April Bui Acupuncture
What would you do if one morning you wake up and discover that one side of your face has collapsed? This condition is called Bell’s palsy and happens frequently to so many people, yet they don’t know that acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very effective for Bell’s palsy if treated at the early onset. This is why you need to get to an acupuncturist immediately.
Bell’s palsy is a sudden paralysis of the facial muscles and nerves. Common symptoms on the affected side of face include:
What causes Bell's Palsy?
According to Chinese medicine, this condition is due to wind attacking the face causing the blockage of qi (Chinese word for energy) and blood flow through the energy channels of the face. Whenever qi and blood cannot flow through an area of the body, motor and sensory capabilities of that particular area will be impaired.
Often people with a weak energy system are vulnerable to wind attack. We often give this analogy when explaining to my patients --imagine a well-built sturdy building that can stand strong and able to withstand any amount of wind or storm assailing it versus a flimsy straw hut that would just collapse flat on the ground when a heavy storm blows by. Similarly, the face of a person whose energy system is weak and vulnerable is like a straw hut.
Chinese medicine treatment
Chinese medicine is probably the only healing modality available to properly and naturally treat Bell’s palsy and able to restore normal functions and symmetry to the face without using reconstructive surgery. The good news is that acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment, especially when treated early, is par excellence for stopping the pain, restore motor and sensory functions, and restore symmetry to the face. We use acupuncture and herbs to clear the affected energy channels, disperse energy blockages, break up blood stagnation, facilitate energy and blood flow, expel wind, fortify the energy system and lift the sunken qi (energy) to restore balance to the face.
IMPORTANT - Restoring symmetry to the face can be very successful or very difficult and less effective depending on the time frame. If treated early, no later than three months from the initial onset, acupuncture is highly successful. The longer you wait, the more time you allow for the asymmetrical pattern of the facial muscles to deeply set in, thus making it very difficult to reverse.
This condition calls for quick and aggressive action. At our clinic, patients typically come three times a week for three consecutive weeks. By the third week most of the motor and sensory functions as well as symmetry would have been restored to normalcy. Afterwards, patients need to keep a maintenance for a period of time to reinforce the progress achieved and to continue to support the healing.