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     maggie davis talks about her personal
      experience with Bell's palsy


maggie's Bell's palsy story

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Read excerpts from maggie's latest book, Caring in Remembered Ways.


Please note that what follows is not a prescription—I am not a doctor—it is a report of what worked for me during my three-week engagement with Bell's palsy. After two weeks, I was nearly 90% healed, with a wee bit of muscle loss remaining on one side of my mouth. After three weeks, 100% fine.

History: I'm 54, an author/publisher/community volunteer and lay-healer. I've had insulin dependent diabetes for about seven years and chronic neck pain for a much longer time than that. For over twenty years I've experienced pain in the facial nerve on the left side of my face when I'm out in a cold wet wind. Before its onset the morning after Thanksgiving, I never had Bell's palsy. Two days before Thanksgiving, I noticed a cold sore in the corner of my mouth. I don't usually have cold sores. Without any treatment, the cold sore was gone in about an hour. On Thanksgiving day, I went for a twenty minute walk without a hat. That Maine day was cold and snowy and windy.

When the palsy began, my lip felt swollen, but didn't look that way. I couldn't purse my lips normally, but I didn't think much of it. My lip felt the way it does when I'm coming out of novacaine—not numb, but huge and uncontrollable. (Note: I'd had dental work a couple of months before this. I think the dentist injected novacaine (Lidocaine?) in that "hinge" between my left upper and lower wisdom teeth. If I'm remembering right, the novacaine didn't take and he gave me another injection.) Over the next three days the palsy began to come on. I didn't have a huge droop. However, I couldn't move/control the muscles on the left side of my face at all. I was unable to smile at all on the left side and I couldn't close my left eye all the way. Off and on, my glands and lymph nodes in my neck and face and under my jaw swelled painfully. And my facial nerves (the seventh cranial?) were inflamed as well.

The day I realized what was going on, I scoured the Internet for information. I was particularly interested in what folks who actually had had Bell's palsy were saying. From all the treatments that were mentioned, I intuitively selected what I would begin with, and then I evolved from there. I did not use allopathic drugs of any kind (eg. steroids, prednizone. Nor did I ever consider using them.) After speaking with people in my town, and consulting my own best wisdom, here's what I came up with. I've starred* what feels like it's done the most good.

1) acupuncture (plus laser light) —helpful, but painful. Less painful when points used were not on the head, ear or face. Read a Chinese acupuncturist's article regarding Bell's Palsy

2) chiropractic—Our chiropractor's highly skilled, and he was gentle, yet the adjustments he made early on (the third day) resulted in a lot of pain.

3) *Reiki—very helpful and soothing. The intention was to increase circulation, while at the same time, to calm the inflamed facial nerves.

4) **Vitamin B-12 shots I gave myself in the muscle of my thigh each day, 1cc. Now I'm tapering off. Make sure someone shows you how to do this so you don't hit a blood vessel. This was helpful, though I can't tell for sure how helpful, considering all else I did.

5) *facial massage—first gently and then more vigorously—this, several times a day. In addition I puckered and smiled and raised my eyebrows (even though I had to lift the left side of my face manually.

6) frequent applications of Young's Living Oils, in particular *Thieves and Pain Away. (Young's Living Oils is located in Payson, Utah. They're one of the best essential oil companies around) I also used *geranium and juniper from another fairly good company. Also, plenty of vitamins and "green" from Young's.

7) tinctures: antiviral and nerve soother, *St. Johnswort; to help with inflammation and mucous drainage (I still have waves of gland/lymph swelling on the left side), *Echinacea with Goldenseal; to calm the painful nerves and also to calm the rest of me, *skullcap.

8) *a teaspoon each of raw honey and organic apple cider vinegar mixed into a cup of water—this for general wellbeing and to reduce mucus. As with the B-12 shots, can't be sure, but I sensed this was very helpful.

9) I ate lightly to leave my body energy to heal the palsy.

10) Once in a while, I used warm ginger tea compresses to increase circulation, and I drank ginger tea.

11) I visualized my face back to normal and asked friends not to fret over me, but to send me healing energy. I also did this for myself.

12) As for my eye, when it wouldn't close, I used Duolube at night to protect my cornea and Bion teardrops at least every hour during the day. During walks in the Maine winter, I now wear ski goggles, also a fleece hood and plenty of scarves to cover my cheek, ear and neck.
I hope this was helpful. If you adopt this regimen or any variation thereof, and heal quickly, please let me know. How wonderful if, from all the treatments people adopt, we could find one we could share that works consistently. As always, I invite you to tell your own caregiving/caregetting story on our site. These times call to us to reach out to one another. Doing so, we comfort and inspire.

All blessings,            
maggie (davis)

Update, October 4, 2009:

Three weeks and two days ago, Bell's palsy came roaring back into my life following a ten year hiatus, this time on the opposite side of my face. Today I'm at least 90% better, which once again—out of gratitude—moved me to do an update to this webpage.

There was more pain, this time. At first i used ghee (clarified butter) with three or four drops of essential oil of thyme added. This I massaged in front of, behind and a bit inside the outer ear.

I also used st. johnswort oil in olive oil and sesame oil with peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil added.

And I didn't forget lavender oil. I hungered for these oils on my face and did gentle skin rolling and lifts when i rubbed them gently into my skin. (this is a terrific site describing many effective exercises.)

I used Bromelain for the initial swelling of both the 7th cranial and the trigeminal nerve, Bion Tears frequently to protect my eye, which wouldn't close, and I bought a generic black patch, which i decorated with crystal beads to help keep me in a positive frame of mind.

Once again, the B-12 shots I gave myself intermuscularly seemed to be a great help; at first i was using sub-lingual b complex co enzymate (Source Naturals).

Please do read my account from years ago (see above); everything else i used then i used this time around. Do take heart, whether or not you're suffering from Bell's for the first or second or even third . . . time. The alternative remedies (plus a shower of grace) worked for me.

Go out! Mingle! Children won't be afraid of you if you tell them up front you've got something going on with your face, and adults are eager to learn about Bell's.

Please email me with any questions: I wish every one of you reading these words all blessings.



bell's palsy  featured bells palsy stories and remedies  bell's palsy

The following is a story sent on December 10th, 2015....

Dear Maggie,

Glad to have found your site! So kind of you to share and invite others to share alike. :-) I have been rescuing cats and dogs when in India the last couple of years, besides having two wonderful “rescue cats” residing with me in NYC, but am writing about a less adorable subject, Bell's palsy.

I am at day 7 since the paralysis set in. Had been out to hear my trumpeter husband play with a 17 piece jazz orchestra in a room that was WAY too small for that much sound.

The next day a mild earache and headache began. Also noticed a burning sore developing on the tip of my tongue but put that down to too much capsicum pepper on my food.

