08. September 2015 · Comments Off on Resolving Bell’s Palsy Symptoms with Acupuncture · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Facial nerve paralysis, better known as Bell’s palsy, is a malfunction of the facial nerve (7th cranial nerve). This is the nerve that governs the muscular movements of the face and when it malfunctions, can lead to muscle weakness or inability. Believed to be the result of swelling and inflammation of the facial nerve, Bell’s palsy affects on average 35,000 people in the United States each year. This condition can strike people of any age group although people around the age of 40 tend to have the most cases of Bell’s palsy each year. No reason has been found as to why this is so but medical experts believe it may be caused by a viral infection. Other individuals considered at risk for this condition include diabetes sufferers, people with respiratory illness, cold, or flu, and pregnant women. Some individuals who have experienced Bell’s palsy have noted getting headaches or severe gum or mouth, nose, or infections prior to developing Bell’s palsy.

One side the face is where most of the symptoms of Bell’s palsy are manifested. The symptoms can be mild to severe. Some of the things to expect when you suffer from Bell’s palsy include:

-Depression
-Headache
-Dry mouth, dry eye
-Weakness or twitching of the facial muscles
-Loss of taste
-Difficulty in making facial expressions, in grimacing, in speech, and in smiling
-Drooping of the corner of the mouth, of the eyelid, and of the affected side of the face
-Food falls in the mouth
-Drooping of the affected eyelid
-Problems closing the affected eye
-Face is pulled to the unaffected side along with stiffness and tingling or numbing sensation

Mild cases of Bell’s palsy usually require no treatment but severe cases may cause the symptoms to remain for years. Oftentimes, weeks or months are needed for the condition to heal itself. The weakness and inability of the facial muscles and an ugly face would prompt the patient to seek immediate treatment. Physical therapy and drugs such as anti-inflammatories, antvirals, or corticosteroids are the conventional modes of treatment for this condition. However, more and more are discovering that acupuncture can be a much better treatment for Bell’s palsy, severe or otherwise, than conventional modes of treatment.

A Bell’s palsy condition has a prognosis ranging from complete resolution after a few weeks (85% of the time), to longstanding Bell’s palsy symptoms such as facial paralysis (in about 15% of patients). Ruling out other factors that can cause facial paralysis is important. These factors include intracranial tumors, stroke, and other conditions that affect the central nervous system.

Bell’s palsy Treatment Using Acupuncture in Vancouver

When treatment is started within the first weeks of the onset of symptoms, acupuncture is often quite effective in treating the facial paralysis related to Bell’s palsy. This treatment involves the stimulation of natural pressure points on the body to relieve inflammation, swelling, and pain by increasing the production of neurohormones, and neurotransmitters and by boosting local microcirculation in order to facilitate the healing process. Using disposable, filiform, and sterile needles, the acupuncturist inserts these needles into the skin into specific points throughout the body and face to generate therapeutic effects. One of the best things about acupuncture is that it has no harmful side effects that pharmaceutical drugs have.

 

17. August 2014 · Comments Off on How Acupuncture and TCM Help Address Bell’s Palsy Symptoms · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Bell’s palsy often strikes young adults (around the ages of 20 to 35 years of age) and it does affect both human males and females. There is about 1 in 5000 chance a person will develop this condition each year. It rarely happens that Bell’s palsy will affect a person twice or more in his/her lifetime. This condition is a certain type of facial paralysis that generally affects one side of a person’s face. When it appears, the paralysis develops all of a sudden often accompanied by weakness and numbness. The person who is affected will have problems closing his/her mouth on the affected part of their face, be acutely sensitive to noise, have a change of taste, and have a problem closing one of his/her eyes. Pain is usually not experienced although sometimes it may be felt behind the ear or other parts of the face.

Western medicine is still unsure of what exactly causes Bell’s palsy. Current studies have suggested that the cause of the paralysis may be due to a certain type of virus. In about 80% of the subjects with Bell’s palsy was discovered a Herpes Simplex virus a Japanese research recently noted. Herpes Simplex is a virus that also causes cold sores. It attacks the 7th cranial nerve causing it to swell leading to the impairment of the facial nerves causing the symptoms of numbness and paralysis and sometimes, pain.

