Acupuncture can be a very effective treatment for helping conditions such as Bell’s palsy, facial weakness and even oculomotor nerve palsy.
Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes sudden and disordered movement and weakness to one side of the face. Onset can be rapid; in most cases, the weakness is temporary and can improve over several weeks, but complete recovery can take as long as nine months.
• A weakness to total paralysis on one side of the face occurring within hours or days.
• Facial drop, making it difficult to close the eye, smile and make facial expressions.
• Pain on the affected side of the face.
Acupuncture works by helping stimulate and strengthen the affected muscles, reducing inflammation and stimulating facial nerves. There are many acupuncture points in the face and head. Your acupuncturist will select groups of points to help your symptoms best. Acupuncture points on the body will also be selected as part of your treatment plan, as some points on the body have a close connection to the head and facial features such as the eyes, mouth and ears. We can also choose points on the body to help manage any pain and help the patient feel relaxed during the treatment.
Bell’s palsy is thought to be caused by damage to the facial nerve in the area where it travels through the bones of the skull, which leads to swelling and inflammation. Just a slight amount of swelling can affect how well the facial nerve works. It is also thought that viral infections can also cause Bell’s palsy. Pregnant women, especially in the third trimester or postpartum, are also at a higher risk of Bell’s palsy. It is thought this is due to increased fluid in the body, viral inflammation and a decrease in the body’s natural immunity.
If you want to find out more about how acupuncture can help sufferers of Bell’s Palsy, when and how often you should come for treatment and what happens during your treatment, please get in touch.