2 days later I awoke with the right side of my face paralyzed and a swollen and more painful tongue.

Like you, I am a lay healer so, after some research, on day 2 I actually left home to purchase whatever I did not already have on hand to start the protocol which I have attached.

It has been a painful and depressing ride but I am already, by day 7, seeing improvement.

Over the last week I have experienced severe night sweats where I wake up in a pool of sweat, serious inflammation from the right side of my face to under the chin including my tongue, a fairly steady fever of 100.2, massive headaches, facial nerve tenderness and pain and earache, but most difficult to handle has been the painful sores and lesions inside my mouth (right side only) and on the right half of my tongue. It looked until today like I had used a razor to cut slits down the tip and right edge of my tongue.

Now, on day 7, the sores and lesions are healing but the right half of my tongue is red, sore and angry. I see this as a huge improvement. :-)

Feeling and movement is gradually returning to my face. Yaay! And even the right eye is halfway to closing!

The painful swelling, massive headaches and nerve tenderness continue, as does the fever with the accompanying achiness and feeling of being underwater. Yesterday I broke down and started taking 1 aspirin 2x day because it was all totally unbearable but I will stop that as soon as I can.

I am 57 and have never had anything like this before and hope to never have it again!

It is my belief that if we allow disease to run its course without suppressing the symptoms or interfering with our own immune reactions (as much as humanly possible) that we may not need to suffer the same disease again. At least I am hoping this is the case.

I pray my next email subject will be a more pleasant one. It is a great help, though, to share experiences with others, both good and bad.

Thank you!
All Love
(name withheld)


maggie's reply:

dear (name withheld).
i hope you've been improving day by day.
i'd love to hear how you are.


(name withheld)'s reply:

Hi Maggie,

Nice to hear from you. I have just returned from India.
Turns out I am not suffering from Bell’s palsy but from a rare condition called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. This explains the fever, earache and the lesions in my mouth and the few itchy spots of Chicken Pox that had appeared on my body in the early days.

It is caused by Varicella Zoster which causes Chicken Pox and Shingles. It can destroy the nerves in and around the Geniculate Ganglion affecting hearing, facial movement, taste, and the parasympathetic/salivatory nerves leading to dry eye and nose, all usually on one side only.

As it shares many symptoms with Bell’s palsy I will list what I found to be of the greatest help. Other than taking aspirin 2-3 times I have not used any pharmaceutical medicines.

1. DMSO 1-2 times daily. I only use organic DMSO which is sold in a glass bottle. DMSO helps to rejuvenate damaged nerves. I am convinced DMSO is the main reason my nerves are healing. It is a slow process but it is improving every day and I believe I will be one of the approximately 50% that pretty much return to normal.

Take care your skin is absolutely clean and dry before applying. DMSO is a potent delivery system so anything on the skin will also enter the body. I just dip a couple of clean fingers into a small jar or glass of DMSO and spread it over my face (mainly the affected side but also the other side too) taking care not to get it into my eyes (especially the one that does not close or tear). Spread it to all areas of the face, around the ear on the affected side and also the neck and brainstem/upper spine.

2. Refresh Liquigel. At first I was using only Similasian eye drops from Switzerland, a wonderful Homeopathic product, but my eye was drying out and I needed more moisture. This product is expensive but likely saved me losing my eye. It has now been several months and my eye finally closes but still does not supply any moisture of its own so I am still using these drops 3 or so times daily, as needed.

3. Lysine. Also limit foods high in Arginine, such as peanuts.

4. High doses of B-Vitamins

5. High doses of Vitamin C

6. Transdermal Magnesium Oil rubbed onto large areas of skin in order to get it into the bloodstream and on the affected areas will help to relax the muscles.

7. I highly recommend seeing a homeopathic doctor and trying out different homeopathic remedies. These remedies are so individual that there is no one-size-fits-all formula. You will know almost immediately when you have stumbled upon the right one for you. If the remedy does not give results in the first day or two, move on to another one.

8. I am a sound healer so have benefited greatly from my own sound treatments. I believe sound treatments are similar to acupuncture so either one (or both) are beneficial.

9. I saw a brilliant chiropractor who muscle tested me with vials of Herpes Zoster (no reaction) and Varicella Zoster (massively disturbing reaction). He also has been adjusting my jaw which went terribly out of alignment.

10. Pineapple. I don’t know why but the more I ate fresh pineapple the more I knew it was exceedingly helpful and healing for my condition.

I had terrible swelling which was aggravated by any facial exercise and physical overactivity so I learned to take it easy, get plenty of rest and allow the dis-ease to run its course.

One last thing I experienced was a huge appetite that needed constant feeding. Anytime I skipped a meal or ignored the hunger I suffered from terrible headaches sometimes accompanied by vomiting. Listen to your body. It know much better than our minds exactly what we need.

I would say that I am now 70-75% well and I no longer horrify people and children when they see me. :-)

All Love ~
(name withheld)


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The following is a story sent by Fanny on July 10th, 2014....

Hello there,
My name is Fanny and I'm 29 years old.

I was diagnosed with BP last night.

It first started about 5 days ago by losing partial taste in the anterior 2/3 on the right side of my tongue. In about 2-3 days I started that I couldn't lift the right side of my lips or completely smile and I had to visit the ER in I work there as a Registered Nurse.

My husband and I are stationed overseas in Kadena AirBase, Japan.
I'm very stressed and not coping the best way I guess. Ive always been very healthy and I wasn't expecting to experience something like this so young. However, I have to thank God that as of now my facial paralysis is partial, I can still partially smile but you can notice the drooping of the upper and lower lip on the right side of my lips.

Today I felt my left shoulder numb and I have no sensation on the very top, so I guess I will be visiting the ER again soon.

The Dr. diagnosed me in 10 seconds since I had no other weakness or symptoms, but localized to the face. The right side of my face is also hurting and it goes from my eye to the back of my ear due to the inflamation of the seven cranial nerve(Facial). I want to know more about BP, and I haven't heard nobody feeling numbness on the shoulder? Have you guys heard or felt anything like that? I'm getting scared even more. Please if you could help and send healing prayers, I will really appreciate it.

I'm praying for all of us and I will try my hardest to help people with this disease some way or the other.


Very Respectfully,

Fanny, RN


maggie's reply:

dear Fanny,

i am so sorry to hear about your BP concerns.
the left shoulder numbness does confuse things a bit.

i'm not a doctor. saying that i would focus on the facial issues if i were you, all of which, including pain around eye and ear are common to BP.

i assume you found me from my BP page on my website. if so you know i've had Bells twice. if you are willing to go a more natural gentler route to healing, do read and reread and reread mine and other success stories. maybe your husband or a friend is willing to sit with you to help you distill the information.
i say this because being struck with BP creates shock waves of emotion, even in the calmest folks, that might interfere with your taking in information that could help you.

please contact me again, if need be. and when you begin healing. i would like to share your story with others, to help them. i respect your desire, in the midst of your own strong experience, to be concerned for those who, too, may suffer.

with all goodwill and blessings,
maggie (davis) yes, all lowercase


Fanny's reply:

Thank you very much ms. davis. Your words have helped me refocus and redirect my energy, and for that I'm forever grateful.

Knowing a little bit about medicine is, I would say, scary since you worry too much about what might be going on.

At first I thought I was having a transient Ischemic attack which is a mild stroke and I'm thankful that wasn't the case. I also thought about MS and Myasthenia Graves which has descending paralysis and the thought of that freaks me out. Lol.

As I stated above, Im focusing and refocusing and refocusing only on my healing since I have a lot to be thankful for. And I pray everyday that this diseass is now welcome in my life and I command it to go and it is working for me, which at this point it's all that matters.

I can close my eye completely, but when I blink the right eye gets a little lazy and blinks a little after the other. I also don't have too much strength when I wink that eye but I can still do it. When I smile with my lips closed, you can only notice it a little, it is worse when I do a big smile.

I'm visiting my PCM today (how they call your MD in the military) and I will ask for an MRI or any other type of test since I'm concerned still because they might not be treating the cause in my case or even the right diagnosis. I have done intense readings about BP and Migraines and Acute and Chronic Sinusitis (with many other diseases) could cause it, and I have a strong family history of both and about 3 weeks ago I had a bad flu, which could also had been the cause.

Thank you very much for your concerns and I'm praying for you as well. You are a warrior with only victories ahead of you and have won two times. :) that's a great accomplishment. Hence, focusing on the positive outcomes makes a huge difference like you said.

Oh I wanted to mention that i had a terrible headache last night focusing in my eye and behind my ear, probably because I cried too much after reading these amazing stories and how we help each other. My husband helped and massaged my face for an hour, we listened to a healing prayer from Joel Osteen(with respect of your believes) and I slept very good and refocus all these energies to speed up my healing and yours and the rest of the others.
The second day I started with the symptoms of BP my head started to hurt behind my ear and it was an odd feeling for me because I have never felt this type of headache before. My MD prescribed me with Prednisone, Acyclovir, which based on research, together could speed up the recovery. He also gave me Erythromycin ointment (which i use with cautios since its nephro and ototoxic side effects) I still use it before I go to bed, and Natural Tears. I was not happy with a pharmacology therapy and certainly wasn't expecting following it either, but the fear dominated me and I follow the Dr.'s orders. Today I will be getting an eye patch even though my eye feels fine, but just to protect it when I go to sleep. I have an appointment with the Ophthalmologist today and then I will go see my PCM like I mentioned above.

Thank you very much for your response, I'm truly grateful of you taking your time and emailing me back. I will keep you and your family and all the others in my prayers.

Very Respectfully,

Fanny, RN


maggie's reply:

thank you, Fanny.
all good fortune to you. (to protect your eyes at night if you need to, big 'ol swimming goggles can be very helpful.)

please let me know if i can add your story to my bells palsy site.

blessings all around,


Fanny's reply:

As of recovery of BP, my symptoms started on July 2nd or around there, although it was only numbness in the first 2/3 of my tongue and I also have difficulty tasting food. At first, I thought I had burned my tongue and I didn't pay attn. to it until the symptoms persisted and only got worse. Today, July 11, is the 9th day after the onset, and I already feel much better since my smile is improving, today has been the first day towards my recovery. I really pray that this is just a mild case of BP and nothing else and Im feeling very positive about it. I think massaging your face and lips really helpes. Further, having a good attitude and staying calm plays a very important role, as well as redirecting the energy you have towards your healing and a good positive mind.

As of the numbness in my shoulder, the Doctor said today that I have hyperparesthesia as the result of the BP. They did a CT Scan with contrast and lots of blood test today and the Dr. Said everything looked outstanding and Im very happy. I have a follow up in two weeks and if the symptoms don't improve they will try an MRI because the shoulder numbness is a little odd but it's not so bad, all of my symptoms are mild but I still show the main symptoms of BP. My headaches are more severe now and it focuses right behind my right ear, but today it's been coming and going.

Im just so happy my smile is coming back that all I focus on is on the positive results and healing.

Oh and my husband's boss also had BP, she was very helpful and supportive and she made me feel better.

Thanks again maggie davis. It's been a pleasure talking to you and I wish you the best.

Very Respectfully,

Fanny, RN



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The following is a story sent by Dan on March 30th, 2014....

Good day maggie.

I was very pleased to find your site and found it to be extremely helpful.

Am a 52-year-old male and was diagnosed with BP last November 20th, 2013.

One morning, I woke up and felt the left side of my face quite funny, I had breakfast and went to work that morning.

Once I got to work, I noticed a change on my left side of my mouth and thought it could possibly be a gum infection, and my left eye was itchy and was rubbing my eye more than usual causing quite a lot of irritation.

By mid-day, I noticed more changes to my face and was quite more droopy, I started to slowly panic and few hours later told my boss I wanted to go to the ER, but did not tell him that I thought it was a stroke.

Once I got to the ER, they took me in quite quickly and in a matter of a few minutes told me I had BP. In a way I was quite relieved it was not a stroke.

The Doctor prescribed Prednisone (cortisone pills) and Acyclovir (anti- viral pills) for 7 days and an antibiotic ointment for my eye to put when I went to sleep and told me that was the only thing they could do, and that I could get better in a matter of a few weeks to a year.

He also told me to patch my eye every time I went to sleep in order to avoid the eye to dry up where it could cause permanent damage, The easiest way for me to patch my eye was with tissue band-aids and not the plastic band-aids where they almost rip out your eyelashes out everytime you take them off.

He then refered me to a specialist (ORL) which I went to see once a month and have to go again in 6 months. He basically sees me for a few minutes, and tells me there is nothing they can do.

I then searched a lot on Google to find alternative treatments since there is not much that traditional medicine can do.

One week after having being diagnosed with BP, I had incredible headaches in the back of my left ear only at night when I went to bed, lasting a good 3-4 hours at a time until I fell asleep, for about 4-5 days straight and even taking Advil or aspirin would not help, then the pain suddenly went away after about 4-5 days.

1 month after having BP, I then started taking acupuncture treatment once a week and the acupuncturist told me that the Chinese call this a (Wind) that is caused either of an internal imbalance within your body or also could be a stroke of wind received from the outside elements.

Well since I live in Nothern Canada, here exterior wind gusts are so frequent with winds up to 100-120 Kms per hour! So it's kinda hard to avoid those winds.

I also started taking L- Lysene, B-complex vitamins, B-12, MSM, and Omega 3 tablets (fish oil) on a daily basis.

It has been 4 months now and saw the MD (ORL) few days ago, and (he) told me that I was one of the unluckiest that had the more severe type and recovery was slower than a lot of other BP patients.

After the 3rd month, I had remarkable progress and was able to slowly start to smile, and my eye could shut, although not beeing able to fold it yet.

Now after 4 months, I can smile more, my eye is a little better, still feel stiffness in the back of my ear when I exercise my eye, lips etc. Now recovered about 75% and slowly getting there.

Once in a while, my hearing is a very sensitive on my left side when the TV is too loud or my wife and daughter speaks too loud.

During the first 3½ months, when I was outside in the winter, I found it quite difficult when the wind was blowing and my left eye blurred my vision in an instant!

I do quite a lot of downhill skiing and tried the first month; even with goggles it was impossible.

I gave it another shot last week-end after 4 months and now am OK to downhill ski with goggles again! (Yahoo!) I am so happy!

All in all, some of us are slower to recover but my motto is to never give up hope, stay with a positive attitude the most you can and believe me, I use to be a non-believer in non-conventional treatments, medicines etc., but am a strong believer.

I strongly recommend acupuncture, chinese herbal medicines, meditation, and the vitamins earlier mentioned.

I wish I would have found your site before as you have a ton of extremely helpful information on here!

Once again, thank you for your wonderful site! And may God bless you maggie !

Kind regards,
Dan B.



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The following is a story sent by Shawn on August 17th, 2012....

To all on this site looking for answers....

My name is Shawn Anton. I live in California and I am almost 48 years old.

Unfortunately, some of you may be on this site after having Bell's Palsy hoping
to read that it is a one time event. I say unfortunately because that is not true,
many people to have recurrences, as I am today on my 4th round!

I got BP when I was 25 years old. The DR told me it was "no big deal" gave me
Prednisone and sent me home. He said I would probably "never get it again." The symptoms were metallic taste, numb tongue on the affected side, and ear pain. By day 2, I had complete facial paralysis on the left side of my face. For nearly 2 months there was no change, and at 25 (and vain back then) I made all sorts of excuses to be home from work. By month 3, all I was suffering from was a dry eye, so I went back to work. Nearly everyone thought I had Cerebral Palsy and were so shocked to see me there. No one had heard of BP, and since I looked ok, no one really cared.

Second round came at 31 years old. This time, it was on the right side of my face with all the same symptoms as the first. I recall my DR (same one) saying "Well, one time each side." Thanks....2 months in, it was over. So I felt, I beat it. Once on each side, I am done!

Until I turned 45. Home one evening, every single sound bothered me. I thought my ear was going to explode. Because I did not have any other symptoms, I did not immediately think "Hells Bells."

Until I woke up the next day and could not spit out toothpaste. Eye stuck open. All the same signs. It was on the left side again, and I was angry! I had done my time. Everything was good in life, and now this? I admit, it did not seem fair. I know, it was not Cancer, and the medical community is not losing any sleep over why you get it, how many times, it just does not seem serious to anyone unless they have had it or known someone who did.

Back to the DR (new one, the old fart retired) and same drugs and same "keep your eye taped" nothing new. I decided to Google, WebMD,, I was gonna learn about this beast and figure it out once and for all.

Only this time, the DR felt strongly I would not have a good recovery, so he sent me to a Neurosurgeon who specializes in facial paralysis for all types of reasons, not just BP.

Within ten minutes he was convincing me to have decompression surgery and when he described what would take place, I near fainted! I had never been put under, never had surgery, and the thought of shaving my head, cutting into my skull, stapling it's see if I get better on my own.

So, he schedule the surgery for Feb 25th. It was Feb 14th. I had 2 weeks to see what I could do.

I stayed on the medical drugs, prednisone and anti-virals as requested. But I loaded up on Vitamin B (no shots) and juice and ate light and really rested. 3 times a day, I would lightly massage my face, warm rags heated in the microwave, and rest. I kept my eye in a perpetual "gooey" state and taped and with a pirate eye-patch (Arrrrrgh!) and within about 5-7 days, a twitch!

Not a big deal, but a twitch near my mouth. I ran to my 10x magnifying mirror and it was visibly twitching! It must be the nerves regenerating, I thought!

Each day after I noticed teeny tiny improvements. Because I live alone, I used my camera each day to photo my eye as I attempted to close it. I could not tell if it was closed all the way or not. It wasn't. But it got a little better each day.

By my appointment for pre-surgery on Feb 25th, I showed him my progress and he smiled and said "Boy did you get lucky." The surgery was cancelled and I went back to work the following week.

Well, that was about 1 1/2 years ago. Last week, I woke up with an ear pain and sounds so loudly piercing me a bird singing sent me over the edge. My boyfriend picked up his keys of the table and the sound sent me over the edge! Then the tongue starting tasting bad.

Can't be. It hasn't been long enough. Come on, every 5-7 years is doable, but I just got rid of this.

I went to the DR, got Prednisone and anti-viral and I am doing my home treatments again. I think since I did not wait even one day to see how it would go, I went right away, I think this is why this time my eye is barely affected and my mouth is not crooked. I hope we just nipped it hard right from day one. But, who knows, the flare may come and I will awaken with the dreaded
crooked face again.

I wanted my story on maggie's page because last year and now, I found it helpful. Frankly, no one in my family, not one friend at work, not even the old ladies at BINGO have ever had Bell's Palsy.

But...because of me....they sure know what it is! :-)

Lastly, do not let anyone poo poo what you are going through. No, it is not Cancer or a stroke, but in all honestly there is a lot of information and treatment and concern from others on those afflictions. Bell's Palsy is a lonely disease because not that many get it. And, now I am told, I am a real anomaly for getting it a 4th time.

So they say.

I wish you all the Love and Support and Kindness as you go through this. I am not a gloom and doom person so I am not asking you to fret that you may get it again. Or that you may not recover. You already read all of that somewhere else.

I am hoping you will recover and do as maggie and so many others have done. Share your story so we can learn as much as possible to be prepared for...say...Round 5?




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The following is a dialogue between maggie and Sanjay which began February 18th, 2012....

Hi maggie

your website is really very supportive, knowledgeable, and confidence
building for the people suffering from bell's palsy, thanks a lot to

I live in India (Indore, Madhya Pradesh). I was diagnosed with bells
palsy on 6th Feb, 2012. While driving my bike I felt pain inside my
ears for some days because of cold air hitting the ears, and on one
cold night I ate a cup of ice-cream, and because of all this bells
palsy hit me the next day on my right facial side. I can move my
affected smile muscle 10% of the normal and I can close my eye 70% of the normal.

For five days an ENT specialist gave me the doses of antibiotics,
steroids and multivitamins (for first five days and multivitamins are
being continued for the next ten days-from which five days are
remaining), with a CT scan and complete blood test (both were normal). And also prescribed physiotherapy.