People with Bell’s palsy usually recover on their own. Around 10% to 20% of affected people, however, may have permanent mild paralysis of the face. Those with this condition and who are over 55 years old may feel facial pain on both sides of the face; some of them may have a high probability of permanent damage in the facial nerves.

Bell’s palsy treatment using Western medicine usually utilizes anti-viral drugs. People who have control only of one eye or who have a lack of tearing will need to use eye drops to help maintain the moisture in their eye until eye normal function is restored.

Diagnosing Bell’s palsy and curing it using Chinese Medicine

Bell’s palsy in the view of Chinese medicine is usually the result of an invasion of an external pathogen known as Wind. When wind enters the body, it causes blood flow to slow down leading to poor nourishment as well as poor control over some parts of the body. In the case of Bell’s palsy, it’s the face that is affected.

One of the most effective and increasingly popular treatments for this condition is acupuncture. Inserting very slender acupuncture needles on the affected areas of the head, neck and face and in certain other body parts, the acupuncturist can help cure this disorder.

Bell’s palsy and the acupuncture points to cure it:

Common points used to treat this condition include:

Chia Cheng Jiang
Du 26
LI 19 and 20
GB 20
LR 3
LI 4
ST 4 and 6
SJ 17

Acupuncture points needles for the improper closing of the eye:

Yu Tao
GB 14
BL 2
BL 62
Yang Chiao
KI 6
Yin Chiao

Most of the acupoints used are on the affected part of the face although certain needles may be place on both sides of the face.

Other alternative modalities to help treat Bell’s palsy

Electrical Acupuncture- the acupuncture stimulation may be sufficient of the affected muscles begin to twitch during the treatment.

Some other helpful tips include a facial massage after the face is applied with a hot compress to help boost blood flow. Chewing of gum can also be helpful and the affected person needs to avoid wind and drafts. To shield your body and face from the cold, wear high jackets and wear scarves and keep the wind away from the affected part of your face.

25. May 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture for Bell’s Palsy · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

What basically characterizes Bell’s palsy is the lack of control or paralysis of the facial muscles usually affecting one side of a person’s face although in rare cases can involve the paralysis of the entire face. Bell’s palsy is a neuropathic disease – it is also termed as idiopathic facial paralysis. Bell’s palsy starts to develop when a cranial nerve known as cranial nerve VII begins to dysfunction. Swelling and inflammation in the facial nerve are suspected to cause this dysfunction which can result in damage, inhibition or even death of the nerves.

Bell’s palsy is treatable and because it is a serious condition, it needs to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible in order to ensure its full treatment and the complete restoration of normal nerve function. Doctors usually recommend the use of corticosteroids to help facilitate recovery. One other option is surgery particularly for patients who have already tried medications but are still frequently bothered by this condition. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture, has been a particularly effective alternative in treating Bell’s palsy.

Besides acupuncture, TCM consists of several medical practices using the Chinese medical system, and based on archeological evidence, has been shown to be used since the Stone Age.

The healing art of acupuncture entails the use of very thin needles inserted and manipulated into strategic points on the body called acupoints to elicit a healing response. Acupuncturists believe that the insertion of these needles redirects blood and Chi flow. These specialists believe that pain, illnesses and disease are due to blood and Chi stagnation and restoring their proper flow will lead to the resolution of the problematic condition.

Acupuncture is used by acupuncturists in treating Bell’s palsy.  The degree of the disease, illness or pain affects the time and extent for the patient to fully heal.  From the viewpoint of TCM, Bell’s palsy is due to the patient’s exposure to wind and a weak immune system that leads to inflammation in the affected area and block the Chi.

For Bell’s palsy, acupuncturists and other TCM practitioners often recommend acupuncture along with Chinese herbal medicine to remove blockage and bring back movement to the face of the patient. Acupoints chosen for needling to remove wind include the Yangming and the Shaoyang acupoints to stimulate Chi flow. Since Bell’s palsy is suspected to be due to a weak immune system, the patient’s immune system needs to be tonified as well. This is accomplished by living a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, stress reduction and rest.

One of the best benefits of acupuncture and TCM for treating Bell’s palsy is the fact that it allows the body to properly and naturally heal itself.  Individuals who are reluctant taking medicines such as steroids (since they cause harmful side effects) should talk to their doctor and TCM practitioner to know if acupuncture is the proper treatment plan for them.

