The Treatment of Bell's Palsy with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Bell's Palsy is a disorder causing paralysis on one side of the face and, for people experiencing it, can be extremely traumatic. Happily, like most forms of facial paralysis, it is something which acupuncturists treat often and extremely well.
There have been many studies corroborating this type of intervention, not to mention thousands of years of experience. Here are a few of the interesting studies:
A large study found that concentrated acupuncture treatments for Bell's Palsy led to faster and more complete results on nerve function and muscle recovery for those suffering from the ailment. The study, which can be read about here reported that a:
... recent study compared the use of strong acupuncture to weak acupuncture for the treatment of Bell's palsy, a nerve disorder that affects muscle movement in the face.Patients who had intense stimulation through acupuncture regained more muscle movement of the face, reduced disability and improved quality of life.Those who had stronger intensity acupuncture experienced even greater therapeutic effects.The researchers evaluated progress using the House-Brackman scale and the Facial Disability Index. Assessment of progress was taken at the beginning of the study and six months later.The House-Brackman scale is based on a six-point scale in which one point indicates normal function and six points indicates complete paralysis. The Facial Disability Index asks questions to measure disability and health-related quality of life. Scores at the beginning of the study before acupuncture were similar for both groups. At follow-up, facial-nerve function, disability and quality of life were better in the group receiving strong acupuncture than in the group receiving weak acupuncture.Almost 90 percent of the group receiving strong acupuncture made a complete recovery, compared to almost 71 percent in the group receiving weak acupuncture.
- The National Institute of Health (NIH) published a 'best evidence topic' paper compiling the research from many other studies on Bell's Palsy and acupuncture. The paper concluded that,
. . . two methods of acupuncture [studied] were associated with significant improvements . . .
- The Chinese Medical Journal published a study of acupuncture for Bell's Palsy comparing it with the use of prednisone and found that the acupuncture group recovered substantially faster than the prednisone-treated population. (readable here).