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Bell’s Palsy & Acupuncture: Proven Remedy & Quick Recovery

Bell's Palsy

Bell's Palsy and Acupuncture: Proven Remedy and Quick Recovery

Collin is 67 years old, male. When he came into my clinic, the left side of his face hadn’t moved for over six months without any improvement. His story was this.

“One day, he woke up with a weird sensation in his eye, and he couldn’t close his left eye nor wiggle his nose and mouth entirely. He asked his wife if anything was wrong with his face, and she said his face wasn’t moving at all. He got scared because the first thing that came to his mind was having a stroke, so he ran to the hospital. After a quick examination, Collin discovered he had Bell’s Palsy.”

We understand this can be a lot of information and overwhelming: if you are looking for more support and answers, set up a free consultation with our Bell’s Palsy Specialist, Satoru Ozawa. Share your story, get your questions answered, and learn how you can set yourself up for tremendous success in achieving a healthy life.

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What is Bell's Palsy?

His doctor explained that Bell’s Palsy was a condition that affected the facial nerve in his face that controlled his facial muscles, causing inflammation and sometimes pain in his face. The facial nerve is like an electrical wire that supplies and provides the necessary information to the face so that your brain can command those muscles to move; smiling, closing your eyes, wiggling your nose, raising an eyebrow, etc. The inflammation of the nerves cuts the communication between the brain and the muscles. It ends up having weakness of mobility and sensation in the muscles. Sometimes you lose smell or taste because of that.

What causes Bell's Palsy?

The causes of Bell’s palsy are no conclusive answer. They are often associated with viral infections, diabetes, pregnancy, high stress, or low immune systems. But these are theories and not concrete causes.

How long Does It Take to Recover Bell's Palsy?

Most cases of Bell’s palsy start to improve without any medical intervention within a few weeks and recover completely within 2 to 4 months. Collin’s doctor told him that he should be able to start noticing improvements within a few weeks and make a significant to complete recovery within six months. Collin was prescribed corticosteroids and could leave the hospital the same day.

However, despite waiting six months, he still couldn’t physically smile and had difficulty talking due to his immovable mouth. It was overwhelming and not the way he had imagined in his 60s.

Bell's Palsy Treatment

It is important to note that the earlier you treat Bell’s palsy, the more likely you will recover fully. It is recommended to start treatment within the first three weeks of symptoms onset, regardless of whether you are doing conventional western or eastern treatments like Acupuncture.

In Collin’s case, he had come to the clinic six months after the onset of his symptoms first started.

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Is Acupuncture Effective for Bell's Palsy?

During Collin’s initial acupuncture session, we examined his face and muscle weakness in his face. He could not close his left eye completely, and his mouth kept open. On top of this, he had a throbbing pain around her neck. We agreed on a treatment course of Acupuncture once a week for three months.

The treatments focused on reducing the inflammation and swelling and restoring movement in his face. Acupuncture has been shown in many studies to be incredibly practical in reducing pain and inflammation due to its ability to stimulate the body to release its natural painkillers.

A week after his first acupuncture treatment, Collin was showing promising progress. His eye was closed by 70%, and he could move his mouth. By the end of the 3rd week, the neck pain was almost gone, and he could close his eye by 80%. Most significant, however, was that he could talk without any difficulty.

Within three months, Collin’s face was back to normal. He was nearly 90% recovered regarding facial mobility and no longer needed treatments.

Now, he can sleep without using an eye patch and talk with his wife and friends as much as he wants.

When Should I Start Acupuncture?

As a general rule of thumb, the sooner one receives treatment for Bell’s palsy, the better the prognosis. However, even after you have passed six months after the onset, you can still fully recover from facial paralysis. A significant part of Collin’s success was his consistently receiving treatments for three months.

Some patients come for Bell’s palsy treatment months or even years after the initial onset. These chronic cases are often more complex and take a much greater length of time to achieve results. Even then, recovery is not guaranteed.

Regarding the frequency of treatments, Acupuncture follows a simple rule. Acute and relatively new conditions are most effectively treated with more frequent visits. In contrast, chronic and old conditions can benefit from more widespread treatments. In other words, if you just had an onset of Bell’s palsy, you will probably be prescribed 2-3 treatments per week in order to get the most effective results. Chronic cases will generally come in only once a week.

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and want to learn more about Acupuncture and whether it’s appropriate for your case, send us a message through our contact page.

 

I hope it helps.

 

Satoru Ozawa, L.Ac, ATC

We understand this can be a lot of information and overwhelming: if you are looking for more support and answers, set up a free consultation with our Bell’s Palsy Specialist, Satoru Ozawa. Share your story, get your questions answered, and learn how you can set yourself up for tremendous success in achieving a healthy life.

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