24 Nov Acupuncture For Bells Palsy
Treating Bells Palsy effectively With Acupuncture
What Is Bells Palsy?
Bells Palsy is a condition of unknown etiology where a sudden weakness in the muscles controlled by the facial nerve experience weakness to varying degrees. Essentially half of the face appears to drop. My patients jokingly say they look like a Pirate – their eye, nose, and mouth droop on the affected side.
What are the Symptoms of Bells Palsy or Facial Nerve Paralysis?
- Rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face — occurring within hours to days
- Facial droop and difficulty making facial expressions, such as closing your eye or smiling
- Pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side
- Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
- A loss of taste
- Changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce
Case Study: Bells Palsy
We had a male in his 50’s referred to Optimal Movement by a Chiropractor in Chicago.
The patient woke up a week before coming to our clinic with the inability to properly move his mouth, eye, and nose. He noticed milk dripping from his mouth when he tried to drink. Although this condition is unnerving (literally) it isn’t ‘serious’ – unless it is a stroke!
*The patient was afraid he was having a stroke – however – knew to stick out his tongue and move it side to side which ruled this out. He wisely checked with medical professionals to put his mind at ease.
How Electro-Acupuncture Treats Bells Palsy
In my clinical experience Bells Palsy is best treated by electro-acupuncture. The goal with this treatment is to target the facial nerve and increase the current flowing through it. In this instance, I want you to think of the facial nerve as a battery that supplies the facial muscles of expression. Due to an unknown reason the battery is running low and we need to charge it! We access specific points along the facial nerve with acupuncture and apply ‘E-stim’ to increase the voltage in the facial nerve. Once the nerve (battery) reaches a saturation point it has enough electrical current to supply the muscles of expression again. This saturation point is different for every person. We see great results in 3-10 treatments.
Our Two Needle Treatment
In order to treat this condition we need to impact the nerve that causes bells palsy, the facial nerve. We use a 2 needle approach! That’s right – two needles!
The first needle that we use is located 1 Inch distal to the Tragus of the ear and posterior to the the jaw.
The second needle is located 1 inch lateral to the outer canthus of the mouth and 1 inch cephalic (up).
We check the placement of these needles with an e-stim machine to ensure that we have targeted the nerve properly. If the needles are placed properly we will see fasciculation of the muscles around the mouth, cheek-bone, eyelid, eyebrow, and the nasal area – all muscles of fascial expression.
After this we use an e-stim machine to run a constant light current (4hz) through these points for 10-20 minutes to help rejuvenate the impacted nerve.
Bells Palsy Before & After Electro-Acupuncture.
The picture on the left was before we began treatment. The picture on the right was taken after the 3rd treatment. The patient underwent 4 treatments total and was satisfied with the results.
If you or a loved one has Bells Palsy feel free to reach out to us @ Optimal Movement in Rochester, Minnesota.
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