Facial Palsy UK
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Bells palsy

I am 14 years out of Bells Palsy. I went the route of valtrex, MRI, prednisone, etc. I had to tape my eye shut for 1 year and was out of work for 7 weeks. The things that helped me the most was cranial sacram work through my chiropractor who was very familiar with nerve issues and reflexology because of the nerve center in your feet. I also did facial exercises every day twice daily. I would say I’m 80% back to where I was and I believe that that’s where I will stay. However, I still have nerve pain in my head and neck area at times and visit the chiropractor twice a month for cranial sacram work. My mouth still droops a tiny bit and I have a bit of paralysis in my left eye. I am still self conscious about smiling because one side of my mouth cannot smile. I’m not a believer in much medication but one needs to do what makes one feel better. Do your research and try different things. Don’t just rely on what doctors say. Be your own advocate. Hope this is helpful. If anyone has any info on correcting the smile issue I wouldn’t love to know.

6 Replies

Hi, I am so in agreement with all you have done and said. You have the right attitude and tried alternative methods. I had Palsy after an eleven hour operation to remove a tumour. My attitude is that I disagree with people who say recovery plateaus out. in my opinion recovery continues but the incremental improvements get smaller and more difficult to spot. One route you have not explored is Traditional Chinese Medicine. Immediately after the operation I tried the electro stimulation. I thought the chart reminded me of acupuncture points, except the chart had large blobs of colour while accupuncture points are so precise. My next door neighbour had trained in China.

After a consultation which seemed to include a lot of questions about me rather than my problem, I started a course of acupuncture and moxibustion. Fortunately I believed in my neighbour otherwise it all seems so strange to a western mind. After a few courses instead of no sensation my face moved on to feeling numb. I have not fully recovered but I still do my self invented exercises to stimulate my nerves.

On the downside I still tape my eyeshot at night, and wonder what my smile is like. Looking in a mirror is not a problem I no longer see my eye staring back at me and I can Blink, and even cry in the cinema.

I particularly liked the moxibustion method - it is so bizarre but it helped me, with sensations spreading across my face. Chinese medicine is Holistic so what is prescribed for one person might not be prescribed for you. I could not understand why he was using acupuncture on my feet [fortunately I had a clean pair of socks on!] but one reason was in the general discussion before treatment I said I lacked energy. I might have crawled to the appointment, but I flew back the change was so pronounced!

I sign off my e-mails Keep Smiling, mine might be a little squint but it is the thought that counts


I did do acupuncture along with moxibustion and electro stimulation. Unfortunately it did not help me. The best thing for me was cranial sacram treatments to help relax the tight muscles in my head. I still receive those treatments today.


It just shows how each person has to find what works for them. I think Western Doctors are too high bound by stats - it works in 89% of cases so it should work for you. Chinese medicine looks at the whole picture, and what works for you might not be appropriate for anyone else. Each treatment is taylor made for the individual.


Did the cranial oesteopath help with the pain in your head? I debated going to a cranial oesteopath, but then my treatment at a specialist clinic started, so I decided to give I a go first. The support I get from the nhs is good. I’m 9 months down the line from onset. The pain is the main problem, plus ongoing paralysis problems with eye closure and mouth issues. I have improved a lot, but i have been told improvement can be made over time, but it is likely I will not fully recover. So I am wondering, is it worth the additional cost. How many sessions have you had to get get results? Are there any unwanted side effects to treatment?


After 14 years I still have cranial sacram treatments from my chiropractor. It helps relax all the tight muscles in my head. Also a cranial massage is wonderful. They say it takes at least 2 years for nerves to recover but as I said I recovered about 80%. I also tried acupuncture but it didn’t really help me. Everyone is different & responds differently to treatments. There are absolutely no side effects to cranial sacram treatments. For me it was my saving grace. Good luck to you and hang in there. It will get better


Sounds like it can’t do any harm. It’s somethingI will do when my clinic appointments die down. 14 years sounds like a long time. It is reassuring to know that it can be effectively managed long term, as I have been told to not expect a full recovery in any case. Wishing you all the best!


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