Bell’s palsy is the temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in one side of the face (NHS).
Bell’s palsy can also affect the eyelid and mouth, making it difficult to close and open them.
The symptoms of Bell’s palsy can vary, from a mild numbness of the face, to total paralysis.
The symptoms develop quickly and reach their peak within 48 hours. They include:
- weakness or paralysis in one side of the face, which may make it difficult to close the eyelid and cause the side of the mouth to droop
- irritation of the affected eye, such as dryness or increased tear production
- pain underneath the ear on the affected side of the face
- an altered or reduced sense of taste
- increased sensitivity to sound in the affected ear
- drooling from the mouth on the affected side of the face
- dryness of the mouth
- pain around the jaw
- ringing in one or both ears
- difficulty eating or drinking
- impaired speech
According to the NHS, Bell’s palsy occur when the nerve that controls the muscles in the face become compressed. However, the exact cause is unknown, even though it is thought to be due to the inflammation of the facial nerve, due to a possible viral infection.
In Chinese Medicine Bell’s Palsy is considered a Wind Attack or External Wind Stroke attack. It is believed that Bell’s palsy is caused when Wind and Cold invade the meridians, muscles and tendons of the face. It can happen when the immune systems and the body’s defences are weak. When the immune system is deficient, the flow of Qi and Blood becomes impaired, which results in malnourishment of the facial muscles and tendons.
The aim of an acupuncture treatment to treat Bell’s Palsy, is to expel Wind Cold from the meridian and to improve the circulation of Qi and Blood. The treatment also aims at strengthening the immune system. In severe case, electro acupuncture can also be used during the treatment.
Acupuncture on a regular basis can significantly improve results and help to resolve this condition.
Reference: NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Bells-palsy/Pages/Introduction.aspx