Many people may ask what does the stomach and large intestine have to do with Bell’s palsy? Well the answer lies not so much in the organs themselves , but the acupuncture meridians of the stomach and large intestine which traverse the facial area that is affected during a Bell’s palsy episode. These meridians travel to the arm and leg and this is why acupuncture points on the limbs may also selected when treating Bell’s palsy.
What is the yang ming system?
The stomach and large intestine meridians are grouped together in traditional Chinese medicine into a system that is called the yang ming. The yang ming channels contain a surplus of energy and blood, so acupuncture points on these channels are selected to divert strength and lifeforce to the face. It is also stated in the classic texts, that when yang ming declines, wrinkles appear.
What is Bell’s palsy according the traditional Chinese medicine?
Bell’s palsy according to Chinese medical thought has come about because of external wind invasion to the face. Wind is very yang natured entity and the face is very yin which makes it vulnerable to extremes.
When wind lodges in the meridians in the face, paralysis and loss of muscle tone could result.
What are some examples of acupuncture points that may be used in Bell’s palsy?
A point on the index finger which is on the large intestine channel, erjian, has a clasically recorded use for deviation of the mouth and eyes, which are classic symptoms of Bell’s palsy. This point can treat treat deviation of mouth and eyes because it’s clasical function is to dispel wind. Another acupuncture point, chongyang, on the foot also has the classical recorded use for treating deviation of the mouth and eye.
There are of course many other acupuncture points available to be used to treat Bell’s palsy apart from from those on the yang ming channels.
There are over 700 members of Acupuncture NZ who are accredited treatment providers with ACC. Heiko Lade has had over 30 years experience practising acupuncture and Chinese herbalism in Australia and New Zealand.