Facialis - Bell's palsy

Bell 's palsy - facial paralysis – Facialis

Bell 's palsy, facial nerve palsy, is a problem caused by both external factors (such as climate – exposure to wind and cold) and internal factors such as stress and as a consequence of stroke. As the problem affects the facial nerve, in both cases there is a difficulty in performing certain facial expressions, forming tears or the inability to fully close the eyelid. It is advisable to address the problem of Bell 's Palsy as soon
as possible after the onset or the outbreak of the problem. The closer to the onset, the better the success rate of the treatment - which will rise dramatically.

The term Bell 's Palsy, also called Facial paralysis , is a facial nerve injury.
A facial nerve injury causes muscle weakness. Facial nerve paralysis may also occur as a result of a stroke.
Bell 's palsy occurs almost always on one side of the face. The facial nerve involved is also called the 7th cranial nerve, and originates on the skull, below the ear. There are two such nerves - each innerves (or stimulates) another side. The role of these nerves is for closing the eye, smiling and other facial expressions. The facial nerve also sends a branch to the lachrymal gland, which secretes tears in the eyes.
When the facial nerve is injured, there is injury to messages transmitted from the brain towards the facial muscles. This injury involves different signs which all are located in the face:

The mouth smile is not symmetrical;
Dry eyes or constant tears;
Inability to close the eyes, or a partially closed eye;
Sometimes there is damage to the sense of taste because the facial nerve sends electrical signals also to the tongue;
Pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in certain areas inside in the path of a nerve;
Inability to whistle;
A fixed, dropped angle of the mouth;
Pain in the ear or the jaw;

Acupuncture, moxa, Chinese herbs, dietary advice according to Chinese principles and lifestyle modifications have proven effective in treating the problem of facial paralysis. Acupuncture increases the flow of energy through the meridians located in the face. A Chinese physician knows that he must strengthen the blood to counter the effects of wind and cold. This is mostly done with a combination of Chinese herbs
and nutritional counseling (see detailed tips regarding Chinese nutrition on this site). Acupuncture treatment also has an anti-inflammatory effect particularly in the case of inflammatory facial nerve.

Often the therapist will prefer to use acupuncture needles on the "healthy" side of the face and thus affect the problem according to the principle of musical tuning fork. Acupuncture causes the movement of blood, strengthens the immune system and activates the nervous system. In many cases nerve problems like facialis are treated with Chinese medicinal herbs that affect the infrastructure which when disordered caused the problem of facialis to break out.



Bell 's palsy ( facial paralysis ) is a condition that is usually gone after either a few weeks or up to several months. Acupuncture treatments and herbs plus lifestyle changes or modifications can accompany the western treatment or improve cases where Western treatments failed. In some cases a full recovery and a cure can’t be accomplished and Bell 's palsy becomes fixed.


 A map of the facial muscles and the nerves affiliated with their specific action, and exercises for personal use for acceleration of healing the disorder can be found on many websites dedicated to this syndrome, see 2 samples following.

Press here for general info and exercises to hasten healing of the disorder.

Press here for a map of facial muscles and their actions.

 More information and exercises to do at your convinence you may find in the following:

When its time to start exercising, read the section for longtimers, and follow the same principles, but for these exercises:

• Sniffle. Wrinkle nose. Flare nostrils.

• Curl upper lip up and raise and protrude upper lip.

• Compress lips together. Pucker lips & attempt to whistle.

• Smile without showing teeth; then smile showing teeth.

• Try moving your lips into a small smile slowly. Then gently pucker slowly using equal strength from both sides.

• Draw angle of mouth upward so as to deepen furrow from side of nose to side of mouth.

• Harden (wrinkle) the chin; “stick out” the chin (like a boxer).

• Using your index finger and thumb pull the corners of your lips in toward the center. Slowly and smoothly push out and up into a smile. Continue the movement up to the cheekbone. Use a firm pressure.

• Placing 4 fingertips on the eyebrow rub using a firm stroke up to the hairline. Return downward to the eyebrow. Do the same type of massage in a circular motion on your cheeks and chin, and outward to your ear.

• Try to close the eye slowly and gently, without letting your mouth pull up or your eyebrow move downward.

• Raise eyebrows and hold for 10 -15 seconds (watch out for synkinesis – hold the brow at a point before the corner of your mouth starts to move or your cheek tries to help). Wrinkle forehead.

• Frown and draw eyebrows downward.

• Gently wink with one eye and then the other to the best of your ability. Don’t push it.

• Open eyes widely, but without involving your eyebrow. Stop if you see any inappropriate muscle actions.

Do not chew gum – it exercises the wrong muscles, and may promote synkinesis.

Do try to chew food using both sides of your mouth (at least when you’re eating alone). This will help maintain normal patterns when movement returns.

For Eye Closure

Bell’s Phenomenon may occur. It actually performs a good function, as it helps protect the non-closing eye. With Bells Phenomenon the eyeball turns upward as we attempt to close the eye. So you can think the eye is closed when it actually is not. Have someone observe you while you try closing the eye. If you have Bell’s Phenomenon, concentrate on looking downward toward the floor as you practice eyelid closure.

