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  • Writer's pictureCat Calhoun

Bell's Palsy

Bell's palsy is an affectation or damage to the facial nerve. Half of the face appears to droop, the smile becomes one sided and the eye of the affected side doesn't want to close all the way. Tear ducts on the affected side go a little crazy too and the eye tears quite a lot.

While western medical science will say they don't really know what causes it, just that it is a swelling and inflammation of the nerve, Chinese medicine classifies this as a wind invasion. The condition is usually temporary, but I've known a number of people who did nothing for treatment and still had noticeable symptoms for 6 months or longer.

It's best to treat this within 90 days of onset.

Acupuncture Treatment

No facial needles are used in a Master Tung style treatment with the possible exception of the TCM extra point Qian Zheng.

Why all the Spleen and Stomach points? Because Spleen controls muscle!

A few more points to consider in your treatment:

  • Zhong Jiu Li (Center Nine Miles 88.25) Overlaps with GB 31. Use a 1-2 cun needle here. One of this point's main functions is to treat hemiplegia.

  • TCM extra point Qian Zheng This is the only facial needle I would consider for Bell's Palsy using Master Tung's points. Needle Ling Gu and Da Bai + Qian Zheng as a guide point. Qian Zheng is 1/2 to 1 cun anterior to the auricular earlobe.

  • Another option to consider is combining Ling Gu and Da Bai with Lu 7 and LI 4 (command points for the face and the head). You can also add the Shu Stream point for the affected channel/s.

Suggested Herbal Formulas

  • Qian Zheng Tang + Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang Bu yang huan wu tang works well for hemiplegia and qian zheng tang works well for Bell's Palsy. Use a 1:1 ratio of these formulas.

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