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Posted by: Amanda Clegg, 15 May 2012 11:18PM
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Bell's Palsy - does anyone have any experience with massage and aromatherapy here?

I have a new client booked in next week who has just been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, which he thinks is stress related as well as possibly to do with over use of neck/shoulder muscles and poor posture playing guitar & studying. So far he's been told by his GP that there's no known cause and no known cure - so that's positive :) ! and been given a low dose of steroids. Any ideas/experience?


Mike Colquhoun
16 May 2012 11:16AM

Hi Amanda I'm sure you will have already googled and found the sufferers association; those people with a condition like this are highly motivated to trawl through pages of rubbish to find the gems so are normally the best source of general information. So to the specific of what can you do? Having seen your many kind and helpful posts I know you are an experienced and knowledgeable therapist so will skip the basic and go to the more complex. The Atlas is liable to be moved, a whiplash, to check:- the ends of the lateral processes should be just below the ears in the gap between the jaw and the mastoid process and opposite each other, they should be slightly tender when you press on them [check on healthy patients with no neck problems so as you know how they should feel]. If they are not oppsite eachother and you want to know what to do that is absolutely safe and a massage technique not an osteopathic one then email or call me. Also facial bones may well have moved. This leads to some of the symptoms you will undoutably see of fallen facial muscles, drooling etc: to correct these is also safe and simple. Basically you support one bone while the Patient winks or grimaces, smiles or chews. Minute movements of these bones can have quite substantial effects on the muscles. If you have some Galbanum you could let your patient sniff the bottle top, if they really like the smell then they should be given a few drops to sniff daily, do not be tempted to use it in a blend on them and definitely not in a lotion for them to take home and use daily. A sniff is sufficient. Hope this helps. Yours Mike
Mai Brain
16 May 2012 8:54PM

Hi, I had Bell's palsy myself years ago and I did not have any steroids given to me and after 5 weeks I was almost back to normal. At the time I did not have any experience of massage but my face felt very tender so I would not have had massage on my face anyhow. I read that it is inflammation of a facial nerve so I would have thought if you intend to massage it would inflame it more at the moment. I had had some dental work and also I read that it could be caused by having the window open when in the car so being in a draft, and also stress, it came on suddenly and did take time to go away, some people recover completely other have some weakness in the facial muscle. Someone else I knew was given some facial exercises to do as well as steroids and she was fine after a few weeks. I would wait until the inflammatory stage is over before massaging his face.
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