Bell’s palsy develops when the nerve that governs the face muscles become inflamed causing one side of the face to droop or stiffen. Studies reveal that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for the symptoms of Bell’s palsy, and can be helpful in patients who have not gotten well on other treatment programs. The acupuncture points used by acupuncturists to address Bell’s palsy symptoms are selected based on the needs of the patient, although there are a number of acupuncture points that are commonly used when the diagnosis is Bell’s palsy. One thing to remember before you proceed with acupuncture treatment is to talk to your doctor first about your intention of getting the treatment so he/she may provide you with proper and relevant advice.
GB 14 (Yang Bai)
This acupuncture point that can be needled for Bell’s palsy treatment is located on the forehead about a finger’s width above the eyebrow. Yang Bai, the Chinese name for this point translates to “yang white.” The GB 14 can be also be needled to treat temporal and frontal headaches. Besides that, it can help treat eye swelling, itchiness and redness.
LI 20 (Ying Hsiang)
This acupuncture point is found in the “smile line” or nasolabial crease, which is situated near the nostril. Ying Hsiang in Chinese translates to “welcome fragrance.” The Large Intestine (LI) 20 point is often needled along with other nearby acupuncture points on the Large Intestine meridian to resolve a number of maladies. Besides Bell’s palsy, the LI 20 can help resolve sinus and nose problems such as allergies and sinusitis.
ST 7 (Hsiaguan)
Hsiaguan means “below the joint” in Chinese. This point refers to the 7th acupuncture point of the stomach meridian and is usually stimulated to treat problems in the ears and face. The ST 7 is found where the jaw and the cheekbone meet. When needled, the ST 7 can treat lower jaw toothaches, jaw pain, deafness, tinnitus and ear infections and pain.
ST 4 – Dicang
This fourth acupuncture point of the stomach meridian is needled in order to treat symptoms of strokes, toothaches and paralysis and other conditions related to Bell’s palsy. The ST 4 point is located directly below the pupil and aligned with the corner of the mouth. Dicang in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) means “Earth Granary.”