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Acupuncture with deqi can improve muscle recovery in Bell’s palsy

Acupuncture that elicits the sensation of deqi can improve facial muscle recovery, disability and quality of life for patients with Bell’s palsy. In a randomised controlled trial, Chinese researchers compared the efficacy of weak versus strong acupuncture stimulation in a group of 338 patients presenting with unilateral facial-nerve weakness within 168 hours of symptom onset. Patients were randomly assigned to a deqi or control group. Both groups received acupuncture based on TCM principles. Acupoints included Yangbai GB-14 (affected side), Dicang ST-4 (affected side), Jiache ST-6 (affected side), Xiaguan ST-7 (affected side), Yifeng SJ-17 (affected side) and Hegu L.I.-4 (contralateral). In the deqi group, needles were manipulated manually until deqi was achieved, whereas in the control group, needles were inserted without any manipulation. Both groups received twenty 30-minute treatment sessions (five sessions per week for four weeks). All patients also received prednisone as a basic treatment. At six-month follow-up, facial nerve function, disability and quality of life were all found to be significantly better in patients in the deqi group than in the control group. In addition, the more intense deqi sensations were associated with better therapeutic results. (Effectiveness of strengthened stimulation during acupuncture for the treatment of Bell palsy: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ. 2013 Apr 2;185(6):473-8).

Quelle: www.jcm.co.uk

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