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Acupuncture Plus Topical Herbs Facial Paralysis Recovery

Acupuncture combined with topical herbs is effective for the treatment of facial paralysis. Researchers from the Traditional Chinese Medicine department of People’s Hospital (Huairen, Shanxi) tested two acupuncture protocols. Using acupuncture as a monotherapy produced a 76.92% total effective rate. The addition of topical herbal medicine to the acupuncture point prescription increased the total effective rate to 97.44%. [1] The type of facial paralysis examined in the investigation is categorized as Bell’s palsy. 

Acupuncture monotherapy produced significant positive patient outcomes: 11 patients were cured, 13 had highly effective results, 6 achieved the effective tier of patient outcomes, 9 did not have significant outcomes. Adding topical herbal medicine paste to the identical acupuncture point prescription protocol produced superior patient outcomes. In the acupuncture and herbs group, 20 patients were classified as cured, 14 were classified as highly effective, 4 were classified as effective, and 1 was ineffective. [2]

A total of 78 patients suffering from facial paralysis were recruited for the study and were randomly assigned to receive either standard acupuncture or acupuncture plus herbs, applied directly to specific acupuncture points. Within the standard acupuncture group, there were 20 males and 19 females, with a mean age of 35.26 years. Their duration of disease ranged from 1–14 months, with a mean duration of 5.41 months. Within the acupuncture and herbs group, there were 21 males and 18 females, with a mean age of 36.15 years. The duration of disease ranged from 2–15 months, with a mean duration of 5.57 months. No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups prior to the clinical trial.

All of the participants received a clinical diagnosis of facial paralysis according to TCM and biomedical criteria, were aged 20–65 years, and gave voluntary, informed consent to participate in the study. Patients whose facial paralysis was due to physical trauma or tumors were excluded. Further exclusion criteria were either concurrent serious illness or known allergies to topical medications.

Acupuncture Points For all patients in the acupuncture monotherapy group, the following local points were selected:

  • Sibai (ST2)

  • Dicang (ST4)

  • Taiyang (MHN9)

  • Quanliao (SI18)

  • Xiaguan (ST7)

  • Yingxiang (LI20)

  • Jiache (ST6)

  • Yangbai (GB14)

Additional distal points and needle techniques varied according to each patient’s individual Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis as follows: