So the topics we are going to cover today are facial motor points. Facial cupping and Gua Sha and derma rolling and protocols for treating specific conditions.
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Hi, my name’s Michelle Gellis. I am an acupuncture physician practicing in sunny Florida, and today I am going to do a presentation. This is part two of a two part. Presentation on an overview of treating neuromuscular facial conditions. I teach a two-day class on this subject, and I am going to be presenting some of the highlights for you today.
So if we can go to the first slide.
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So the topics we are going to cover today are facial motor points. Facial cupping and Gua Sha and derma rolling and protocols for treating specific conditions. In part one, I went through, Scalp, acupuncture and submuscular needling as some techniques that can be used to help with neuromuscular facial conditions such as Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, TMJ, stroke, Ms.
Myasthenia Gravis, ptosis, and others. And today I’m going to touch on a couple of other techniques plus, um, some protocol specific conditions. So the first is facial motor points. And facial motor points. I’m sorry, motor points are, places in a muscle where if you needle them, it acts like a reset switch for the muscle.
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So if the muscle is in spasm and it’s lost its ability to function properly, or if the muscle is overly tense or overly relaxed, if you needle into the motor point. It acts like a reset switch and it will bring the muscle back into normal functioning. And motor points are not trigger points or source spots.
And Chinese medicine, we call them Ashi points, but motor point is where the nerve bundle actually enters. Muscle. And fortunately for us, many motor points on the face are actually acupuncture points. So an example of a facial motor point are the. Facial motor points for the mentalis and the mentalis muscles are on either side of, uh, Ren 24.
And what they do are they help to elevate and protrude the up the lower lip like this, and they can also wrinkle the skin of the chin. Like that, and they are a half a soon lateral to Ren 24. And here in the picture you can see I put little diamonds to delineate where they are and where the muscle is.
And you would needle through the skin into the muscle, but not through the muscle itself.
Here is a very short video. I was teaching a cosmetic acupuncture class and in my cosmetic acupuncture class I was doing a demonstration and of cosmetic acupuncture, and my student mentioned that she had Bell’s Palsy many years previously. And as a result, she had lost some of the inability on one side of her face to purse her lips.
And if she, uh, she couldn’t whistle, if she brushed her teeth, uh, she would have trouble spitting ’cause she could only . Do this on one side, drinking through a straw was difficult, and so in addition to doing some of the cosmetic points I put in the motor point for the mentalis and this is what happened.
So you can see as soon as I put the needle in her chin started to twitch, and then once I stimulated it, the muscle really started to fire, which was very interesting. And she reported back to me that after that treatment, some of the issues that she had been having had resolved themselves. So motor points can be very beneficial when in with conditions wherein your patient, it has lost motor function of one of the muscles on the face.
And this is really apparent with the face because. On our face, the skin is directly connected to the muscles, which is why we can move the skin on our face without having to actually move a muscle. I’m sorry. We can move the skin on our face without having to move a joint or a ligament or tendon.
All we have to do is move the muscle and the skin moves.
aNother technique that can be used to help with neuromuscular facial conditions is utilizing facial cupping and guha. Now, facial cupping and guha has many similarities to the cupping and sha that you would use on the body, but you would use specialized tools that are designed for the face.
And you don’t wanna leave any marks on the face or neck when you are practicing. The facial cupping in Gua will bring blood and cheese circulation to the muscles, which will help with muscle movement. Brings qi and blood to the skin, which helps with . Cosmetic conditions and can also help if the fascia is very tight.
If there are fascial adhesions, it can help with that and . Any nerves that have become entrapped in facial tissue or within the fascia, it can help to release them. Facial cupping helps to move out stagnant lymph fluids, toxins. And if your patient has rosacea or any discoloration of the skin, facial cupping can be very beneficial for that.
And lastly, it helps to strengthen the vascular integrity of the face, increasing the blood flow, and helping with both neurological and muscular conditions of the face. So this is what fascia looks like and. Nerves will run through the fascia and they can become entrapped. Within the fascia. So using tiny facial cups and, uh, special oil that’s designed for cupping for the face, you can stimulate
The cup, the facial acupuncture points. You can glide the cups. You can stimulate the points again, and then you can use these xs symbolize a suctioning and releasing down the SCM under the clavicle into the lymphatic system. And this can really help, as I mentioned, with all of these different skin conditions.
And with facial guha, you’re actually taking specialized tools. These are jade, guha stones that are used to break up fas adhesions, stimulate acupuncture points and increase blood flow in the face. So here is a demo. This is a very abbreviated, demo a little facial cupping in Guha. I am a licensed board certified acupuncturist, and today I’m going to be demonstrating how to do facial cupping and guha.
The first step is to do a lymphatic drainage. Just ask your patient to turn the head to the side. And you’re going to start behind the ear and you’re going to work your way down and across underneath the clavicle times. I start right around Triple Energizer 17. Work my way down. right down the SCM. Now, it’s important when you’re doing this to not drag the cup down the neck or up the neck.
You’re gonna be using a suctioning and releasing until you get to the clavicle, and then you go right underneath the clavicle lung. Two area three movements that we’ll do. One is . A kind of a, like a dragging of the cup. So you would suction the cup and then move it and release it. Another one is a suction and release and just on a point.
And the other is would be like here where you’re dragging the cup. So sometimes you drag, sometimes you suction. And drag, and sometimes you just suction depending on where you’re working, like five and six, seven, and get right on up to stomach eight, just like this and up like that. guHa tools that I like to use are
Shaped like thickly, do both sides of the face at once. Whereas with the cupping, I just do the one side and then the other side, I just showed you the one side. With the gua, I do both sides of the face simultaneously, it feels better for the patient sides of the tool, and you’re really gonna sculpt the jawline, massaging acupuncture points along the way.
