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Ask the Expert
Ask an expert - neuro and psycho logical - bell's palsy
Q: Could Acupuncture help with Hemi Facial Spasms?
A: Intuitively acupuncture would seem to be an obvious treatment for a condition like this. Chinese medicine has a way of describing disturbances in function (in this case the facial nerves) within the context of the flowing nature of qi (energy). Utilizing the pathways of the flow of energy to promote the smooth passage of qi in the affected areas and so possibly seeing improvement in the way the nerves behave, can be seen a improving this condition. In Chinese medicine theory, many tics and tremors are seen as a manifestation of Internal Wind, and there are well established treatment protocols for addressing this.
Our best advice for conditions like this, though, is always to visit a BAcC member local to you and ask for a brief face to face assesment of what they think might be able to influence. It’s always worth a go to find out how much improvement can be made.
Dr Shamim recommends acupuncture.
Q. Is acupuncture helpful to bells palsy
A. As you can see from our factsheet
the evidence for the successful treatment of Bell's Palsy is not very conclusive. The trials which have been done are not of a very high standard, and their results not all that compelling.
However, it is fair to say that in China the condition is a great deal more common and acupuncture is often used alongside, or occasionally instead of conventional medications, as a form of treatment. The Chinese believe that exposure to cold wind can sometimes trigger an attack, and since a great many people work the land the incidence is much higher. Oddly enough, in the days before air conditioning in cars there were often cases which appeared to have been triggered by high speed driving with the driver's window open. Most often, though, the direct cause is not apparent.
The received wisdom of Chinese medicine is that any condition involving paralysis or rigidity of muscles becomes more difficult the longer after initial onset the treatment begins. Any well-trained practitioner will take this into account before offering a view of the potential success of treatment.