BellÕs Palsy Acupuncture


Acupuncture treatment for BellÕs Palsy

-By Hong Jin, L.Ac.


BellÕs Palsy is a sudden onset disease of facial musclesÕ malfunction.  It is caused by various pathogens attacking the facial nerves.  


BellÕs Palsy, which is caused by cerebral vascular disease—damage of upper facial nervous nucleus—can be differentiated from central facial nerve paralysis.  The latter has the following symptoms:  


PatientÕs forehead winkles are normal,

Tip of tongue is deviated from the center,

Blood pressure is high,

Patient can still frown and close eyes, because only the lower facial nerves are affected,

Patient cannot move the lower part of his/her face normally.


When the following symptoms are present, the paralysis (could be temporary) of peripheral facial nerves is established:


Usually on one side of the face, the patientÕs forehead winkles disappear

TongueÕs location is unchanged—tip of tongue is still centrally located

Blood pressure is normal

Facial expressive muscles are paralyzed

Facial skin is numb

Eyebrow drops  

Corner of eye and cleft of eyelids is enlarged

Line from nose to lip is flat

Corner of mouth is lowered

Two sides of face are not symmetrical.  The face is pulled to the healthy side.  On the affected side, the patient cannot lift eyebrow and forehead or move the lips to make a complete circle or completely expose the teeth.

When the eyes are closed, the eyebrow is pulled to the opposite upper area.  White sclera is exposed.  The tear secretion pore is turned out with the lower eyelid.  Tear is spilled out like a rabbitÕs eye.

When patient blows through his/her mouth, mouth corner cannot be closed tightly.

Food is often left in the mouth on the affected side.


There could be associated symptoms such as:  earache, headache, neck pain, damaged hearing, minor facial pain, and up to 2/3 or all of the taste on the tongue is lost.


Some patients can fully recover within 30 days due to the inner strong zheng qi  (good energy = immune function) without any kind of treatment and medication.  Yet many patients seeking acupuncture treatment do need medical assistance due to their relatively weak zheng qi.


Acupuncture works very effectively on BellÕs Palsy.  For patients who have had the symptoms less than 6 months, after having acupuncture, most of them can recover completely—100% back to normal.  If the patients have had it for more than 6 months, it is possible that a few of them can never recover 100%.




The facial nerve (7th Cranial Nerve) is damaged by internal and external xie qi (pathogens).


Internally:  weak zheng qi and weak organsÕ function; blood and energy is over consumed; emotional imbalance; depression; stress; lack of blood supply; and unstable protecting function of the skin from the internal xie qiÕs attack.


Externally:  usually xie qi, such as cold and/or wind, attacks the face, and yang  (representing positive +) channels are blocked, so that energy and blood cannot travel normally due to the obstruction.  Usually, xie qi invades the channels of the stomach, large intestine, liver, gall bladder and spleen.  A few cases are caused by attacks from HerpeÕs Zoster virus or some unknown virus.


In Chinese Medicine, the stomach and the large intestine channels mainly dominate the face.  Liver governs tendons, spleen governs muscles, and the gall bladder channel passes through the ears. Due to an insufficient blood supply to the facial nerves and tendons, muscles loose their function.  The pressure and ache of an ear is due to the obstruction of the gall bladder channel.


Length of procedure:


Acupuncture works on this disease more effectively than any other treatment.  Usually, the patients we see have been treated by various treatments from conventional medicine.  It has been proven that acupuncture has no side effects if done properly.  Based on the individual's condition, the patient needs acupuncture every day or every other day for a period of time.  The patient usually feels the improvement after 1–3 treatments.  However, full recovery depends on each personÕs strength of zheng qi and rapidness of its reinforcement.




(Jane) Hong Jin, a California licensed acupuncturist, mainly trained in China, has more than 20 years experience. Her specialties include:


BellÕs Palsy, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Migraine/Chronic Headache, Tendonitis, Breast Lumps, Varicose Veins, Pains/Stiffness/Spasm, Auto/Work/Sports Injuries


3042 S. Hacienda Blvd., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

(Northeast corner of Hacienda Blvd. and Colima Road)  (626) 369 6658



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