How acupuncture can treat Bell’s Palsy

Imagine waking up one morning to discover one side of your face feeling numb and heavy. You are unable to close your eye or even smile.

This condition, called Bell’s Palsy, is a dysfunction in the facial nerve that causes muscle paralysis on one side of the face. A stunning 40,000 Americans wake up with this condition every year!

Bell’s Palsy can be caused by a viral infection or an auto-immune disorder. Often, the cause is idiopathic. Common treatments are corticosteroids to reduce swelling of the facial nerve.

How can Chinese medicine help?

In TCM, bell’s palsy is viewed as an external pathogen that enters the body (specifically the face) due to an internal weakness. Your Chinese medicine practitioner will use this concept to push the pathogen out, while also increasing your body’s own energy. This can all be done using acupuncture and Chinese herbs!

Below are herbs that can treat Bell’s Palsy. Huang Qi, or astragalus and Hong Hua, safflower flower. Don’t try these herbs on your own! Seek out an experienced herbalist who can produce an herbal formula suited for you.


Merck Manual on Bell’s Palsy

NIH on Bell’s Palsy

Author: Sai Jurawanichkul, MS, LAc


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