Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture For Bell’s Palsy Facial Restoration Found

acupuncture bells palsy reserach

Acupuncture restores symmetry to patients with Bell’s palsy, a type of peripheral facial paralysis. Luoyang Dongfang Hospital researchers conducted a clinical trial comparing electroacupuncture monotherapy with a combined protocol of warm needle acupuncture plus electroacupuncture. The electroacupuncture monotherapy group had a 75.67% total effective rate, with 28 out of 37 patients obtaining significant clinical results. The combined protocol significantly outperformed the monotherapy approach to patient care. Combining electroacupuncture with warm needle acupuncture produced a 94.59% total effective rate (35 out of 37 patients had significant clinical results). [1]

The total effective rate was based on all patients achieving either the effective tier of improvement or the relieved tier of improvement. The effective tier was comprised of the following requirements: symmetry restored on bilateral wrinkles of the forehead and bilateral nasolabial folds, normal movement of the eyelids, ability to raise the eyebrows, normal facial expressions. The relieved tier was comprised of the following: symmetry nearly restored on the bilateral wrinkles of the forehead and bilateral nasolabial folds, restrained movement of the eyelids, ability to raise the eyebrows, normal facial expressions. The ineffective tier was not included in the total effective rate and included the following: nasolabial folds not restored, mouth drooped, eyelids could not move properly.

The findings of this investigation are consistent with prior clinical trials reviewed by HealthCMi, learn more in the acupuncture continuing education course entitled Bell’s Palsy. The Luoyang Dongfang Hospital investigation took a relatively standard approach to patient care, involving the application of many local acupoints. Both the electroacupuncture monotherapy group and the combined treatment group (warm needle acupuncture plus electroacupuncture) patients received treatments on alternate days for a duration of 3 months.

For the electroacupuncture procedure, the following acupoints were inserted and the needles were connected to an electroacupuncture device after achieving deqi. A disperse-dense wave was selected with a frequency of 4Hz for the disperse wave and 20 Hz for the dense wave for the following acupoints:

  • GB14 (Yangbai)
  • LI20 (Yingxiang)
  • EX-HN5 (Taiyang)

Patients in the combined acupuncture group received warm needle acupuncture as well as electroacupuncture. For patients within the first 7-days of the disease course, the main treatment principles were dredging the channels and dispelling the wind. Facial electroacupuncture was applied employing shallow insertion, with the main acupoint being TB17 (Yifeng). The following supplementary points were also used:

  • GB14 (Yangbai)
  • LI4 (Hegu)
  • GB20 (Fengchi)
  • ST7 (Xiaguan)
  • ST4 (Dicang)
  • ST2 (Sibai)
  • ST44 (Neiting)

For Hegu and Neiting, a reducing method was employed. For those with a disease course of 7 to 30 days, a mild reinforcing-attenuating method was applied on the following acupoints:

  • ST7 (Xiaguan)
  • LI4 (Hegu)
  • ST4 (Dicang)
  • TB17 (Yifeng)
  • BL2 (Cuanzhu)
  • TB23 (Sizhukong)

For patients whose course of disease extended beyond 30 days, two points were used in addition to the aforementioned points in the 7–30 days group:

  • SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
  • ST36 (Zusanli)

All three subgroups received the same electroacupuncture procedure after deqi as the electroacupuncture monotherapy group. Next, the electroacupuncture device was removed before moxa was attached. Moxa was ignited and burned for an additional 20 minutes. The results indicate that the combined protocol significantly outperforms electroacupuncture monotherapy.

Patients met the basic standards of a Bell’s Palsy diagnosis in order to be admitted to the investigation. Symptoms presented by patients included deviation of the mouth and eyes, lagophthalmos (eyelids not closing completely), facial twitching, pain under the ear area or around the face. Patients also showed an inability to raise the eyebrows, wrinkle the forehead, or close the eyelids. Patients with pregnancy or severe physical and or mental disorders were not included in the research.

The patient sample consisted of 74 patients admitted into the hospital from March 2018 to June 2019. The 74 patients were randomly divided into the electroacupuncture control group or the combined acupuncture group, with 37 cases in each group. For the control group, 26 were males and 11 were females. The age range was 17 to 69 years; mean age was 43.75 ± 3.74 years; range of disease course was 2 to 43 days; mean course of disease was 19.47 ±6.14 years. For the acupuncture group, 24 were males and 13 were females. The age range was 15 to 67 days; mean age was 44.97 ±2.344 years; range of disease course was 2 to 43 days; mean course of disease was 21.11 ±4.98 days.


1. Hu Xiaoyan, Effects of Treating Peripheral Facial Paralysis Using Electroacupuncture and Warm Acupuncture, Journal of Medical Theory and Practice, Vol. 34, No. 12,Jun 2021.


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