General information on Bell's Palsy. Chinese Medicine's world view in its attemt to manage symptoms.
(Organ names in Chinese medicine differ from Western medicine's understanding).
Bell's palsy is a condition that causes facial paralysis, resulting in inability to control
Facial muscles on one side of the face. The symptoms include muscular loss, face
weakness, twitching, or loss of muscular function in the face. Bell's palsy is usually
One-sided and rarely affects both sides. It is essential to differentiate Bell's palsy from
a life-threatening conditions like a stroke, and a medical doctor needs to be sought to
From the perspective of Chinese medicine, Bell's palsy is perceived to be primarily
caused by external wind and cold that tends to attack the face channels and disturb
the natural flow of energy (Qi) and blood. Generally it is believed that there is an
underlined weakness that made this condition more likely and in the course of
treatment, the underlined cause is also addressed. Chinese medicine does not claim
to cure or treat Western biomedical conditions, however may significantly lessen the
symptoms from within the context of its own holistic and integral approach.
The treatment protocol involves Its own unique paradigm that governs its detailed diagnostic process.
Chinese medicine aims to treat the person, not the disease. It treats people with particular patterns that manifest in specific ways within their individual circumstances. Chinese medicine looks at the post-illness stage with just as much rigor as its acute manifestation. It works not only to correct the presenting condition but also to prevent future illness by strengthening and supporting the body's own mechanisms.
Chinese medicine says that facial paralysis is caused by external pathogenic factors that impede Qi flow within the face channels. The body has its own unique internal nature. The treatment aims to expel the invading pathogen that impedes channel flow and to strengthen deficient meridians. To achieve this, acupuncture is used as the first point of call in clinical settings. Very fine, single-use, sterile needles are inserted into specific body points, carefully chosen to enable the most effective possible response in the shortest time, and with the least number of points possible.
Herbal medicine is used in chronic cases where paralysis has been present for some time or when the body responds slower to treatment than anticipated. Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of treating the underlying deficiencies of the immune system. This enables the entry of a damaging pathogen in the first place.
In conclusion, Bell's palsy affects facial muscles' control, causing facial paralysis. Western medicine views Bell's palsy as caused by trauma to the seventh cranial nerve, while Chinese medicine views it as an external invasion of pathogenic factors. Chinese medicine involves Acupuncture and herbal medicine to restore the natural flow of Qi and blood in the face and strengthen deficient meridians.
Li, Y., Liang, F. R., Zhang, X. M., Yang, X. Z., & Li, Y. P. (2010). Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Bell's Palsy: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 7(3), 321–326. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem191
Liang, F., Li, Y., Yu, S., & Li, C. (2012). Efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in treating Bell's palsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 506–740. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/506740
Kaptchuk, T. J. (2000). Chinese medicine: the web that has no weaver. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books.
Maciocia, G. (2015). The foundations of Chinese medicine. 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Bensky, D., Clavey, S., & Stöger, E. (2015). Chinese herbal medicine: materia medica. 3rd ed. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press.
Cheng, X. N. (2010). Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.
Liang, F., Cooper, E. L., & Wang, H. (2011). Chinese medicine and immune modulation. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.
The primary objective of Chinese Medicine is to treat the whole person rather than a specific disease or its given name. It is an adjunct to Western medicine, with a distinct focus on identifying the underlying cause within Chinese medical theory and using it's principles in a safe and modern clinical setting.