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(Article) TCM Treatment for Bell’s Palsy

TCM Treatment for Bell’s Palsy


Jiang Xue Feng, Senior physician at Ma Kuang Healthcare Group


Bell's palsy is a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. These muscles are controlled by the facial nerve. Each side of the face is controlled by a facial nerve and Bell’s palsy usually affects just one nerve, people with Bell's palsy will most likely notice stiffness or weakness on one side of the face


After several busy days and cold weather, Mr. Lee, 48, suddenly noticed a distorted facial appearance on the right and inability to close his right eye and mouth. He was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. It is widely believed that a viral infection causes the disorder. It typically presents as facial distortion and loss of facial expressions. Under TCM care, Mr. Lee enjoys nearly full recovery in 2 months. During those months, he took the herbal medicine twice a day, and received acupuncture in the evening. His treatment frequency reduced from daily to 2-3 times per week.


TCM theory suggests that Bell’s palsy is caused by dysfunction of 2 meridians that are associated with the face. Exogenous factor attacks the meridians when one’s immunity is weakened. Many patients are given prednisone (a steroid) and antiviral medications in the first two weeks. It is beneficial to integrate TCM into treatment plan as early as possible. TCM physician will prescribe herbal medication, in conjunction with acupuncture or massage, according to the stage of the disorder.


Although many patients choose to receive medications or electrical therapy for Bell’s palsy, the effects of acupuncture cannot be clearer. It’s crucial for patients to seek treatment early, and avoid exposure to cold and crowded area during flu season.