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According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bell's palsy is estimated to affect about 40,000 people in the United States every year.
As experienced acupuncturists, we have witnessed the remarkable benefits of acupuncture for individuals suffering from Bell's palsy, a condition characterized by the sudden weakness or paralysis of facial muscles, typically on one side of the face. Many research papers have proven that acupuncture is an effective way to treat Bell’s palsy. A more recent study showed that acupuncture was associated with an increased cure rate and total effective rate of the treatment of Bell's palsy in comparison with drugs (1).

Here at Hope Spring Acupuncture, our acupuncturists use a special technique that originated in Korea to treat Bell’s palsy- the F.A.C.E. facial acupuncture technique. This particular technique works directly on the facial muscles as well as fascia in order to receive the muscle tone and strength which is particularly important in the early stage of Bell’s palsy.  Try our Bell's palsy protocol with your regular acupuncture to accelerate the healing.

Below we listed major benefits of acupuncture for Bell's palsy:

1. Restoring Facial Muscle Function:
Acupuncture is particularly effective in promoting the recovery of facial muscle function in Bell's palsy patients. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, we can help re-establish neural connections, enhance blood circulation, and reduce inflammation in the affected areas. This, in turn, aids in regaining muscle strength and control.

2. Pain Relief:
Bell's palsy can be accompanied by facial pain or discomfort. Acupuncture is known for its ability to alleviate pain by triggering the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Patients often experience reduced pain and improved comfort as a result of acupuncture treatments.

3. Reducing Swelling and Inflammation:
Inflammation and swelling in the facial muscles and nerves are common symptoms of Bell's palsy. Acupuncture can help to reduce these symptoms(2) by promoting local circulation and lymphatic drainage. This can lead to a quicker recovery and a reduction in the severity of the condition.

4. Balancing Energy Flow (Qi):
In Oriental Medicine, Bell's palsy is seen as a blockage of the body's vital energy, known as Qi. This maybe due to external influences such as pathogenic factors or internal disharmony such as dysfunction of certain organ system. Acupuncture aims to restore the balance of Qi throughout the body and within specific meridians that correspond to the affected facial muscles. This helps to accelerate the healing process.

5. Improving Nerve Function:
Acupuncture has been shown to enhance nerve function and repair(3). It can assist in restoring the proper function of the facial nerves, facilitating the reinnervation of muscles, and improving motor control.

6. Enhancing Overall Well-being:
Bell's palsy not only affects the physical aspect but can also lead to emotional distress due to changes in facial appearance. Acupuncture's calming effect can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression associated with the condition, contributing to an improved sense of well-being. The session added with our signature Bell's palsy protocol can speed up the restoration of the face.

7. Long-term Benefits:
Acupuncture's holistic approach addresses the root causes of Bell's palsy and supports the body's natural healing processes. Many patients experience long-term benefits, including improved facial symmetry and function.

It's important to note that while acupuncture can offer significant benefits for Bell's palsy, the response to treatment may vary among individuals. The key to successful treatment is a personalized approach tailored to the patient's specific condition and needs.

Time to come in
If you or someone you know is dealing with Bell's palsy, I recommend consulting with a licensed acupuncturist who has experience in treating this condition. Acupuncture, when integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan, can be a valuable tool in the recovery process, offering both physical and emotional support on the road to regaining full facial function and well-being. The best time to come in is within 72 hours following the initial onset of the symptoms. Your provider may decide to add herbal medicine to speed up the recovery alongside acupuncture. For the first two weeks, it is recommended daily acupuncture, then spacing out to 2-3 times a week depending on the recovery speed. 


(1) Zhang, R., Wu, T., Wang, R., Wang, D., & Liu, Q. (2019). Compare the efficacy of acupuncture with drugs in the treatment of Bell's palsy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. Medicine, 98(19), e15566.

(2) Li, N., Guo, Y., Gong, Y., Zhang, Y., Fan, W., Yao, K., Chen, Z., Dou, B., Lin, X., Chen, B., Chen, Z., Xu, Z., & Lyu, Z. (2021). The anti-inflammatory actions and mechanisms of acupuncture from acupoint to target organs via neuro-immune regulation. Journal of Inflammation Research, 14, 7191-7224.

(3) Yang Y, Rao C, Yin T, Wang S, Shi H, Yan X, Zhang L, Meng X, Gu W, Du Y, Hong F. Application and underlying mechanism of acupuncture for the nerve repair after peripheral nerve injury: remodeling of nerve system. Front Cell Neurosci. 2023 Oct 24;17:1253438. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2023.1253438. PMID: 37941605; PMCID: PMC10627933.

Recommended for: Body Acupuncture with Bell's palsy protocol, Facial Acupuncture

Happy Smile



Bell's Palsy Protocol Add-on*


* Bell's palsy protocol is $50 on top of your insurance patient's responsibility due to the special technique applied during the session

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