Acupuncture Reverses Facial Paralysis

Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of facial paralysis and improves patient outcomes for patients taking medications.
Hospital researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of facial paralysis. Across multiple hospital investigations, researchers document effective acupuncture protocols that yield significant positive patient outcomes for facial paralysis patients. In addition, acupuncture, infrared therapy, and moxibustion demonstrate the ability to significantly improve positive patient outcome rates for patients taking pharmaceutical medications.

Acupuncture and infrared heat therapy are effective for the treatment of facial paralysis. Researchers from the Third People’s Hospital in Chongqing determined that combining acupuncture and infrared heat therapy with conventional facial paralysis medications improves the rate of positive patient outcomes for the treatment of this condition. Facial paralysis is a disorder in which the facial muscles are dysfunctional, causing immobility, and it may occur in any age demographic. In the Third People’s Hospital investigation, facial paralysis patients who received supplementary infrared heat therapy and acupuncture reported a 91.67% total treatment effective rate while those in the control group reported a 60.42% total treatment effective rate. The addition of acupuncture and infrared therapy increased the effectiveness by 31.25%.

The study involved 96 patients with facial paralysis. Onset was within 6 days of treatment. Of the 96 patients, there were 46 males and 50 females. Patient ages ranged from 46 to 65 years old. The patients were randomly divided into 2 groups: the treatment group and the control group with 48 patients in each group. The control group was given conventional facial paralysis medications: vitamins, hormones, brain glycosides, carnosine and antiviral Meds. The treatment group underwent acupuncture therapy and infrared heat therapy in addition to receiving the same conventional medications as the control group. The total treatment duration was 2 weeks.

For acupuncture, the principles for the treatment of facial paralysis focused on restoring nerve function via improving local blood circulation, eliminating edema, and reducing facial nerve inflammation. The selection of acupoints for facial paralysis treatment largely involves the Yangming and Taiyang meridians. The acupoints include Zusanli, Hegu, Fengchi, Yifeng, Taiyang, Jiache, Dicang, Zanzhu, and Xiaguan. The Zusanli and Hegu acupoints improve qi and blood circulation and eliminate excess wind (Feng). The Fengchi, Yifeng and Taiyang acupoints eliminate wind (Feng) and pernicious influences (Xie). The Jiache, Dicang, Zanzhu and Xiaguan acupoints are selected based on the symptoms presented by the individual patient.

Infrared heat therapy utilizes the red spectrum of visible light, which has photochemical effects including activating catalase in cell mitochondria, increasing glycogen concentration, strengthening cell metabolism, improving adenosine triphosphate decomposition, and protein generation. These processes culminate in accelerated cell synthesis and regeneration, improved local blood microcirculation to the skin and nerves in the affected area, as well as improved metabolism and overall immunity. The net effect on the afflicted facial region is the reduction of nerve tissue inflammation therapy alleviating paralysis.

Standard acupuncture was administered on these acupoints once daily for 14 consecutive days. Infrared therapy was administered using the Carnation33 high power infrared light therapy device with a 640 nm wavelength (+/- 10 nm). The unit was manufactured by the Shenzhen Universal Gate Science and Technology Co. The affected site of paralysis received infrared heat from a distance of 30 to 35 cm and skin surface temperature was maintained at 40 degrees Celsius, or the highest temperature within the patient’s tolerance zone. The infrared heat therapy was conducted for 20 minutes at a time, 2 times daily, for 14 consecutive days.

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