A more intense type of acupuncture, known as de qi acupuncture, has been proven more effective at treating Bell's palsy than regular acupuncture.
Acupuncture is the process of stimulating specific points of the body using various methods - the most common of which is with thin, sterile needles. The therapy is commonly split into two types - traditional Chinese and medical. Chinese acupuncture looks to restore the body's balance of energy, or qi, and traditional therapists will work to unblock the flow of energy through acupuncture.
Medical acupuncture focuses more on evidence regarding the anatomy and physiology without considering principles such as qi or yin and yang. Both types of therapy are becoming widely recognised within the medical profession as more and more studies yield positive results.
A recent study took place at the Key Laboratory of Neurological Diseases of Chinese Ministry of Education in Wuhan, Hubei. The research looked into the effectiveness of acupuncture and de qi acupuncture on patients suffering from Bell's palsy - a condition that results in temporary facial paralysis that can last for several weeks.
The results showed that de qi acupuncture (which involves the gentle wiggling of the needles) was more effective than regular acupuncture, with 94% of respondents recovering full facial function within 6 months, compared to 77% of those treated with regular acupuncture.
De qi is a term often used to describe the sensation that occurs when the acupuncture needle is inserted, usually numbness or tingling. If this sensation is not achieved by inserting the needles, manual manipulation can be used to achieve this.
In traditional Chinese acupuncture, achieving de qi is essential to achieve the full benefit of the therapy. The lead researcher of this study, Dr. Wei Wang believes that de qi should be included in clinical guidelines for all acupuncture treatment.
To find out more about Acupuncture and to find a therapist near you, please follow the link.
View and comment on the original Complementary Medical Association article.
Share this article with a friend