A condition that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in one side of the face, Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis.
Symptoms vary from person to person and the weakness on one side of the face can be described as partial palsy (a mild muscle weakness) and complete palsy (which is no movement at all), although this is very rare.
The condition can also affect the eyelid and the mouth, resulting in difficulty closing and opening the mouth, and in rare cases it can affect both sides of a person’s face.
Bell’s Palsy is only diagnosed once other possible causes of these particular symptoms are ruled out, for example stroke or tumor.
Affecting around 1 in 5,000 people year, the illness more commonly affects those aged between 15 and 45 and both men and women can suffer from it.
It is also more common in pregnant women, as well as those with diabetes and HIV, for reasons that are not yet fully understood.
Symptoms of Bell’s palsy can vary, ranging from a mild numbness of the face to total paralysis, usually developing within 48 hours.
Look out for the following symptoms:
- Weakness or paralysis in one side of the face, which may make it difficult to close the eyelid and cause the side of the mouth to droop and cause impaired speech
- Irritation of the affected eye, resulting in dryness or increased tear production
- Pain underneath the ear on the affected side of the face
- An altered or reduced sense of taste
- Increased sensitivity to sound in the affected ear
- Drooling from the mouth on the affected side of the face
- Mouth dryness
- Pain around the jaw
- Ringing in one or both ears
- Difficulty eating/drinking
Be aware, though, that in most cases of Bell’s palsy, symptoms will begin to improve within three weeks.
The illness is believed to occur when the nerve that controls the muscles in the face becomes compressed. Although the exact cause is unknown, it’s believed to be because the facial nerve becomes inflamed – due to viral infection and variants of the herpes virus are thought to be responsible.
Around 7 out of 10 people with the condition make a complete recovery, either with or without treatment, but the recovery time varies from person-to-person.
Complications relating to the illness can include speech problems, a reduced sense of tense and the permanent tensing of facial muscles.
Rule out stroke or tumor by seeing a health practitioner as soon as possible.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here.
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
Detox may have some affect in healing Bell’s palsy naturally, helping to remove the underlying cause(s) that create the acidic environment that causes the illness.
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days: www.colloidsforlife.com. Silver has long been recognized as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste: www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment.
There are several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. For treating rheumatoid arthritis, we recommended constitutional hydrotherapy (apply two to five times weekly) or a heating compress (apply once daily to affected areas). Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Find a practitioner here
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water, or you can buy a Kangen Unit.
- Take a bath as often as possible up to once a day with two liters of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide.
As well as giving a detox a go, serious dietary changes can be made to help the condition. As an acidic body exists in cases of Bell’s palsy, a raw foods diet of fresh, raw and organic fruit and veg is thought to be affective, with a detox approximately every 60 days.
Try distilled alkaline water, which offers effective healing.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey. Check out www.grasslandbeef.com.
Some beneficial supplements in the treatment of Bell’s palsy are below:
Vitamin B-12 is believed to be among the most helpful supplements in treating this health problem. It has been used in treating a variety of nerve disorders and can help speed up recovery.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is also believed to be helpful, as are essential fatty acids, bromelain and garlic, due to their strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription drugs are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications, but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Some health practitioners recommend reiki, meditation and massage for Bell’s palsy and stroke victims, as it is known to increase independence.
Try massaging the side of the face (above the eye down to the chin, behind the ear) and specifically the 7th cranial nerve (just below the cheek bone) to help soothe pain and discomfort.
Do this for 15 to 20 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of good intention reiki, morning and night.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here
Homoeopathically-prepared Aconite, Causticum, Dulcamara and Gelsemium can be used to treat systems related to the nervous system, resulting in faster recovery.
Medicated oils used for local application, oral intake and nasal therapy are: Bala (Sida cordifolia) oil, Narayan (Asparagus racemosus) oil and Chandan-Bala-Laxadi oil.
Mouth wash and gargling with luke-warm water is considered very effective in relieving symptoms.
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitioners here.
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Traditional Chinese Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the diagnosis for Bell’s Palsy is termed ‘External Wind-Cold attacking the channels of the face’ and according to principles of TCM, one of the main implications of the condition is an underlying deficiency of qi (a person’s inherent energy).
