Bell's palsy - synkinesis - live in Norway... - Facial Palsy UK

Facial Palsy UK

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Bell's palsy - synkinesis - live in Norway, need advice and treatments in the UK


My daughter , 19 years old, has had Bell's palsy on the left side of her face for 1 year. Of the treatments she has had just acupuncture for the first 3 months on our own initiative. We live in Norway. The doctors in Norway don't reccomand any physio/electro/massage/acupuncture treatments, There is no competent medical persons educated to treat Bell's palsy in Norway, there are just surgeons. So my daughter can not get any help here except surgery. We do not wish surgery without trying some other methodes.

The first sign of improvment came after 3 months. It happened big improvement during a short time (sommer vacation 1-1,5 month). After that I can not see any progress. I think that the 60-70 % of movement is back.

She got synkinesis short time after the improvement. She says that when she wants to close her left eye, the lip-area on the left side of her face is mooving upwards etc. Her left eye got smaller then the right one, and when she smiles or gapes, her eye closes completely or almost completely.

Is it possible to get a consultation (and whwrw) with a proffesional therapeuts in the UK who can take a check of her and give her advice about massage, stretching and relaxing in order to manage the synkinesis?

I am thankful for your answer!

Best regards, Gloria

43 Replies

Hi Gloria,

As someone who has bells palsy right side and presented at 13 yrs old I can empathise with your daughter and praise you for seeking the best possible help you can get for her.

I would have a look at the facial palsy uk web site .. .uk. There is so much information on the site I am sure you will find this site very helpful.

In terms of a consultation I would email facial palsy uk directly and get the advice from the staff , I am sure they will be able to direct you and your daughter to the correct specialist.

Sending you my best wishes. xx

SGloria in reply to lillyfields

Hi and thank you so much for your advice! I will do it! I have not find this web site beføre now. In Norway there is no any information about this, and the doctors do not know anything about the treatments.

Have you got help with the Bell's palsy and synkinesis in the UK, and has it helped?

I wish you the best!


Maxk2356 in reply to SGloria

Hi Gloria

I would echo the above advice. I have had right side BP for just over a year with exactly the same type of synkinesis. The most helpful thing for me was to see a neuro physiotherapist as she deals with all kind of facial paralysis including BP. Started seeing her in Nov 2016 and face has improved greatly with small but focussed exercises - over 90% better now.

All the best for your daughter's recovery!


SGloria in reply to Maxk2356

Hi and thank you very much for your answer! It's very nice to hear that you get so much better!! :)

In Norway there are no any educated therapists for BP. Could you give me the name/ telephone number/web/email of your therapist/clinic if it is allowed here on this site?

I have read now that gently massage an streching of facial muscles helps very much, and that the best is if you massage your head, neck and face twice every day for 5-7 minutes. I dont know if it is alowed to write here where I have found that information?

Best regards!


Maxk2356 in reply to SGloria

I think it would be helpful to try and look at as suggested- this has lots of useful information and you can ask questions.

All the very best.

Hi there,

Google youtube for the videos from Quee n Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead for a demonstration of how to do the massages and the stretches. I find it very boring to do but when I do them every day the tightness and pain in my face gets better. You should not do them too early. I started about 4-5 months after th he Bells Palsy happened. The synkenesis was beginning to set in by then as the nerve healed and my face was becoming quite tight. The massages and stretches are definitely helping.

Hi and thank you for your answer! Those videos an tecnics seem to be very good. We will start with them. In July we will start with some 'treatmants' at a clinic in Netherland (Crystal Tuch Clinic) where they lteach you to train your brain to use all mucles propriately. It is a kind mental training. They reccomend the massage and streching you mention and the 'concentration training' every day morning and evening. You can read about that on internet and there are some videos on you tube. I will update you if this mental concentration training helps.

