This acupuncture healing story is about a 36 year old patient named Shelly, who came to The Acupuncture Center with a severe case of Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s palsy is a neurological condition that weakens or paralyzes the facial nerves, causing weakness and drooping of the mouth, eye and facial muscles. It may be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, injury, stress or nutrient deficiencies. Shelly came down with this condition in the last few weeks of her pregnancy with her son and was devastated by the physical effects displayed on her face. She's in the entertainment field and relies heavily on her looks. Her entire right side was affected, causing her an inability to smile and to blink her eye. Her right side was also numb to the touch, and aside from a round of steroids, the doctors offered her little hope of a full recovery. Like many patients we treat for facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy, Shelly turned to acupuncture when conventional therapies had failed.
I saw Shelly for the first time almost 8 months ago, and the first thing I noticed was a slurring of her words when trying to speak to me and her eye was constantly tearing throughout our conversation. Shelly revealed to me that she's a workaholic, often working late into the evenings after her children are asleep. She gets around four hours of sleep a night and has an extremely poor diet. She came to me about a month after coming down with the condition, which isn't ideal when it comes to using acupuncture for Bell's Palsy. The best results are possible when a patient comes in very soon after the issue occurs so we can begin acupuncture right away. However, given the fact that she had a baby during this past month, and had undergone conventional medical treatment, I encouraged her to start regular acupuncture treatments immediately.
I told Shelly that in order for her to achieve the best possible results; she would need to come in for acupuncture twice a week for several months. After feeling her pulse and looking at her tongue, I could see that there was a huge deficiency of qi and blood present, with some dampness accumulating. Burning the candle at both ends by working endless amounts of hours, while eating irregular meals full of greasy, cheesy foods, appeared to be the underlying cause of her weakness and paralysis. We talked about ways to improve her diet, and that easing up on the work schedule would be to her benefit right now.
Her treatments include acupuncture needles and gentle electrical stimulation on the face, as well as body points related to her underlying qi and blood deficiency and dampness. I also recommended she do specific Chinese massage on her face while she's at home for about 15 minutes a day. After about a month of receiving treatment, it became apparent that her body was responding well to the acupuncture. Her eye stopped tearing and began to open up more, and the right side of her smile slowly began to rise. At this very moment, I see Shelly once a week and we are just fine tuning the last few things she wants to tweak in her face. When you speak to her, the Bells Palsy is hardly noticeable, and her entire energy and lifestyle has improved. She is a shining example of how getting regular acupuncture treatments, sticking to a treatment plan, and making the proper lifestyle changes can lead to amazing results. I can happily say that Shelly is back to going on acting auditions, and is feeling confident and on her game.