Acupuncture and Herbs for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Chief Complaint: Facial Nerve Pain
Western Diagnosis: Trigeminal Neuralgia
Medical History: This is the 3rd bout of TN in the last 2 years. Patient takes a ferry to and from work which is cold and windy. Patient also has a history of injury to the face, which is suspected as cause of current problem. Patient is slightly overweight, with slightly high blood pressure.
Questioning exam: No symptoms other than pain in the right cheek, worse with chewing, smiling, and laughing.
Pulse exam: Pulse is tight and wiry.
Tongue exam: Tongue is slightly dusky, redder on tip. Thicker fur.
OM Diagnosis: Qi and Blood Blockage in the Stomach Channel (St. 3 – 4).
Treatment Principle: Unblock Qi & Blood in the Stomach Channel.
Point Prescription: Balance Method: Upon palpation, the LI channel on the opposite side of the pain is tender around LI 6, 7, and 8, which corresponds to the level of the face that hurts when mapping the head on the forearm. Also used were P 3, 6, and 8 on the same side of pain (P channel balances the St channel); Liver 1,5, and 8 on the same side of pain (Liver for his wiry, tight pulse); and St 36 and 42 on the same side of pain. All the channels needles create a yin yang balance.
Herbal Formula: Mobility 3 from Health Concerns – treats cold type pain.
Lifestyle Prescription: Cover face when in cold, windy conditions.
Results: Pain is reduced to zero seconds after LI points are inserted. After leaving the clinic, pain returns at a significantly lower intensity after each treatment. I am still working with this patient, they have had 5 sessions, and I am seeing him 3 times a week.