to help with recovery and prevention:
Avoid Cold Drafts and Wind
The best thing to do if you have facial palsy is to keep it from getting worse. SInce the facial nerve is inflamed, you should avoid cold drafts and wind. Stay away from direct air con and make sure to bundle up if it is the winter time and cover the affected area. Sometimes the eye may be affected on one side and teary and may need to be taped shut to avoid effecting your vision and keeping the eye moist.
In my experience, acupuncture is very effective in treating facial palsy. Acupuncture treatment of Bell’s palsy focuses on eliminating wind, resolving toxins, opening the channels and correcting the deviation of the mouth, numbness of the face, and tearing of the eye. In elderly and younger patients the treatment focuses more on tonifying since they are usually more deficient.
A typical acupuncture treatment for Facial Palsy usually involves acupuncture, facial massage, and moxa therapy. All these treatments are used in conjunction to provide better outcomes and faster healing times for patients..
Herbal remedies and a regime of exercises, are also prescribed for the patient to go home and do themselves, so patients have an active role in their own healing process.
Acupuncture treatment for facial palsy is divided into three phases; acute, recovery and end stage. During the acute phase of Facial Palsy focuses on reducing inflammation of the facial nerve. For the first ten days minimal stimulation applied at acupuncture point along with other affected local areas. As the patient enters the recovery stage, extra stimulation is added to help the facial muscles recover and return to their normal state. By the end stage, stimulation is again slowly dropped off and treatment is tapered off to a bi-weekly basis.
Bu Yang Huan Wu Wan (补阳环五丸)
A common herbal remedy your practitioner may recommend is Bu Yang Huan Wu Wan (补阳环五丸.) This formula was originally meant to restore the body’s vital energy with astragalus root and polygonum rhizome being the two main ingredients. This formula has a range of functions but mainly is beneficial for neuromuscular diseases such as bell’s palsy and muscular wasting.
Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan (天麻钩藤丸)
This formula is traditionally used as a sedative and prevention of seizures and tremors. Often times, Facial Palsy patients have twitching in the eyes or cramping and numbness along one side of the face. The main ingredients of this formula being Gastrodia Rhizome（天麻 and Unaria Branch (钩藤) are very effective in calming the body and eliminating these symptoms.Depending on your symptoms and presentation, your practitioner may prescribe one or both of these commonly used formulas.
These are the following exercises which can be done 2-3 times daily for 1-2 minutes each
raise outer angle of the mouth upward (smiling)
temporalis, masseter and pteryoideus medialis
close jaw tightly
Patient puckers lips together
Patient closes eye tightly as if trying to wink
Patient raises eyebrows forming wrinkles in the forehead.
moxibustion is a form of therapy in which moxa ((Artemisia argyi ) is used on certain acupuncture points. It usually made in a stick and lit on fire. The properties of the herb are warming and townifying which can be very helpful in deficient patients who suffer from bell’s palsy. Sometimes patients may be given moxa sticks to go home with and use on different points to promote the healing process.
Great Bell’s Palsy Recovery experience as well.
*Results may vary from person to person. Further assessment is needed to determine treatment outcomes. Videos are for demonstration purposes only. The owner of this website does not claim to cure, or prevent any disease or illness. For more information on how acupuncture works, contact email@example.com
If You or anyone you know, are suffering form Bell’s Palsy contact our facial palsy acupuncture brisbane clinic or please share this article or feel free to contact us for a free consult. Please let them know that help is out there and is available for conditions such as these