 

Needles & Moxa Wellness Center
700 S Red Rd
Miami, FL 33144
Ph: (305) 265-5265
http://www.needlesandmoxa.com/

25. April 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture for Bell’s Palsy · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Being a peripheral neural facial disorder, Bell’s palsy can lead to facial paralysis. This is due to damage to the facial nerve (7th cranial nerve). The paralysis of the facial nerve results in symptoms that can include (on the affected side) tingling around the lips, distortion of taste (particularly on 67% of the tongue), eye tearing or lacrimation, problem moving the facial muscles on the affected side and difficulty closing or lifting the eye.

Bell’s palsy has a cause that so far is still undetermined and it can develop all of a sudden.  In the United States, around 40,000 people develop this condition each year. Pregnant women as well as people who have diabetes, respiratory illness, cold, or the flu virus are high risk groups for getting Bell’s palsy.

People who have had Bell’s palsy have experienced headaches, and/or gum, mouth or nose infections prior to the onset of their palsy. Medical researchers suspect that viruses such as the herpes zoster (responsible for shingles) or the herpes simplex virus (virus that causes mouth sores) contribute to the inflammation of the 7th cranial nerve that leads to the paralysis of the face.

Conventional treatments for Bell’s palsy include corticosteroids (to relieve the inflammation of the nerve and pain caused by the inflammation), prednisone (helps block the immune response to prevent the rise of any inflammation on the affected nerve and its surrounding tissue), and Valtrex (this drug focuses in the treatment of the herpes virus) or acyclovir.

About 85% of people with Bell’s palsy completely get well after a few weeks while 15% will have to endure the symptoms of this condition for a long time or even permanently.  It is important to rule out other factors that are suspected as causing Bell’s palsy including conditions that impact the central nervous system like intracranial tumors or stroke (cerebrovascular accidents).

These conditions can be verified through diagnostic tests such as MRI, ultrasound, and X-rays.  The classical symptoms of numbness and tingling in the affected area along with mouth and lip impairment and difficulty in shutting the eyelid on the affected side of the face are tell-tale signs of Bell’s palsy.  According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), this facial problem is the result of cold-wind pathogens invading the muscles and tendons, Yangming (Large Intestine, Stomach) meridians and the Shaoyang (Gall Bladder, Liver) meridians.

Bell’s palsy may likely develop if the person is exposed to wind (rides in a boat when the winds are strong, drives or rides in a car with the widows down, or if he/she sleeps near an open window). Cases of Bell’s palsy often rise during the fall and spring seasons.

Another high risk group for Bell’s palsy involves people whose immune system is weak. This weakness may be due to factors such as extreme emotional or physical stress, exposure to drugs and chemicals, inadequate rest, poor diet, chronic or unresolved illness or genetics).  Because of this, these people are highly prone to external factors like bacterial or viral pathogens or emotional or physical stress.

Their exposure to these factors causes the immune system to elicit an inflammatory reaction in the affected area causing the surrounding tissues to swell. The swelling affects the normal function of the facial nerve and blood vessels.  The swelling may block the flow of blood and vital energy (known as qi) in the face leading to poorly nourished and energized muscles and tendons that the leads to the paralyzing or weakening of the facial muscles as well as symptoms of tingling and numbness. All of these signs and symptoms are classical indications in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) of blood and qi deficiency.

In treating Bell’s palsy with acupuncture, acupuncturists utilize needles on some distal and several acupuncture points to restore the correct flow of blood and qi in the Yangming and Shaoyang meridians and to remove wind pathogens. This procedure can help regain normal facial nerve function and to remove blockages of energy and blood.  Bell’s palsy patients are usually treated in four sessions within a whole week and oftentimes, their facial nerve and muscle function get completely treated.

Bell’s palsy oftentimes resolves on its own.  This is true if the condition is mild. In most instances, however, Bell’s palsy patients manifest a weak immune system that makes it very difficult for them to successfully overcome the disorder themselves enabling it to come back or linger for a long time.  Acupuncture is a strong and effective treatment for peripheral facial paralysis and that is why it is a highly recommended therapy for this disorder. It can help accelerate recovery, enable energy and blood to travel once more to the affected area and has the ability to boost the function of the immune system. To ensure that Bell’s palsy never returns, you need to remove any possible factors that can weaken the immune system. You need to also adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle. This means eating moderate amounts of fish, legumes, nuts, whole grains, vegetables and fruits; lesser amounts of dairy, poultry, and red meat; mild regular exercises, adequate rest and proper outlets for stress.