So stomach four. Stomach five and then coming along just like that. It’s a great way to help with the saggy gels. You can end with a little massage on small intestine 19 and work on the cheeks, and you can sculpt up this way and this way, and then get right into large intestine 20. And into stomach three, out to small intestine right here.
And bring the tools out, do gallbladder too. So essentially everything you’ve done with the cups, you are reinforcing with the guha tools and it can look like this and like this, and it feels really great. . foR your patients, it helps to break up any fa fascia that might be tense and really just those gels that might be sagging.
All the fat that falls down here, you can really move it back up.
I am. So again, this was just a little I am brief overview. I. I teach individual classes on cupping and guha, cosmetic, acupuncture, neuromuscular and all of these are brought together to help, to nourish the skin, the muscles, the nerves on the face. This is these are the tools that . I was using in my demo.
It’s a cupping and guha kit. It comes with glass cups and these jade guha tools. And there’s instructions, um, on the box and under the box. And there are also video instructions that come with it. And, you can learn about all of email@example.com. Derma Rolling is another really wonderful tool.
So the nice thing about the cupping sets is these can be sold to your patients and you can teach your patients how to do self-care at home. In between. Treatments. So if they come to see you, if they can only come in to see you once a week, this is self-care for your patients. And some of my students have even put together little classes for their patients and their patients come and they learn how to use the tools in a group environment, which is fun for them.
But moving on to derma. Rolling. Derma rolling Is . A very effective tool for reeducating the connection between the skin and the muscles and the nervous system. If people have had long-term neuropathy, any sort of nerve damage. Sometimes you can, do some scalp acupuncture or work with the motor points, but this is another level of stimulating both the channels on the face so you can work right along the stomach channel, small intestine gallbladder, large intestine, any of the.
thE zong has meridians on the face. You can roll the roller to wake, not just the points up, but the entire channel. Plus, you’re stimulating the skin, which works in conjunction with the way the brain works. And these aren’t that much different than those . Barrel channel rollers that we might use on the body, but these have tiny needles and they are medical grade, so
These come in 0.5 millimeter or 1.0 millimeter in length, and they’re, you just roll them very gently on the skin. And I sell these to my patients so that they can self-treat at home once I teach them how to use it. And they all come with directions and video demos also. Okay, so Bell’s Palsy is a.
Probably the most common cause of facial paralysis that you will see in your treatment room. And it is typically a temporary condition and it is a result of a disruption of the function of the facial nerve, which is CN seven. And this prevents the messages from the brain. To the muscle, which causes muscle weakness and paralysis, and there can be a multitude of symptoms, uh, pain, neuropathy, muscle weakness.
Hearing loss taste sensations changing, um, changes in smell, vision, eyelids drooping, um, discomfort or pain in the jaw. And, uh, lots and lots of issues. And, but very much on a cosmetic level and typically. People will get this between age 15 and 60, but certainly I’ve seen patients as young as two and as old as 70, um, in my treatment space and the Western medical treatment is acyclovir.
Or an antiviral drug and then a steroid. And it is believed in western medicine that it is from a virus. And in Chinese medicine, we believe usually it is from a wind condition, wind, heat, usually, which affects the face. . the protocol for the exam is you would ask your patient to raise their eyebrows, close their eyes, tightly smile, puff out their cheeks.
If the orbicularis Aus has been affected, or the rosaro, if they try to puff out their cheeks when they close their lips, only one side will puff out and the other side arrow will come out. And smiling frowning. Show your lower teeth. Show your upper teeth. These are going to help you to isolate which muscles have been affected and then you would treat accordingly.
As I had mentioned wind, a wind condition, also blood stagnation or spleen sheet con deficiency. These are, uh, three different . Conditions from a TCM perspective that can, um, cause Bell’s Palsy. And for body treatments on everyone, I’m going to do LI four and stomach 36, and then I will treat the underlying.
dEficiency or stagnation or excess, whatever’s going on. And then I would do local. Points on the face, depending on what has been affected. aS I talked about last time, you can use scalp, acupuncture, ear chen, men, and point for the face. You can do motor points based on which muscles have been affected.
Facial cupping and Gu Shaw definitely to help bring energy into the muscles. Derma rolling . and you want to see the patient. I tell my students at least twice a week three times as ideal, but the more the better when you’re talking about treating a Bell’s Palsy patient. So this was a patient of mine and she had come in right after she was afflicted with Bell’s Palsy and I did an exam on her.
Closed her eyes. Okay. And as you can see, she could not close her right eye at all, and there is no movement in the right side of her face. And I actually misspoke. She had Bell’s Palsy for a while. She was past the point where the doctor said she would get any better and and so I treated her close for about six weeks and we were just starting to get some movement going.
Dry brow, close, dry. So you can see now she’s able to close her eye. nOt a lot of movement on the right side of her face yet the lower part, but she was able to close her lips a little bit. . It really requires patience and and time, but. iT’s just some information about my classes that I teach.
I do have an advanced certificate course, which is comprehensive. All of my classes carry CEUs. They’re all self-paced, recorded. And then you would, um, or can come for a two-day hands-on class. It’s included, but it is not required. And I do monthly live mentor sessions. That is the end of my presentation.
Here’s information about my social media. You wanna follow me on social, and I would like to say thank you to the American Acupuncture Council for this opportunity to present today. I. .