Acupuncture is widely used in the treatment for peripheral facial paralysis (FP). In a recent study, researchers concluded that electroacupuncture and rehabilitation training combined with conventional acupuncture and physiotherapy can significantly improve facial paralysis symptoms in the early stage. The study involved a four week long trial in which patients receiving electroacupuncture and rehabilitation training statistically outperformed those receiving only conventional acupuncture and physiotherapy.
Peripheral facial paralysis is a common condition. The cosmetic drawback for the patient is obvious; the inability to perform normal communication is impaired. Patients are typically under great psychological stress in addition to their physical limitations due to this condition. FP is caused by the inflammation of facial nerves and treatments should be carried out in the early stage aiming at restoring the strength of facial mimetic muscles. Facial mimetic muscles are skeletal muscles of the face innervated by the facial nerve, cranial nerve VII. Early rehabilitation training can help maintain and restore the shape and function of mimetic muscles on the affected side and the appropriate stimulation of electroacupuncture improves excitability, flexibility and reactivity of the nerve system.