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  • Writer's pictureMarieke Pieterman, L.Ac.

How acupuncture reverses facial paralysis in Bell’s palsy

By Marieke A. Pieterman

Are you suffering from being disfigured from Bell’s palsy or know someone who is? Did you just recover from shingles and thought life was going to return to normal, but now you have a crooked smile and your face is drooping?

Bell’s palsy is a sudden and temporary weakness in your facial muscles that can cause part of your face to droop and your smile to be one-sided. It can also lead to drooling and jaw pain, and difficulty closing one eye. Worried about going to work and looking this way? This type of facial paralysis can be resolved by acupuncture.

In this research study at Anhui Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology was used to analyze the effects of acupuncture on Bell’s palsy patients.

Based on the fMRI findings, acupuncture was found to increase the connectivity between neurons within the sensorimotor cortex (primary sensory and motor areas of the brain) and promote brain reorganization (when undamaged nerve axons grow new nerve endings to reconnect the neurons whose connections were severed through damage). Acupuncture directly restores the ability of neurons to pass either an electrical or chemical signal to other neurons, as well as improve the symptoms of patients who were diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.

Fifty-nine research study participants were divided into two groups: 1) facial paralysis group of 35 patients diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, and 2) control group of healthy 24 individuals. Previous research had demonstrated that a particular acupuncture point was effective in reversing facial paralysis in patients with Bell’s palsy as well as for stroke. Both groups received acupuncture of one acupuncture point in the hand.

The fMRI data was collected before, during, and after the acupuncture treatments. The data collected from the fMRI revealed various areas of the sensory and motor cortex had increased the connectivity between neurons in the Bell’s palsy patients. With this fMRI data documenting acupuncture’s effects on these areas of the brain, it helps reveal the mechanisms involved in the acupuncture’s ability to cure Bell’s palsy.

Avoid costly plastic surgery and opt for a safer alternative -- acupuncture -- to help resolve any facial disfigurement resulting from Bell’s palsy or stroke. Call Holistic Heart Acupuncture today!

Acupuncture Found Effective For Bell's Palsy With MRI



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