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If you suffer from paralysis on one side of the face, including an eye that fails to close completely on command, then you may be suffering from a neurological condition known as Bell's Palsy. This condition, which appears to originate in certain viral infections, may occur or recur during periods when your immune system in impaired. In such cases, traditional healing techniques can often succeed with Western medicine. Here at Peter Lok Acupuncture, we can employ 4,000 years of Chinese medical wisdom to help normalize your nerve and immune function, enabling you to keep the ailment at bay.
This type of facial paralysis is said to be idiopathic, meaning that no single cause can definitely be connected to it. We do know, however, that involves swelling and impairment of the seventh cranial nerve, which supplies motor commands to the muscles on either side of the face. A wide range of viral conditions -- including German measles, mumps, influenza, adenovirus, and several variants of the herpes simplex virus -- can infect the nervous system and cause localized inflammation. While the virus may lie dormant for many years, a loss of immune function can allow it to spring forth. Symptoms include facial dropping on one side, inability to taste food, tear duct dysfunction, headaches, hyperacusis (hypersensitivity to sounds), pain in or around the jaw, and headaches. The inability to close the affected eye may also cause the eye to dry out, making the cornea vulnerable to permanent damage.
The good news is that most bouts of this affliction clear up after a few weeks, although complete reversal of symptoms may take longer. The bad news is that you may suffer recurrences as long as the conditions that created it have an opportunity to inflame the seventh cranial nerve. Over time, damage to the nerve may even lead to permanent paralysis. That's why you need to seek treatment -- and we can help.
Traditional Chinese medicine has its own terminology for describing and understanding the same conditions recognized by modern medical science. In the case of Bell's palsy, practitioners view the inflammation of the nerve as a blockage of life energy, or qi. They also recognized the connection between the facial paralysis and low immunity against the various viruses that our body normally fights every day. Acupuncturists note that the qi blockage occurs within the "wind" channels of the body.
Our acupuncturist, Dr. Peter Lok, can position fine needles at these and other specific points to change the flow of qi, boost your body's immune response, and encourage more normal nerve function. He may also prescribe other strategies for helping you maintain a higher level of overall wellness, including immune health, to protect yourself against future bouts of nerve inflammation. These may include dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, and stress reduction practices. Contact Lok Acupuncture Clinic in Las Vegas at 702-732-0178 to schedule an initial consultation.