Neurological issues like shingles, Bell's palsy and certain kinds of neuropathy often show up with the speed of a sudden summer thunderstorm. One moment everything is going along with the normalcy that so easily allows us to take life for granted, then with an electric flash suddenly everything changes and we are all too well aware that something is not right.
While shingles is clearly linked to the Herpes Zoster virus that lays dormant at the base of our vertebral nerve roots after we've recovered from Chicken Pox, the link between viruses and Bell's palsy has not been conclusively proven. Modern bio-medicine does not know why people get Bell's palsy, but that does not stop them from attempting to treat the condition with anti-viral drugs.
Both shingles and Bell's palsy tend to resolve on their own over time. But, with treatment the process can be speeded up. More importantly, for both of these conditions there is a small percent of the population that has ongoing neurological issues. And that is something you want to avoid.
Why use acupuncture and Chinese herbs for shingles and Bell's palsy?
Unlike the modern bio-medicine model, which only looks at the “pathogen” affecting your system, Chinese medicine looks to find where you have some kind of weakness or imbalance in your body's ability to self-regulate. We are not as concerned with the “invading pathogen” as we are with how it is that your body's homo-dynamic system of self-regulation has gone askew, thus opening the door to the mischief caused by viruses, bacteria, or even your own endocrine or nervous system.
While Western medicine wants to get rid of the symptoms using pharmaceutical agents of microbial murder, those us practicing Chinese medicine view symptoms as the body's best currently available response to regulating itself back into a healthy balance. Shut down the immune system's response, which is what steroids do (this is a popular treatment for Bell's palsy) and you rob the body of an opportunity to strengthen itself via the process of fully carrying out the healing process.
Using acupuncture and Chinese herbs both can help the body to fight off the pathogenic influence and at the same time work to strengthen the body's own homo-dynamic system of self regulation. Killing off invaders is one thing, but encouraging the body to do this on its own, and become stronger in the process will be your best protection against future occurrences.
When is the best time to get acupuncture for shingles or Bell's palsy?
As with some many issues, the sooner you treat shingles or Bell's palsy the better. Seeking out help at the very beginning stages is best. Don't wait until you have lingering on-going issues. Should you have the initial signs of shingles, which includes a headachy flu-like feeling, metallic taste in the mouth, general feeling of malaise and an outbreak of red sores that at first you might think was a bug bite, then get yourself right off to an acupuncturist. Sometimes acupuncture at the very beginning of the process will stop shingles dead in their tracks.
Likewise, if you notice that you have lost some control of the facial muscles on one side of your face. Also possibly accompanied by ringing in the ears or tingling on one side of the face. Then again, getting immediate help from your local acupuncturist is the of vital importance.
Let them know when you call that you think you are experiencing the very beginning stages of one of these illnesses, and any practitioner worth their salt will see to it that you are seen as quickly as possible.
While shingles and Bell's palsy are usually self-limiting conditions. Getting acupuncture and taking an appropriate herbal formulation will help to speed up the recover process and strengthen your immune system, making it less likely that you will have lingering complications.