I'm undergoing physiotherapy since 9 days with the consumption of the
tablets and I can feel no improvement.

Can you please help me?!

Kind regards
sanjay bajaj


maggie replied:

thank you for your kind words regarding my website.
i am sorry you are suffering from bell's palsy.

everything i could say to help you is already on my bell's palsy webpages.
often when people are diagnosed with bell's they fall into a kind of shock (and who can blame them) so that even the perfect information for them does not register when they read it.

my best advice to you is to read and reread and reread the information on my website, not just my story but others' success stories as well.

most important, remember to brrrrrrrreathe. at every opportunity, picture yourself well. be grateful for every inch of progress.


Sanjay replied on Feb. 24th:

Dear maggie

The good news is that improvement has started to happen suddenly after 16 days after the onset of BP, that has given me a lot of confidence and the overall experience has filled me with a lot of positive energy and positive attitude towards life.

Let me tell you the treatment undertaken by me. For the first five days of the onset the doctor gave me steroids, antibiotic, multivitamin, methycobalamin 1500mcg and also prescribed facial physiotherapy.

I started physiotherapy after 3 days, it was basically electric stimulation of facial muscles for eight days and then I went to another therapist who provided me with steam massage, vibrator massage, electric stimulation, Infra-red radiation heating, facial exercises, and then he uplifts my right facial muscles with a paper adhesive tape which has to be kept on for 3hrs.

After the first five days the doctor prescribed me to take only two capsules a day consisting all types of vitamin B.

One day the physio told me to blow balloons as one of the facial exercise, I did it on the same night and I think it showed amazing results the next day (it may also be the cumulative effect of all treatments that I was taking till then)

I also started to increase the metabolism of my body doing some exercises in the morning, so that the nerve regeneration could speed up.

Thank God and Thanks to my Family for everything.

Sanjay Bajaj
Indore, Madhya Pradesh


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The following story was sent by Rochelle on Feb. 16th 2012....

Dear maggie,

I would like to thank you for putting up this website - it has been the one that has given me the most help. When my BP happened, I had no clue what was happening with me. I had never heard of it at all. My eyes and my lips plus my right side of the face - they just froze up. I woke up one Saturday completely shocked. I thought I had a stroke. The only indication I had that something was wrong was that the night before, my eyes were itchy. At first I thought it was allergies - I have had allergies before, much worse when I was a child. I recall that as a kid I was allergic to crab eggs and it made my eyes puff and I was blind for some days because of it. So my husband and I went to the pharmacy buying antihistamines and allergy eye drops. But y noon it only got worse and I was straight online typing in my symptoms. I knew already that it wasn't a stroke as my body was fine, just my right side of the face. It’s like it was shot full of novocaine. Things couldn't come at the worst time. My husband and I had just arrived in England for 3 months. He is doing a course for the army and I am on my very last course to finish my MA in Sociology. We were transplanted from our base - Germany - and it was very hectic, travelling across Europe just to get it all arranged - a small flat, arrangements with the university, etc. That Friday was the first Friday when we thought we could finally settle down to rest and get into a rhythm. Not so.

Reading about BP alarmed me - it said some people have BP for months! OMG months - I dont think I can handle that pressure. I am working and studying and my husband is a serving soldier under great pressure to perform well on his Instructor's course. All the websites I have read were all about whining, depressive reflections and almost incomplete medical opinions. But nevertheless, that very day when I have come to a realization that what I had was BP, I went straight to the ER. The ER on a Saturday night in a happening city in England in insane - full of the casualties of clubbing and partying. There I was thinking that gosh, I have tried my best to not harm myself and my body in such a manner but well, here I am with the bloody and the broken. The nurse when she heard my symptoms was unsure until I suggested to her that I believe I have BP and she went online to look for it. Then I had to wait for a doctor to see me who checked 'Wikipedia'. No offense to him but I felt that I have researched a little more about the condition. So when he had done the tests - I can feel in my face, I can hear well - I just can’t move it nor close my eyes or move my right side of my lips well - he declared me officially as one with BP. he sent me off with 5 days of antiviral meds and 10 days of steroids to battle inflammation and infection. He said I should be well in 3 weeks.

The first night was the worst - I was unable to close my eyes and my husband taped it shut. But because of his experience in Afghanistan he wasn't alarmed. He survived an ied blast and couldn't walk for a good while. Now he is back to full fitness. He just held me and said that we will get through it. It was the last thing I wanted - to add more pressure to him. So I told him I will be fine and we will just carry on. I turned to your page reading from your ideas and observations from your own experience and that of others here. Right away I scheduled physio treatment. Then I ordered L-carnitine, Lysine, B12 and a host of other supplements. I also went to see a Chinese traditional herbalist who gave me neck massages and a traditional Concoction of ginseng for anti-inflammation. Plus I also took 3,000 mg of vitamin C every day. That was 10 days ago. The first few days my right eye was fully covered but slowly I am able to lower my eyelids and now I think I can almost close it. So now I only cover my eyes when in bed. My improvements so far:

1. I have 70% control of my mouth. I can now 'force' my right upper lip to 'sip' from a straw. I can now purse it. It still pulls to the left because most of the muscle action is coming from that side but my mouth is not as useless as it was 11 days ago. My physio is happy with the progress.

2. I have more 'definition' on my right side and I can feel 'something' going on when I do my facial exercises. It is like blasts of electrical pulses from my brow, then my lower lid, my nose, my right side of the mouth and my ears. It pleases me when I feel it because there is some movement. There is hope yet.

3. Control over speech - I can now speak much much better. I had a difficult time saying my Ps after Fs or vice versa but now I can say 'puffer fish' repeatedly over and over again.

4. I can eat without food falling off my mouth.

Still, my left jaw sometimes hurt because it is where most of the eating and grinding happens. But my right jaw is being worked too and food doesn’t get stuck so much anymore, it actually can almost be coaxed by motion to normal function.

My mindset is this - I have had a facial injury. It could have been an infection or perhaps it was my actions - I sleep in the most awkward neck positions and I had bike accidents the year before and they nearly broke me. Also I had a car accident 10 years before and the whiplash from it still gives me pain today. Whatever happened to my 7th facial nerve - it is for sure injured and I have to nurse it to recovery. Some of what I do:

1. Drink my supplements - when I drink my lysine supplement I feel this tingle on my face. Same for the B12 and L-carnitine.

2. I regularly massage my face. I do it every other hour. It now feels a little sore but I am glad I 'feel' sore unlike feeling as if being shot by novocaine. I use a cleansing lotion to do this though my physio uses oil.

3. I eat put my face through an exercise. My physio would make me do faces and she would massage and match my left side to my right side. It’s funny but laughing is good.