VUrsula in reply to SGloria

Hi Gloria,

I am living in the Netherlands and had Bells Palsy for 6 month now. There are some physiotherapist who can help in recovery and I am going to an acupuncturist as well. Still against all these treatments I started to develop synkinesis same as your daughter. The doctor suggests botox which I will try in 3 month time, but till I still hope for some recovery. I was wondering how your treatment went in the Dutch clinic you mention as I am planning to visit them as well. Hope your daughter is already getting better.

SGloria in reply to VUrsula

Hi Ursula, how are you? Have you been at the clinic?

Reghanalex in reply to SGloria

Please update? Success?

SGloria in reply to Reghanalex

She has been 4 times ( during 10 months) in Netherlands at a clinic, and she has learned there how to relax in the face musculature, so she almost has not any pain now. Everything else is the same as before (esteticaly). But people have different level of complications, so maybe some other people get better estetical results, I dont’ know. The clinic reccomends to relax, massage of the face 2-3 times a day (like you can find on Youtube video from the Britain clinic Victoria) and make as little as more face expressions ( try to keep the face as stabile and kalm as possible). If you have some more questions, just ask me. Best regards, Gloria

Reghanalex in reply to SGloria

Thank you so much for the info! I have an appointment but with Crystal clinic but it takes a long time to get in. I will find the videos and reach out if I have additional questions.

SGloria in reply to Reghanalex

Hi, in the meantime just do massage of the whole face and streching of the tight side as on the Victoria Hospital GB’s video ( only videos for synkinesis, not for other kinds of face problems), I think there are 2 videos , and it helps very much. I have asked Crystal clinic about those videos when I visited them with my daughter, and they said that the videos are very good. Be aware of that you are tight and try to relax as much and as often as possible. Best wishes! 😃

Reghanalex in reply to SGloria

Thanks again - greatly appreciated! I found the videos and I'm starting right away :-)

SGloria in reply to Reghanalex

Very goo, good luck! 👍🏻😃

SGloria in reply to SGloria


SGloria in reply to Reghanalex

How is it going?

Ok, thank you very much! I read everything I find, but nobody reccomend a place or a name of some thetapeut I can contact. But I will continue the reading.

Best wishes to you!


Please look for my response up there, I think the Bell's Palsy could be caused by Lyme Disease - the tick bite.

Hi Maria, I have read your answer bellow. My daughter tok blod tests for Lyme Disease (Borreliose) several times, but she doesn't have any bacteries. She got streptococs in the meantime and urinweisinfection and she got antibiotica for that. It hasn't affected synkinesis. I didn't know that it can be difficult to diagnose Lyme. I will read more about that. Thank you for your answer, I will maybe conctact you later. Best regards to you!

Hi Gloria,

I am so glad that you have had a look at the facial palsy UK web site. I would email them and ask for a list of professional and clinics that would suit your daughter. You would then be able to make an informed choice as to who to see and where to go.

They are very helpful and have a wide range of knowledge.

In terms of my treatment, I presented with Bells Palsy some 37 yrs ago and there was no treatment, a bit of physio . I then spent a life time of being told there is no treatment. That was until the charity facial palsy UK popped up and through them I became aware of different treatments. Sadly treatment in the UK for Bells palsy is very different depending where in the UK you live. Sadly I live in a area where treatment is not given.

I have paid for a session with a special facial therapist , who examined me and gave me specific targeted exercises to do. I do them 4 times a day, without fail.

My improvement has been slow but then I have had facial palsy for along time so getting things moving again after such a long time is more of a long term matter.

I would also just keep a check on the twitter account of facial palsy uk they have bits and bobs of information and related subjects.

Sending you and your daughter my very best wishes xx

SGloria in reply to lillyfields

Hi and thank you a lot!

It sounds very good that you make an improvement!!! :))) I'm glad to hear it!!! I hope really that there is a hope now for all people with these new theories/ researching and treatments.