In China, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to assist in Bell’s Palsy recovery, and the initial treatment goal according to TCM would be to expel Wind and resolve Damp, as well as to invigorate qi and promote blood circulation to the face. Consistent acupuncture treatments can help soothe a patient, expedite the paralysis from dissipating, and enhance nerve function.
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here.
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Five to ten drops of clove essential oil, taken in a quarter cup of water 3 times per day has been suggested as a therapy to enhance the effectiveness of antiviral agents. All herbs should be discussed with your doctor before use.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Try any of the following home remedies to help alleviate the symptoms of Bell’s palsy:
Eye protection – The eyes may dry out due to a decrease in tear production, so use an eye patch which will protect the eye from harm if it doesn’t close correctly. Other options for closing the eye include closing it periodically with a finger, or tapping it closed. Try wearing sunglasses outdoors to protect eyes from harsh sunlight.
Heat therapy – Apply heat to the face to help treat Bell’s palsy. Simply use a heating pad set to a low level or a heated gel pack to relieve any swelling at the affected nerve. Moist heat, such as a warm wet face cloth may also help.
Physical therapy – Stimulate the affected nerve and help improve or maintain muscle tone by using physical therapy on the facial muscles. Massage the facial muscles to help relax them.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalized prescription. Find your closest Homeopath here.
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
There are a number of herbal remedies believed to be helpful in treating Bell’s palsy, including the following:
Kudzu – A plant native to China, Kudzu has become a pervasive weed in parts of the US and is used in Chinese medicine to treat a range of conditions. It should not be taken by those who are pregnant or have hormonal-dependent cancers such as breast, ovarian or uterine cancers, but it’s believed to have some use in relieving the muscle tension in the face in the muscles surrounding those affected by Bell’s palsy.
Cloves – Most commonly used as a spice in holiday food, clove oil is thought to have anti-infection properties in cases of Bell’s palsy, but it must not be taken by children as it can upset the stomach.
Licorice – Also known as glycyrrhizin, licorice can help prevent the progression of palsy to paralysis. It may also halt sudden tearing of one eye affected by the condition.
Oiopogonis – This is a traditional Chinese herbal formula that works to relieve dry eyes by increasing tear production.
Yoga – An entire system for mental, physical and spiritual well-being and development, yoga was developed in India thousands of years ago.
Bell’s palsy patients often have difficulty using their diaphragms, but performing yoga breathing exercises can free the diaphragm and allow for full, deep breathing. Try sitting comfortably in a chair or on the floor in a position which allows you to sit up as straight as possible. Next, inhale through your nose and into your abdomen while keeping your upper body still and not forcing yourself to take a breath deeper than is comfortable. Now exhale slowly and fully, before pausing for a moment. As you find yourself more relaxed, start by increasing the time of your exhalations.
The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Qigong –Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
In acupressure, skin rolling and lifting can be used to stimulate nerves in the area of the body affected by Bell’s palsy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Acupuncture demo for Bell’s palsy tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=3D10F27C0DD164C21780F9ED9151F2A0
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Further Information (links and books)
Bell’s Palsy Natural Treatments and Cures [Paperback] by Johnathan Porter
Home remedies for Bell’s palsy http://www.livestrong.com/article/195671-home-remedies-for-bells-palsy/
Yoga therapy for Bell’s palsy http://www.livestrong.com/article/375655-yoga-therapy-bells-palsy/
Supplements for Bell’s palsy http://www.livestrong.com/article/543401-supplements-for-bells-palsy/
Herbal treatments for Bell’s palsy http://www.livestrong.com/article/460621-herbal-treatment-for-bells-palsy/
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Andrea Butje | Aromahead email@example.com – Aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt firstname.lastname@example.org – Organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA email@example.com – Meditation, stress
Judith Hoad firstname.lastname@example.org – Herbalist.
Kath May email@example.com – Reiki, Tai Chi.
Lillian Bridges firstname.lastname@example.org – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika email@example.com – Aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic practitioner.