4. Pray - I pray a lot. I have great belief in the goodness of the universe. Nothing thrown our way is thrown our way to destroy us. I have always believed there is a purpose in the chaos and madness. My current ailment is making me realize my own mortality and that I can take control of my health. I can rise above the stress and find a spiritual center to show strength and inhibit courage for my husband and me. Take some time, light a candle and pray.

My only hope is to be able to smile again soon. I am praying that I will get there in time. I will update you soon, maggie, especially if my progress goes really well to share more with those who will find their way to your page and hopefully, my own experience will be able to help them cope. Good health and prayers to you all.

Rochelle Jones


and a follow-up from Feb. 20th....


Hi maggie,

This article might be of interest to you and to that gentleman from India -

I would also like to report that as soon as I finished my acupuncture session, the nerves in my eyes, my chin and my cheeks just kept on conducting some form of activity. It happens everytime I attempted to close my eyes. I find that when I do my facial exercises, which is basically a lot of 'crinkling' and 'matching' the facial expressions of my left side of the face - it just goes insanely mad. My traditional Chinese doctor is very helpful. She told me that this ailment is common in China especially in the change of the seasons. She said that they do not call it Bell's Palsy but the attach of the 'winds' - it is viral, yes but ultimately it causes injury. I had never done acupuncture treatment before but with my husband patiently waiting for me outside, I had no worries. The needles were small and you can hardly feel them on'ce theyre in. I was left to dose for half an hour with heat and warmth hitting a particular angle of my right side of the face. The back of my neck, my ears and my shoulders - they were 'punctured' with needles as well as my hands, knees and lower legs - for boosting the immune system and rearranging my chi'.

This is a study done on the use of acupuncture in aiding recovery for Bell's Palsy:

And another:

I was prepared for the long haul - for actually waiting it out for months until I can close my eyes. But this morning, just a day after my acupuncture treatment, I was so surprised to learn that I can close my eyes at 90%. It is just a hairline to full closure now and it has more to do with the lower lid where I feel alot of pulsing and activity. Also, The day before there is just no reaction to my cheeks. Today I feel a bit of muscular reaction to attempts at a grimace and a small smile. There is some lift where there was none. Plus, and this is the most awesome, I have now full control of my mouth. 14 days after the onset, I can eat like a human being again. I can let out a whistle now. My husband and I celebrated by going to Nando's, a Jamaican Grill restaurant which requires the management of grilled meat and corn on a cob. Yes, I can't yet full smile but those steaks, that corn - No issue!

I can now attempt at looking angry and my brows would furrow - not as much as the left side does but I see it at 50%. This means that it is getting there, that there is recovery. I just need to have some form of recovery in raising my eyebrows, for my forehead wrinkles to appear. But this is really great - I have now gone to the supermarket, tomorrow I am off to university and the library - must get on with life!

My Chinese traditional doctor, Dr. Chiang told me to keep away from the cold, to eat alot of 'cooling' foods - greens, cucumbers, fruits, veggies and to keep up my daily regiment of maintenance meds - B12 methylcobalamin 1x a day, Lysine 500 mg 3x a day, acetyl-L-Carnitine 250 mg 3xaday, Vitamin B Complex, Multivatimin complex rich in niacin, folic acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin A & Biotin plus 3000 mg of Vitamin C and 2 tablets of Ginseng (250mg) 2x a day . Orange Juice is now half of my liquid intake, I eat alot of apples and oranges too. Above all, she told me to not 'stress' as it is stress that forces the palsy in place with a low immune system. She also said to get plenty of sleep and to protect the eyes when sleeping. But there is something else that she said that got to me - she said to not let the 'darkness' take root. she said that the body is already in a state of battle - fighting off the condition. If the mind and emotion is not checked - the palsy will settle in. She said to keep the balance - if the body is in such bad shape, then stop, think of recovery, of the blessings in one's life and to live for that. She said to sit down and meditate with deep breaths. She said to light a candle or an incense, to clear the room and to remove negative thoughts and energy.

Before I forget, another thing that she did for me as part of my session is the muscle treatment. The muscles on my upper back and shoulders plus my neck were treated with circular glasses that were heated up and placed on my skin which 'sucked' it up like a vacuum. Several of these were attached to me and I must admit it was a little uncomfortable. But for the first time in months, I woke up without neckpain. I have 5 more acupuncture sessions scheduled for the next 5 weeks and even if I get so much better than now, I will go for regular treatments at least once a month for the purpose of maintenance. Not really acupuncture - but some form of immune system boosting. I will also not stop taking B12, Lysine and carnitine although only in smaller doses.

The gentleman from India would heavily benefit from Ayurveda but I would suggest, if he can find his way to it, the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi. Just like most hospitals in China, they maintain a full-fledged traditional and holistic medical department that practice acupuncture. Their address is this:

Sarita Vihar, Delhi Mathura Road,
New Delhi - 110076 (India)
Tel.: +(91) -11-26925858 / 26925801
Fax: +(91) -11-26825563

For more on this particular practice, he can visit this site:

Ayurveda, the traditional medical body of knowledge of India, to my surprise, lists Bell's Palsy as a recognized ailment since the ancient times. They call this ailment 'Ardita' and all ayurvedic practitioners in India have a host of ways to 'manage' it including treatment systems like ABHYANGA, nasya & KAWAL GANDUSHA. if he likes, he can go to his ayurvedic practitioneer and ask for a system or program of treatment for Ardita. For more on this, he can go to this weblink:

The ANHC Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre in Goa has ayurvedic Physicians on hand that can treat Ardita (Bell's Palsy) and they recommend 'retreating' in the center to focus on recovery for some period. I actually envy this young man as he has such fantastic access to all these centers. Recovery won't be too soon but if he goes through it, not only will his body be healed but his mind and spiritual center. I sincerely wish I was there.

Please let him know I wish him the best and do give him my email! Once again, maggie, you are an angel. Also, please post this email in your site as it might help others as well.

Love and prayers,
Rochelle Jones


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The following story was sent by Cheryl on Feb.. 8th, 2012....

Hi maggie,

I would like to share my experience with your website.

I am a 59 year old South African female who lives in Cape Town South Africa.

On the 21st Sept I could not sleep due to a terrible earache. The next day I noticed that I could not put my lips together when applying lipstick and also could not whistle. I was not alarmed by this. That evening my right cheek became swollen. The next day I woke up with my mouth skew to the left hand side and unable to close my right eye. I was convinced that I’d had a stroke. I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy and had to take 8 steroid tablets per day for 7 days and also had to apply tear gel to my eye. I suffered with terrible headaches for about 8 day and runny scratchy eyes. After 11 days there were small improvements every day. I also had 3 vitamin B12 injections during this time. By the 15th October, I had made a full recovery.