Usually patients suffering from chronic symptoms of Bell’s palsy who are not getting well with pharmaceutical drugs are placed in programs that aim to rehabilitate their facial muscles.  These programs are successful to up to a certain degree. Integrating acupuncture as well as Chinese herbal medicine and cupping into this program can substantially better the outcomes and resolve Bell’s palsy in a faster and more effective way.

02. December 2013 · Comments Off on Bell’s Palsy Definition · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Bell’s palsy is known as a paralysis of the face usually affecting one side of the face. About 80% of the time, this condition subsides after 3 months; however, a number of sufferers can have symptoms that last longer and sometimes even indefinitely. Bell’s palsy patients may think they have experienced a stroke when they first notice the effect of their condition, a visit to their doctor helps resolve their fears.

Ball’s palsy symptoms include:

Inability to shut the eye – This usually means wearing an eye patch to prevent tearing in the eye
Loss of taste
Drooling
Facial pain
A sagging or drooping mouth

Bell’s palsy may be a result of an injury to a facial nerve and is an acquired weakness of one side of the face. The affected side show symptoms like an inability to whistle, wrinkle the forehead, smile and the aforementioned inability to shut the eye. The condition also results in mildly slurred speech. Because the eye cannot completely shut, tearing usually happens. The sensation of taste can be lessened on the tongue’s front half.  Sound sensation may become more sensitive on the affected side (hyperacusis) probably as a result of the paralysis of the stapedius muscle although the hyperacusis can also happen independently of the stapedius muscle paralysis.  Optic neuritis may also occur on the affected side. Bell’s palsy most often manifests over hours to days with its full manifestation evident within several days. There is slight pain felt behind the ear and some type of numbness as well on the affected portion of the face. Bell’s palsy can be first noticed when a person looks at his face it in a mirror; it can also be noticed or sensed during eating especially when food collects between the gums and cheek.

Bell’s palsy affects about 1 in 4000 people per year. The chances for acquiring this condition increase a little with age.

17. November 2013 · Comments Off on Bell’s Palsy Complications · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Various kinds of complications can arise from Bell’s palsy. Some of them may come about depending on the severity of your nerve damage.

About 20% of people with Bell’s palsy suffer from long-term problems associated with Bell’s palsy. These problems can involve:

Tearing when eating which is sometimes termed as ‘crocodile tears’

Corneal ulceration and eye drying– Corneal ulceration can happen when there is eyelid dysfunction making the eyelid unable to completely close and the tear film also unable to fully protect the eye. Corneal ulceration can lead to lessened tear production making the eye very prone to infection and blindness.

Eye-mouth synkinesias – Eye-mouth synkinesias happens when the facial nerve regenerates abnormally. This forces your eye to wink when smiling, laughing or eating.  In some cases, the synkenisias are serious enough to force the eye to close completely while you’re eating.

Speech problems – This may happen due to facial muscle damage.

Reduced or loss of sense of taste – if the damaged facial nerves do not heal properly, this condition can occur.

Facial contracture – When the muscles in your face become permanently tense, it can result in disfigurement in the face such as the line between the mouth and nose becoming deeper, the cheek becoming more bulky, or the eye becoming smaller.

The following factors can lead to long-term complications of Bell’s palsy:

  • The nerves in your face is severely damaged
  • You are pregnant
  • You have diabetes
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You experienced severe pain when you first experienced symptoms
  • You are over 60 years old
  • You have experienced a palsy that resulted in complete paralysis on one side of your face
  • You fail to get well after six weeks

Ramsay Hunt syndrome

If you had an infection of the varicella-zoster virus that ended up with you getting Bell’s palsy, there may be a chance that you could end up with a condition named Ramsay Hunt syndrome. This complication though rarely occurs with only about 2% of individuals with Bell’s palsy developing it.

Ramsay Hunt syndrome symptoms can involve the formation of blisters on the inside of your ears and on your tongue. These symptoms can be effectively addressed with antiviral drugs and steroids.

 

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824
http://www.bellinghamacupuncturecenter.com/