Bell’s Palsy

10 March 2021

Acupuncture reverses facial paralysis due to Bell’s Palsy. Researchers from the General Hospital of People’s Liberation Army (Beijing) compared two types of acupuncture for the treatment of facial paralysis affecting the facial nerve (cranial nerve VII). One treatment protocol achieved a 98% total effective rate and the other acupuncture protocol achieved a 90.7% total effective rate.

Bell’s Palsy is a form of facial paralysis, resulting from damage to the facial nerve (cranial nerve VII). It’s believed to be the result of swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of the face. It is believed to be a reaction to a viral infection. It often comes as a shock overnight, as many people wake up with weakness in the facial muscle. Symptoms include facial droop and difficulty in making facial expressions, such as closing the eyes or smiling. Dry eyes, drooling, pain around the jaw and ear on the affected side is common. Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side, headache, loss of taste and changes in the amount of tears and saliva produced are more of the symptoms.

Acupuncture for facial paralysis is a form of oriental medicine that has been practiced for many centuries. Without getting into too much detail, it is believed that an imbalance in the body’s qi could be the underlying cause according to oriental medicine. Most of the Bell’s Palsy patients have been exhausted, ill or under a lot of stress for a prolonged period. The exhaustion will cause qi deficiency and the stress will cause qi stagnation. The main pattern differentiation is a wind invasion due to emptiness of the channels. In the facial area this will then eventually lead to facial paralysis. It is the goal with acupuncture to stimulate the appropriate acupuncture points to restore the continuous, sufficient and even flow of qi. The ideal time to start treatment is within the first 2 weeks after onset of symptoms.

Bell’s Palsy is a physical and emotional debilitating condition, in which western medicine has limited efficacy. I have treated many patients very successfully for Bell’s Palsy. I find the combination of acupuncture and homeopathy the best for significant results and to help resolve the condition.

Following is the experience of a patient that I recently treated for Bell’s Palsy:
January 1st 2021, I woke up to see a very different looking person in the mirror. The right side of my face was asymmetrical. My eyelid wouldn’t close and my eye burned and teared. My eyebrow was drooping as well as my mouth. When I smiled, the right side of my mouth would not move and the right side of my tongue was numb. In addition, I was not hearing as well from my right ear. As I felt the skin of my face, the sensation on the right side was very different.

A trip to the Emergency Room verified I had Bells Palsy. I had this 50 years before on the same side of my face. I was 18 years old and it took three months to recuperate from that episode and get the feeling and function back in the right side of my face. In the course of 48 hours I spoke to two friends and my dentist all suggesting acupuncture treatment and to go as soon as possible.

Fortunately, I found Dr. Petra Tibshraeny. I was somewhat hesitant in this treatment but in speaking to her on the phone she explained she had treated Bell’s Palsy with acupuncture and made me feel more confident it was the right choice. At my first appointment, Dr. Petra spent a lot of time taking my history. It was much more thorough than any other physician I have seen. I could see she really wanted to know my health so she could design a treatment just for my needs.

While placing the needles, she explained where they were going and what area they were treating. The needle pricks were ever so slight and often I didn’t feel that at all. After the initial prick, there was no discomfort at all! The room was comfortable and relaxing. After the first treatment, any visible change was minimal, however, I felt my body had been through a healing experience. She suggested Homeopathy treatment in conjunction with the acupuncture that would help heal the nerves causing the Bells Palsy and a powder that would assist in de-stressing me. Those were pleasant to take and I feel they were beneficial as resting and sleep are important as your body heals.

After the second treatment, we saw improvement in my eye closing and the facial numbness. Altogether, I had 5 treatments in 14 days and after each treatment there was steady improvement. Imagine my delight after 14 days to feel and look back to baseline when at 18 years old, it took 3 months! I cannot be more grateful for finding Dr. Petra and receiving acupuncture and homeopathy treatment.

Robin G.