I am still reading about BP as much as I can. There are many good advices on UK-web sites that I didn't know about. I have sent some emails to some support web sites and therapeuts in UK about a consultancy/treatment, but I have not receive any anwer from any therapist yet. I hope that someone will answer me and make an appointment with my daugher.

I believe now that the massage every day, 2-3 times, strethcing and relaxing of the facial muscles also every day, can eliminate synkinesis and recover mucles. I will make a plan/calender to my daughter with a program for these things. I will also make a list og the food/drinks she has to take every day to get stronger immunitet: 1 small piece of dark chocolate, 1 tea spoon honey, a little bit cynamon, ginger tea, olive oil/ fish oil, onion/garlic, vegetables, fruits, white meat etc. And tomorrow I will buy a fine massage oil (etheric) that smells relaxing, so she can use it to massage before sleeping.

And if somebody answers me, I will take a tour to the UK with my daughter for the exercises you mention.

I wish you the best results and 100% recovery!!



Looks like your daughter will be getting the help and advice that she will need. With Bells Palsy progress can sometimes be very slow, patience and more patience is need. I wish you both success xx

SGloria in reply to lillyfields

I have got answer from a clinic in Netherland. They need some pictures of my daughters face, så they will answer all my questions. They have a theory that synkinesis is possible to heal even meny years after onset. They recommend massage every day as long as you are recovering. And they show you some exercises you should do 3 times every day.


Great news !!!!!

I hope your daughter sees great progress and I hope she has great results


SGloria in reply to lillyfields

I hope so! I wish all people to get healthy . Just keep motivation.

Gloria, I thought acupuncture and moxibustion from a China trained practitioner worked for my facial palsy after a brain tumour. Both seem slightly bizarre to western minds but I believed in the practitioner which I think is important. Do not think improvements stop - I think it is like climbing a hill - get to the top and there is another ridge to aim for no plateus in improvement. Keep at it the improvements in my case got smaller and less viable you just had to look harder to spot the improvement.

I had to contort my face to get my eye to blink. Now with a bit of concentration I can do it without to much of a grimace. I used to slap my face gently sitting in traffic jams to stimulate the nerves, and I have started doing it again [plenty of jams in Edinburgh] this method is my own idea, I do not say it works but at least you feel you are trying to do something!

I suggest you tell your daughter never give up. Looking in a mirror [I never used to], it is hard to spot my palsy, until I grin and it is a bit lopsided. if you want me to tell you more

Hi and thank you very much for your answer! I have read it and it is interesting! I will answer you properly in about 10 days when I am back at home (I am on the trip now). Best regards, Gloria 😃

Gloria, I just joined here to respond your question. Your daughter could have LYME DISEASE. The Bell's Palsy is one of the symptoms. I have friends in Norway with Lyme Disease, they call it Borreliose, because the bacteria that causes the infection is named like that, while the name Lyme comes from a city in the US and Europeans don't want to use that name.

The point is I had Bell's Palsy for long until I had antibiotic and anti-parasitic treatments long term. You need to see if your daughter responds well to antibiotics and see if she has more symptoms?

Unfortunately testing for Lyme Disease is difficult, I think Germany has good Doctors that could be of more help. Meanwhile I recommend you to get in Facebook and look for Lyme Disease organizations in Europe that can help you to test your daughter before doing any surgery.

I would love to know if you got this message, you can look for me in Facebook too let me know you are the person from the forum and i could try to get you in contact with people in Europe. This is my FB wall

May you all get better.

did the clinic in Netherlands work or are their relaxing techniques just like the Queen Victoria in London. Has she managed to eliminate the blink problem and if so could you tell me how as I am currently struggling with it. Thank you

