Acupuncture to Treat Bell Palsy: The Stronger, the Better
Patients with Bell palsy who received acupuncture treatment that achieved a state of de qi, or intense stimulation, experienced a four times greater improvement in facial function (OR=4.16; 95% CI, 2.23-7.78) than patients who underwent less intense acupuncture. Results of the prospective multicentre randomized controlled trial were published February 25 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
De qi is a combination of sensations stimulated by manipulation of acupuncture needles — soreness, tingling, coolness, warmth and others radiating at the insertion points — but has not been validated by randomized controlled trials. Intensity of each sensation was rated by patients using a visual analog scale.
Achieving de qi also resulted in significant improvements in disability assessment (differences of least squares means 9.80, 95% CI, 6.29-13.30) and quality of life (differences of least squares means 29.86, 95% CI, 22.33–37.38).
Find the full text of the study here.