Bell’s palsy is attributed to an inflammation of the nerve that governs the function of the facial muscles causing one side of the face to droop and stiffen. Studies have shown that Bell’s palsy symptoms can be alleviated by acupuncture therapy even in Bell’s palsy sufferers who have not gotten well with other treatments. In acupuncture treatment for Bell’s palsy, the acupoints to be treated are chosen by the acupuncturist based on the patient’s needs. It is important to talk to your doctor before you go for acupuncture or other forms of alternative treatments.
Yang Bai (GB 14)
The GB 14 is located about a finger’s width from the eyebrow to the forehead in line with the pupil. It is commonly used to treat the symptoms of Bell’s palsy. Yang Bai, in Chinese literally means “yang white.” It is situated on the meridian associated with the gallbladder. It can also be used to treat temporal and frontal headaches. The GB 14 is also helpful for the relief of eye discomforts such as swelling, itchiness, redness, and eye twitching.
Ying Hsiang (LI 20)
Literally translated as “welcome fragrance,” the ying hsiang is found in the smile line (the nasolabial crease) proximate to the side of the nostril. This meridian is associated with the large intestine system and utilized to resolve a variety of conditions. Apart from palsy, the LI 20 can also be used to treat sinus and nasal problems such as allergies and sinusitis.
Hsiaguan (ST 7)
Hsiaguan in Chinese means “below the joint.” Found on the cavity where the jaw and cheekbone meet, this acupoint corresponds to the stomach meridian and besides Bell’s palsy is used to treat jaw toothaches, jaw pain, deafness, tinnitus, and ear infections and pain.
Dicang (ST 4)
The point known as “dicang” in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is referred to in modern acupuncture in Chinese, dicang literally means earth granary and is found directly below the pupil in line with the corner of the mouth. This point is used to treat stroke symptoms, toothaches, paralysis, and of course, Bell’s palsy.