Cheryl Jacobs


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The following story was sent by Casey on Dec. 1st, 2011....

Hello maggie! I just wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the time to publish and maintain your Bell's palsy website. It was the first link on the Google search I did, and I am so thankful I clicked on it. Four years ago I had my first experience with BP. Thanksgiving Day, to be exact. I went to the Dr and he prescribed Valtrex for me. It lasted about three weeks and I was for the most part back to normal. Over the past four years I have come to realize how the mind/body work together to create the circumstances we are in. I now know what emotionally triggered the initial onset of BP.

Fast forward to now, I had been battling a cold virus for over a week, which is unusual for me. I rarely get sick. The day after Thanksgiving I was feeling good. It was a crisp sunny afternoon in Oregon and my family and I set out to pick out our perfect Christmas tree. I remember a pain developing in my ear, but attributed it to the cold air, and quickly came home and got warm. The next morning I felt as though I over did things and my cold had gotten worse. By the evening I noticed my tounge was numb, and my eye was dry but I attributed it to the cold. I didn't sleep well with the ear, neck and shoulder pain, but was determined to have a great busy Sunday with my family. I got up and began to put my make up on. The moment the mascara wand touched my left eye, I realized Bells had set in again. It was how I realized something was seriously wrong exactly four years ago, and all the emotions of uncertaintity came back again.

I saw my Dr. once again Monday morning, and he prescriped a few things, which I was hesitant to take. I know I can heal myself, but in desperation I took the meds, only to throw them up 10 minutes later. For two days I continued taking the meds while battling serious nausea. I was able to see my massage therapist and chriopracter and knew right then that I would quit the meds for good and do this the natural way (which I internally knew all along I was supposed to do). I had doubts in myself, but when I stumbled upon your website, I knew I did the right thing. You gave me hope and motivation to pursue natural healing to the fullest. Thank you and all the others who have shared their stories and remedies. I will update you as I allow myself time and energy to heal emotionally and physically. :)

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This story shared by Amina on Sept. 17th....

I had Bells palsy in 2000. I was 12 years old at the time. I had gotten back from a dentist appt., and few hours later I had the same symptoms; my experience sounds identical to yours. The doctor gave me two shots, and since that day my life has never been the same. I visited numerous doctors and specialists; all I heard from them was that my face will not recover. Imagine hearing this at 12 years old? It was extremely painful. To this day, I remember how hurt I was. Even now, I get very emotional when I reflect to those cloudy days of my youth. I remember my days at school, I remember being laughed at, because I couldn't smile. I am thankful that I my face has recovered. I would say it recovered 70 percent . However, I have an issue with symmetry today, since I was so young. After I suffered from this disease, the affected side of my face stopped developing. My right side of the face looks much different from my left side, and my jaw is asymmetrical. I try not to be bothered by this , but sometimes I can not help but wonder "how I would look if I had not been affected by this monster of a disease?" But then again, I am thankful to be alive; at least I'm not suffering from cancer or some other extreme disease. Lastly, I want to thank you for sharing your story with the world.

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The following is a dialogue between Judy B. and maggie....

Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Hi maggie. Your article on Bell’s was inspirational and gives me hope. However, I didn’t see anything to indicate you had headaches. I ended up in the ER over the weekend with a horrific headache which, after 3 days of the drugs (you mentioned you did not take), I still have. I had the headache about 3 days before my face began drooping. I am to follow up with an ENT tomorrow and then I’m going by the Herb shop. I hope it’s not too late to begin using the natural products, a lot of these I already use daily.

I want to tell you how I think I got Bell’s and see what you think. I had surgery on 8/23/11 on my right wrist for a tendon that I messed up. They made me stop taking any herbs of any kind a week prior to surgery. I went into surgery with chest congestion and made them aware. It is allergy related and they were not concerned. From some of the things I have read, you are more at risk of getting Bells with upper respiratory infections, etc. It was that night or the next that the headaches set in. Today is 8/31/11 and I still have the headaches, right behind my ear at the base of the skull on the side with the Bells. They are not as bad as they were initially and I’m seeing the ENT Doctor tomorrow – something has got to give. I cannot sleep because of the headaches.

I am retired and entertain residents in long-term car facilities, singing the oldies – songs they grew up with. They love me and I love what it does for them. I was so down after seeing my face, I have cancelled everything for the next couple of months. You have given me hope that it might not take that long AND that no one is going to think me funny looking.

I hope you can read this as I’m typing it with one eye taped down????? I can’t wait to get to the herb shop and I look forward to hearing from you.

Judy B.


Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:21 AM maggie wrote:

dear Judy,

thank you for your kind words. i'm very sorry to hear about your experience with Bell's.

in my opinion, it's never too late to begin with natural products.

do read my bell's webpage more than once. when i first learned i had bell's and began researching, i read --and then reread-- sufferers' accounts, knowing i wasn't thinking clearly. i realized, doing that, i'd have less of a chance of missing anything important that was in full view. it's not that the bell's caused my mind to go a bit mushy. it was the shock of bell's. in nearly everyone who emails me i sense the shock and the lack of taking in information.

i did have a headache, but sensed this was cause by swelling and inflammation so didn't label it as such.
read the accounts on my bell's webpage and you will see others mentioned headaches.

regarding what caused the bell's. who knows? truly it doesn't matter. everyone wonders this. what matters most is trusting you will be able to heal and then moving toward that goal, with gratitude for every miniscule improvement and, of course, patience.

regarding your singing your songs, as soon as you can speak/sing even a bit normally, get on out there. right up front, tell your listeners what's happened and thank them for their support during your recovery and that no matter what happened to you, you won't stop singing your heart out.

when i saw children staring, i said something like: "My face really looks funny, doesn't it! do you want to know why?" most all of them say yes, and then i explain and thank them for listening. (this was hard at first. i wanted to hide, too.) what happens then, in the nursing home, in supermarkets--wherever there are children--you, in the midst of your suffering, become an inspiration. everyone has something they don't want others to know about them. your something is visible--that's all.

all good fortune to you!

maggie (davis)

Sep 6, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Hi maggie. You are so right about not reading enough. The day I read your account on your webpage was Day 2, having been diagnosed on Day 1 (headaches had started 3 days prior to this). I couldn't see to read. I am 64 and need both my eyes to see. The Left one was pouring water and I was trying to gather any information I could to take to the herb shop. Not that I needed it. The owner fixed me up.

I hate to appear ignorant but I want to share my story on your website but can't figure out the link to do it.