For Longtimers

With longstanding cases of Bells palsy mental work is half the battle. You’re likely to be dealing with residuals such as synkinesis, cross-wiring, hypertonic muscles and spasms. For some people, the muscles have had time to develop inappropriate movements. These movements must be unlearned, and correctly coordinated actions slowly relearned. Muscles that are holding other muscles captive have to be retrained in order to free-up other muscles to move correctly. With slower recoveries from Bell’s palsy, synkinesis, hypertonic muscles and spasms become more likely. The basic idea is to slowly recreate the brain-to-nerve-to-muscle routine. At first the goal is to regain the capability of doing correct movements voluntarily (while mentally focusing on the action). Over a period of time (and hard work) these movements may finally become automatic, natural movements and expressions. Patience and diligence are key – it’s a slow process, and really does have to be worked on daily (or as close to daily as life’s responsibilities and human nature allows).

To relax the cheek: (if the side of your mouth is pulling up and to the side, or your cheek feels tight)
Put your thumb inside your cheek at an angle toward the center of your ear. Grasp the outside of your cheek with your fingers, and pull down and forward (yes, it may hurt just a bit). Hold it for a minimum of 10 seconds; up to 30 seconds is good. Shift the position toward the center and repeat the stretch & hold. Shift still further toward the center and repeat. Shift the position to grasp at an angle from the jaw and pull forward and up; hold. Shift a bit toward the center below your lower lip and repeat.

If you find a thick or sore point as you are doing the exercises or massaging, apply and hold pressure at that spot for 15-20 seconds to help relax the muscle or clear a spasm.

To help isolate eye and mouth movements
• Close and compress your lips (lightly!). While doing this, observe in the mirror the unwanted eye muscle movement. Release, and then lightly compress your lips again. Maintain the lip compression at a point just before your eyelid starts to become involved, and focus on relaxing the muscles around the eye. Very small movements at first – remember that with time you will be able to take the movement farther without involving your eye. Have patience.

• Pucker your lips, using the same technique as for compressing them.

• Snarl, using the same technique.

• Smile (again, start small!). Watch your eye area, particularly the lower lid. Find the point that it starts to move. Then concentrate on the smile in your mind first, let your mouth follow the thought, and hold at the point where the eyelid is not yet involved. Also watch the neck muscle and don’t let it pop out.

• Practice speaking in front of a mirror, repeating words that use M, B, F and P while keeping your eyelids open. In the beginning, speak softly and slowly.

• Raise your eyebrows evenly on both sides. Stop when the corner of your mouth starts to move, hold for 15 seconds while keeping the muscles around your mouth relaxed.

• Stretch the neck muscle by tilting your head to the side and slightly back, hold for 10 seconds. Do it again to the other side.

** If you have any cervical spine problems, speak to your doctor before doing the neck exercise **

• Gently open your eye as widely as you can without raising your eyebrow or letting your lower lid pull up. Hold for 15 seconds.

• tarting with lips slightly open, mentally concentrate on relaxing the chin dimple. Do the same thing with lips closed.

• Pull your lower lip down (take it forward and down in a circular move) evenly on both sides. Don’t let the good side take control of the effort. Keep the eye open, and keep the neck muscle relaxed. Hold 15 seconds.

• Massage your face (both sides) using firm circular motions. Start in the center and work your way out. Massage with the circular motion at your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Then follow the jaw line from your mouth outward as well as from your chin outward.


All rights reserved to Effi Kfir L.Ac

054-4804538 - Please call to schedule an appointment or for a telephone consultation.




I was born in Israel, in the city of Tel Aviv, where I was raised and educated. I served in the army in the Nachal unit as a tank commander and studied in Tel Aviv University at the Social Science Faculty, receiving a B.A. degree in Economics and Accounting.

During my studies I established a company for T.V. and Film Productions and in the next few years I took part in some feature films, T.V. news, and documentaries in Israel and Europe. Within that exciting period I became very interested in other cultures. Eventually I went for a 2 years journey to South East Asia and Australia. The Asian part of the journey went through India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Japan. It was a very special, free and educating period of time for me in which people from different walks of life shared their humanity and experiences with the strange and curious traveler that I was (and probably still am...). One of those "coincidences" was meeting with Dr. Yoshiharu Ikeda in Shodo Shima (an island off the Japanese Sea and Shikoku). Dr. Ikeda is a veteran practitioner of Chinese Medicine. He became the sole responsible for my unexpected exposure to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine at his home.

That meeting was rather dramatic by its effect and led to a few major events in the years that followed. First, 4 years of studying Chinese Medicine in San Francisco at "ACTCM" - "The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine", where I’d completed a Master Program of Traditional Chinese Medicine (while working for a living as a diamond dealer...). The college, probably one of the best in the nation, had given us a very deep level of qualification in Acupuncture, but mainly in the much more sophisticated field of Chinese Herbal medicine.

