Facial Acupuncture Is Safe and Effective for Bell’s Palsy

Guest post written by Terry Fox, Licensed Acupuncturist at Zi Zai Dermatology.

I was so frightened.

I remember looking in the mirror and putting up a hand to feel the right side of my face. It felt odd – not quite numb, but not quite normal either. I couldn’t blink or close my right eye. My smile was lopsided. The entire right side of my face drooped. Try as I might, I couldn’t make the muscles work. It scared the hell out of me. (And it scared my parents even more.) At the age of 10, I had Bell’s palsy.

Also known as facial palsy, Bell’s palsy can occur at any age. The exact cause is isn’t known, but it’s believed to be the result of swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of your face. It may possibly be a reaction that occurs after a viral infection.

For most people, the condition is temporary. Symptoms usually start to improve within a few weeks, with complete recovery in about six months. A small number of people continue to have some Bell’s palsy symptoms for life. Rarely, it can recur.

Bell's Palsy face

Typical appearance of Bell’s palsy facial paralysis, courtesy of the CDC.


According MayoClinic.com, signs and symptoms of Bell’s palsy come on suddenly and may include:

  • Rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face — occurring within hours to days
  • Facial droop and difficulty making facial expressions, such as closing your eye or smiling
  • Drooling
  • Pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side
  • Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
  • Headache
  • A decrease in your ability to taste
  • Changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce

Modern biomedical treatment includes pharmaceutical drugs like Prednisone (a corticosteroid) and Valacyclovir (a pharmaceutical antiviral drug). Prednisone is used to reduce inflammation of the facial nerve. Although anti-viral meds like Valacyclovir haven’t shown any more benefit than placebo, these may be given because of the theory that Bell’s palsy may be related to a herpes virus.

Facial acupuncture is a safe option that has been found effective in the treatment of Bell’s palsy:



Vanity Fair magazine coverMost recently, celebrity Angelina Jolie, who has made a living  based largely on her appearance, has praised the effectiveness of facial acupuncture for Bell’s palsy.

The risks and side effects of facial acupuncture are minimal compared to drugs –  typically only minor bruising at the site of needle insertion. But even that can be minimized when you have well-trained licensed acupuncturist performing the treatment.

Do you suffer with Bell’s palsy, or know someone who does? Consider facial acupuncture.

It can free you from the fear and worry that you won’t look normal again. It can speed your recovery without the side effects of drugs. Having dealt with this issue personally, I have a special place in my heart for folks suffering with Bell’s palsy…I know how much it sucks. And I know how much you want to get better. Facial acupuncture is one of my specialties and I can help you. The sooner you start treatment, the better the results. Click the button below to schedule your appointment today.

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Tags: acupuncture, bell's palsy, Facial acupuncture, facial palsy, facial paralysis

Topics: Acupuncture, Beauty, Chinese Medicine, Facial Care, General Health

Publish Date: March 19, 2018     *Articles may include updates since original publishing.

Comments (2)

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  1. Diana says:

    My husband got Bell’s Palsy over a year ago. It was a severe case. He couldn’t close his eye or move the left side of his mouth. We tried low level light therapy and acupuncture ( among other things). It has improved drastically, and to look at him you cannot tell he had it. But his mouth corner still doesn’t move and he still has some numbness. After a year and a half would more acupuncture help? The local acupuncturist we went to had never treated bell’s palsy and may not be as adept at treating it as you might be with your experience. We live in Montana and would have to travel to your location. What are your thoughts about this after a year and a half of the onset of the palsy?

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