Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. This can be a very distressing experience for those affected, as it can significantly impact their ability to speak, eat, and perform other everyday tasks.
- drooping of the eye, and or inability to close the eye on the affected side
- drooling from the lip
- facial pain
- headaches – one sided
- ear pain and or tinnitus
- jaw pain
- loss of taste
While the exact cause of Bell’s palsy is not known, it is believed to be related to inflammation of the facial nerve resulting from an adverse response of the body’s immune system. In some instances, it may be due to a viral infection such as Herpes or Epstein Barr. Stress weakening the immune system allows external pathogens to take hold.
Often it occurs with pregnant women (who are three times more likely to get it than those who are not) and usually manifests in the third trimester or a week after giving birth, people with diabetes, flu or other upper respiratory track problems. Women and men are affected equally and is less common before the age 15 or after 60.
Bell’s Palsy is not considered permanent, but in rare cases, it does not disappear. There is no known cure though recovery happens within 2 weeks to 6 months from onset.
It is important to speak with your GP as early intervention can reduce the duration and severity of the condition.
Acupuncture has been found to be an effective adjunctive treatment for Bell’s palsy, and can help to reduce symptoms and speed up recovery. Here are some of the benefits of acupuncture for treating Bell’s palsy:
Reducing inflammation: Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms, including the immune system. This can help to reduce inflammation and swelling around the facial nerve, which is often the cause of Bell’s palsy.
Restoring nerve function: Acupuncture can also help to stimulate nerve function, which can be helpful in cases where the facial nerve has been damaged or compressed. By promoting circulation and restoring nerve function, acupuncture can help to speed up recovery and improve outcomes.
Relieving pain: In some cases, Bell’s palsy can be accompanied by pain or discomfort in the affected area. Acupuncture can help to relieve this pain, without the need for medication.
Improving overall health: Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that can help to improve overall health and well-being. By addressing underlying imbalances in the body, acupuncture can help to promote better health and reduce the risk of other health problems.
Safe and natural: Acupuncture is a safe and natural treatment that has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health conditions. Unlike medication or surgery, there are no significant risks or side effects associated with acupuncture.
To boost the immune system taking care of your nutrition is important. Therefore, avoid processed foods and foods that cause, what in TCM is called “internal wind”, such as eggs, shellfish and pork. Add sesame and pumpkin seeds to your diet, as well as Reishi mushrooms.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Bell’s palsy, acupuncture may be an effective treatment option for you. However, it is important to seek advice from a qualified (British Acupuncture Council registered) and experienced acupuncturist, who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs and ensure that it is safe and effective.
TCM Acupuncture, including electroacupuncture, auricular acupuncture and Moxa ( a form of intense heat treatment applied to the affected area) may be used alongside other treatments such as medication or physiotherapy, as part of a comprehensive approach to treating Bell’s palsy.
Starting acupuncture as soon as you have been diagnosed gives the best chance of making a full and complete recovery.
In conclusion, acupuncture is a safe, natural, and effective treatment option for Bell’s palsy. By reducing inflammation, restoring nerve function, relieving pain, improving overall health, and being a safe and natural treatment, acupuncture can help to speed up recovery and improve outcomes for those affected by this condition.