After passing the Californian State Board Exam I received the Californian Physician’s license. Soon after, I passed the exam of "NCCAOM" - "The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine", and received a practitioner’s license Dipl. Ac in another 30 States in the U.S.

I felt that the end of formal studies in San Francisco, including 4 years of working with patients at the college public clinic, was only the beginning. It had called for more experience. So the natural move was to go to China and Japan for a specialization period of almost a year on the treatment of Internal Medicine disorders and with a special emphasize on Gynecological and Obstetric problems . The training occurred at two hospitals in China and one in Japan. In China, at the Chengdu #1 Hospital in the south - where the treatment consists mainly of Chinese Herbal Medicine & at the Tian Jin #1 Hospital in the north, near Beijing - where the treatment is based on Acupuncture (in the emergency rooms as well). In Japan it was the Tsukuba Hospital near Tokyo. There the treatment is given traditionally by blind doctors and is based on Japanese Medicine.

The exposure to the clinics at these three hospitals, treating so many patients with Chinese Medicine (1,700 beds in Chengdu #1 Hospital...) contributed greatly to my confidence in the qualities and scope of Chinese Medicine and to my expertise as a practitioner. Press here to see the Photo Gallery.

To seal off the qualification and learning period I finally went back to the island of Shodo Shima to study the unique Japanese Acupuncture techniques under the personal guidance of Dr. Ikeda... yes, the same one whom it had all begun with 5 years earlier at his home. These Japanese techniques differ very much from the stronger Chinese style Acupuncture. The Japanese, being smaller in size and relatively delicate people, developed a very gentle, pain-free and yet very powerful needling style, which I respect and use frequently.

After all that massive training period I was ready to work on my own at last. So I went back to California and started to work as a physician at the "ACTCM" public clinic in San Francisco. But the wish to share all that great knowledge and experience in my homeland got the upper hand. I decided to get back to Israel after years abroad. I’d established my clinic in Tel Aviv and started teaching Chinese Medicine at a local College and at a special course of Chinese Medicine for M.D. doctors given by the Bar-Ilan University. A year later, the need for a Hebrew textbook had pushed me to write and publish the book "Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine - Materia Medica" which is used as a textbook but also is welcomed by the general public. Later, I worked at the Tel Aviv Ichilov Hospital in the Department of Complimentary Medicine, known as "MALRAM". Press here to see Magazine Clips.

After a few years, I lived for a while at Moshav Sede Eliezer in the Upper Galilee near Rosh Pinna and established the second clinic in the Galilee. Not long after, I published my second book "Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine - Formulas" which is used as an advanced textbook by students and practitioners. The 2 books are sold by Amazon after they were accepted as the second Hebrew books to be sold there (after the Bible...). During the year 2014 these 2 books will be offered to practitioners and the general public in a digital app version.

The time had called for another big trip. I had started from France and down to the Basque Country in Spain and later to Portugal. The idea was to go from the colonial states and arrive in the "New World" - The South American continent, by the sail. This did not work out because I had not found the right sailboat in Tenerife where I had arrived mainly for this purpose. Instead I had taken a flight directly to Buenos Aires, Argentina. From there mainly by buses to Ushuaia at the tip of the continent and then to Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama.


After a few more years of working in my Tel Aviv clinic, I had taken on along a few years to work as a Chinese Medical International Specialist aboard 3 American Cruise Ships. The Celebrity "Solstice", The Royal Caribbean "Liberty of the Seas" and the Celebrity "Summit". This was a most demanding practice. I had treated guests, staff and crew from over 70 different nationalities for various conditions with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. If you wish to learn more about my life aboard the cruise ships, behind the scenes of the glamorous front, please press here and read my telenovela "Solstice my Love".


This period was by far a very interesting one and extremely challenging. To this day I keep receiving thank you letters and very positive testimonials from people I had treated onboard. They are to be seen at my clinic upon request. Press here to see onboard patients' Testimonials.

Back from the stormy oceans to Israel I practice now at my clinic in the heart of Tel Aviv close to Ichilov Hospital and Weitzman City Mall.

On this informative website you'll find a few common clinical problems and the unique Chinese medical view about them. The medical issues discussed are under the section of Syndromes. You may also find some very  Useful Tips.

It is important to mention that the information offered in this website is not a substitute for a full face to face diagnosis done at a clinic of Effi Kfir L.Ac. A full body diagnosis is a very special process and its findings may prevent if treated right away many problems along one's life. The Diagnosis is very personal and unique to every person with his own private history and habits. Only after the diagnosing process is completed the treatment with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Chinese Diet and Changes in Lifestyle can be determined and employed successfully.


As a service to the community Effi Kfir L.Ac is giving a special preventative treatment against CVA (Stroke) to anyone of his patients, regardless of the problem they come to treat.


Effi Kfir L.Ac will be happy to share with you his vast International clinical experience as well as his life experience while listening fully with his ears and heart to your health needs.

For appointments or for an initial consultation please call 054-4804538 and start feeling better today!





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