Hi, I don’t know whether they have the same program/techniques. My daughter has been only in Netherlands, but the videos the Victoria Hospital has published on youtube are very good and the massage is quite similar as the Netherland’s. In Netherlands they do not have any stretching. In Netherlands they do a special 1-hours face massage, deep massage, but you can not do it by your selv. My daughter has no changes except that she doesn’t have pain in the face. She still has synkinesis and we can’t see any difference after the finished program there. The clinic said to her that she can not be fully improved, but that she can be better. The clinic means that her face has become more simetric, but we can’t see the difference. My daughter has learned there how to relax her face muscles, and now she is aware of tenses in the face, so she koncentrates on that and just relax her face muscles. I think that is the most important ting. You have to do it many time every day, and you have to do massage at least 2-3 times a day. I’m sorry the late answer! I hope that you get a good progress and inform us about your techniques. Best wishes to you! 😃

I am now seeing a specialist physio (trained by Queen Victoria hospital) doing massage and stretching very similar to the videos plus specific very small movement exercises - I am now doing one exercise which may help your daughter - it doesn't sound much but I find it hard - you stare into a shaving style mirror place you index finger lightly on side of mouth which moves then very very slowly and minutely close the affected eye do the movement 5 times repeating the exercise 3 times twice daily

Prior to exercise stretch eyelid 3 times holding for 10 secs. You have to make sure neck and mouth stay still

Hi and thank you very much for advise! I will tell it to my daughter. It sounds very good, and I hope it will help both of you.

I don’ t understand some things:

do you mean corner of the affected side of the mouth? Should she press lightly there just to feel if it moves and to have controll? Or should she press to disturb moving?

Can you explane ‘minutely close’, do you mean that every closing (movement) of the affected eye should last 1 minute?

Stretch eyelid? Like on the youtube-video?

Thank you for reply - the exercise is put your finger at the corner of the mouth that is affected.

Then making sure there is no movement with the cheek mouth or neck try to close the affected eye , it will be a very small movement - you open and close eye 5 times repeating exercise 2/3 times whichever is easier you do this as part of exercise regime twice per day. Do not do big movement only very small ones so brain gets used to the movement. If I could ask you what 9 lines of her face does your daughter concentrate on as l have been told the clinic s massage removes the line down the side of nose please. I have also been trying visualisation but l am not very good at it. I have a sheet of exercises l am doing which my Physiotherapist goes through with me but they have to be emailed. Valerie

Hi, thank you so much! Is it possible to get it on email? I think we will make an apointment in GB. Can you maybe sent info about your terapist? And could you sent the sheet of the exercise. We will just compare with advise my daugter has got. She doesn’t have any exercises from Netherland on paper, they do not that type of excersises. My email: Thank you very much in advance!

Will email - there is a plastic surgeon in Leeds Mark Liddington who runs facial clinic at the General infirmary but he does take private patients lf you are interested l can get you his email address. NHS treatment takes a long time to get

Thank you! I will talk to my daughter and give you an answer.

If you could let me know massage points from crystal clinic please as l am trying to learn how to completely relax my face as I run regularly and if their massage techniques is easier by concentrating it might help me . Thank you

I will ask my daughter to help with this. And I will send it to you if she has something. As I know, she has not get anything written on paper, she has been just explaned and shown how to do it and where to massage an what to think. I know that she has to try to not make much face movement generaly. And she has to try to imagine that she smiles and imagine that mouth corners move in the right direction, that she can lift eyebrow etc. She seems that it is difficult. Could you send me your email addresse. Now I am not with her, but in 5 days when I meet her, I will talk to her.

With the exercises and massage l am emailing to you after two weeks l could very slightly move my eyebrow - l have emailed you the exercises xxx

Ok. I have not get the email.

Massaging and relaxing the face is a great beginning. Later, more advanced exercises are added. As someone said before, these are very slow micromovements. You are retraining the brain to separate the muscles from moving together. The specific exercises added are prescribed by the occupational therapist according to where on the face the synkinesis is most pronounced. So, best to see a therapist if you can. Acupuncture is great as well, but make sure it is done without electrical stimulation. That can make synkinesis worse.

SGloria in reply to Tess99

Thank you!

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