Acupuncture therapy and Peripheral Facial Paralysis

19 February 2020 Tony Jiang

Peripheral facial paralysis is also called as “Bell’s palsy” and “Facial neuritis”. This disease is considered as a type of facial paralysis and it is caused by non-specific inflammation of the facial nerve. The common causes of this illness include encountering cold, suffering from tired, improper diet, binge drinking, etc. Additionally, based on epidemiological investigation, the morbidity of the facial paralysis is not closely related to different age group. Many patients think that aged people are more probably to be suffering from peripheral facial paralysis than young people. However, it is not the case. For example, maintaining ventilation in the vehicle or taking too much cold air from the air conditioner usually leads to facial palsy among young people.

The course of peripheral facial palsy can be divided to three major stages: acute stage (the first 2 weeks), recovery stage (3 week – 3 months), and sequelae stage (3 months — 6 months). This facial nerve disease can contribute to some painful symptoms such as opisthotic pain, deflection of the angle of the month, salivating and so on. Moreover, the patients often cannot finish some important facial actions such as lifting the eyebrow, twitching nose, drumming cheek and whistling of the affected side. Additionally, peripheral facial paralysis has a significant impact on taking food because the food may remain in the oral cavity of the affected side. All of the symptoms which have been mentioned above can negatively impact the patients’ daily life. Furthermore, according to the result of statistical data, approximately 70% of patients will be subjected to severe sequela and these patients are also faced with some psychological illness because of their terrible appearance.

Acupuncture and Western treatments
The treatment method of peripheral facial paralysis includes Meds therapy and traditional therapy. The Meds treatment has some side effect. As an illustration, prednisone tablet is the main Meds which can effectively eliminate facial nerve inflammation. However, the usage of hormone Meds is not suitable for patients who suffer from severe hypertension, diabetes, gastric ulcer, etc., Compared to this treatment method, traditional Chinese therapy almost has no side effect and Chinese acupuncture therapy has an obvious curative effect on treating peripheral facial palsy. For another, facial palsy was considered as one of the 43 adaption diseases of acupuncture treatment by “World Health Organization (WHO)” in 1980 and electro-acupuncture therapy has a remarkedly cured rate. The results of some experimental research indicate that proper electro-acupuncture stimulation can lead to the release of the trophic divisor of the facial nerve. Consequently, this process can promote the repair of the injured facial nerve. For most patients, the best acupuncture intervention time is 3-10 days since getting this illness. In case missing this crucial period, the occurrence rate of facial paralysis sequelae will increase significantly. The commonly used acupuncture points are Fengchi, Yangbai, Tongziliao, Sibai, Jiachengjiang, Dicang, Kouheliao, Hegu, Zhongzhu, etc., The electro-acupuncture treatment duration is 20-30 minutes every time, 2-3 times every week, 6 times every treatment course. The majority of patients can be cured after 2-4 treatment courses (1-2 months).

However, electro-therapy has no obvious effect on all of the patients. The curative effect is also closely associated with the patients’ age, medical history, the course of the disease, and the extent of the facial nerve injury, etc., For example, according to my own clinical experience and some medical investigation, the patients suffering from pool-controlled diabetes, severe hyperlipidemia are more likely to be faced with facial paralysis sequelae. Therefore, receiving acupuncture therapy as soon as possible and effectively treating basic diseases is significantly important for the prognosis of peripheral facial paralysis.

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