In an interview Angelina Jolie said that she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy last year. This health condition, which affects the facial muscles is although usually unheard of, is more common than you know.
It is estimated that around 40,000 people are affected by Bell’s palsy every year. And it is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 to 40 years; although it can affect anyone. Some other famous people who have struggled with this disease are singer Carnie Wilson and actors Pierce Brosnan and George Clooney.
This particular disease disrupts messages traveling from the brain to the facial muscles. This can lead to weakness or paralysis in that area – affecting a person’s smile, or might prevent the person from closing their eyes. Usually occurring on one side of the face, there have been cases wherein the disease has impacted on both sides of the face as well.
Doctors are not yet sure what causes this condition. While some physicians attribute it to a viral infection, there’s hardly any definite data to prove this. The good news, however is, that in most cases the condition is temporary. Symptoms start to subside in a few weeks to a few months.
Jolie however, gave the credit to acupuncture for helping her recover from the illness. But again, there’s negligible data to suggest that this therapeutic method can actually help with Bell’s palsy symptoms.
It is believed that acupuncture is based on practice spanning thousands of years, and the belief is that it helps with pain conditions. There have been some cases where acupuncture has been tried on patients suffering from Bell’s Palsy at NYU. Steroids and antiviral medication is also used to help patients recover from the condition.