Let me say this in the meantime, Day 1 was when I went to ER and was diagnosed, given the prednisone and Valtrex. Day 2 and 3 came more facial drooping and pain. By day 4 I started showing signs of improvement - my eye began blinking some. The prednisone lasted 5 days and I felt o.k. with it but never slept because of the headache. Day 6 and 7 were rough as I had been "going" on the prednisone without much sleep for several days. I followed up with ENT doctor on Day 5 as the ER doctor advised me to do. Well, to quote an old Southern expression "he was about as worthless as two tits on a bore hog". He told me I just needed to be patient. I told him I wasn't leaving until he gave me something for my headache. He prescribed Toradol which finally allowed me to sleep. (This fool wanted me to come back and see him??????? For what I don't know, just to tell me to be patient again).

I continued the meds given to me - just because I was afraid to stop taking them. On Day 4 I added St. John's Wort, VS-C and Mega-Chel and an eye-drop called Silver Shield (all from herb shop). They also fixed me up with some oils for massaging. I felt instant relief in my eye with the drops. On Day 5, went to the Chiropractor which helped and I continue to go to her. The pain went from my neck all the way down to between my shoulder blades (and still does). The Chiropractor had me add Lysine - 1000 mg x 4 times daily. I went to a clinic and got a B-12 shot and take liquid B-12 several times per day.

I saw you and others on your webiste mention B-12 shots daily but I was told at the clinic you need a prescription for more than once a week and my doctor would never in a million years give me one - doesn't believe in the natural stuff.

This is Day 9 and I am happy to report that I am back at 75%. Not sure which helped or if all of it helped but at least I can function and sleep. Deep depression and anger set in on Day 1 and 2 but by the 3rd day I was back to my usual positive self. You e-mail cheered me up as well.

I can't wait to sing again. I have tried to rehearse but my hearing is sensitive still so I will be patient.

Thanks maggie. I love your website



Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 2:34 PM

you're welcome, Judy.
i'll have this email posted on my website as soon as that can be done.
may i include your email address?

regarding B-12 shots.
the first time i had them, my doctor, based on my research, freely prescribed.
second time, a decade later, new doctor. some elbow twisting but success again.

if i haven't mentioned this before, if you can't have daily shots i highly highly recommend, NOW brand ultra B-12 which has lots of folic acid as well.
i still use this ultra B-12 preventively. if you can't get it locally you can order it through

i'm glad you're feeling better!
if you're moved to, do follow the link on my bell's webpage to the massage instructions.

and i hope you didn't miss the goggles suggestion if you have to protect your eyes at night.

thanks for your kind words about the website.

i can almost hear you singing!



Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Hi maggie. Today is 3 weeks since my initial diagnosis and I can say for at least the last week, I have been back to 95% well. You can't tell by looking at me that I have Bell's, the horrible headaches are gone and I am in good spirits and since my food doesn't fall out of my mouth now, I am enjoying having lunch with friends. I have just a slight droop in the corner of my mouth that is not noticable until I smile. (This I could even live with as it looks natural.) I continue my massages and herbal medications and will make some of them - especially the Lysine and B-12 - part of my daily routine even when I am recovered.

I went back into the website today and read those stories that I had not read before searching for information on my hearing which is still not 100% normal. Although I believe that it will be when the rest of me is back to 100%, I'm wondering if it's o.k. to sing now. ( I am the singer of oldies). I am only rehearsing at this time and I don't turn the sound up as loud as I normally would but it's still very loud on the affected side and I just don't want to do any damage. Any thoughts on this.

Again, I can't thank you enough for your website and all of those who shared their stories. I don't believe I would have mended as quickly as I did had it not been for all of your inspirational stories.

Thanks again

Judy B


judy, i'm thrilled for you and will certainly add this portion of the story to the Bell's page so others may be inspired.

regarding the singing, i don't have an answer except to say—if it brings you joy, do it. i guess i would advise however that you reintroduce the singing to your life in increments, very gradually increasing the volume. your body will continue to tell you what it wants.
yes, continue with your routines and though i understand you're grateful for 95% functioning, no harm in aiming for 100%.
with all goodwill and blessings,

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This story sent by Kathy on August 7th, 2011....

Dear maggie

Although your site is a few years old now, it is still relevant and I wanted to thank you for writing it as it has been most helpful to me. I’ve had bp for 2 weeks now and I’ve been trawling websites trying to find information and advice as to how best deal with this condition.

I didn’t begin with pain, but pain has now come on 2 weeks after initial symptoms. I do see an improvement in my face but my head feels so tight and the pain is the worst I’ve ever experienced.

I wanted to tell you that I’ve had some relief by doing Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine routines. So if you decide to publish this, other people may also benefit from her work. Her work is based on the theory that if you have pain it’s caused by blocked energy and that energy needs to move. It’s a bit like acupuncture without the needles. You simply tap certain points on the body. She has a website and is also on You Tube demonstrating her routines. They take minutes to do and have given me relief.

I’ve also had Reiki healing which has been wonderfully relaxing. I think my bp was brought on by stress and I’ve been doing de-stressing things, yoga, long baths, meditating, listening to relaxing music. I’ve been crying a lot and instead of doing my usual in bottling things up, I have let the tears flow.

I’ve used the oils you suggested and have been doing light facial massage. The ginger tea compresses have been soothing. I think the visualisation technique you suggest of imagining your face back to usual is an excellent idea and I’ve been doing that daily too.

If I find anything else that is helpful, I will let you know.

Thank you once again for all your tips.


An e-mail conversation between Heather and maggie from early November, 2010....

Hi maggie,
I was surfing and just read your story about your journey with bells palsy. I too had bells palsy about 8 years ago. I appeared to heal with no physical issues remaining but since then I have had reoccurring bouts of neuralgia. From what I have read this appears to be the nerve pain (specifically in my face) that can reoccur. As you probably know the bells palsy is from the same herpes virus as chickenpox and shingles. The neuralgia is the nerve pain associated with shingles without the blisters/rash. I read that people who suffer from this often have a depletion of the amino acid Lysine. I took this for several months a few years ago and had not suffered any more neuralgia until this weekend. I am currently back on the lysine and I also go for Reiki treatments, which tend to release any of the negative energies associated with illness. I realize your last posting was 2009 and I hope you have not suffered since then but I thought I would share my info. just in case.

Health to you!



Heather, thank you.

i'll add you story online, if i may (and email address?) . it is very welcome and might help some folks.

i'm a Reiki II and have been doing self Reiki every day.

occasionally i do have bouts of what feels like neuralgia. often it's when my neck is out of alignment or i'm eating the wrong kind of sugar.

if you don't mind my asking, how did you help heal the BP initially?

again, thank you very much for being in touch.


Hi maggie,
thanks for responding! You may add my comments but unfortunately not my email, as it is a work email. I currently do not have a personal email.

When I got the bells palsy I went to the hospital as I thought I was having a stroke (drooping lip and numbness) they also checked for stroke but realized it was bells palsy. They treated me with steroids and anti inflammatories. I spent 2 weeks in bed in pain and just resting. I did self massage and my husband also massaged my face daily and I did face stretches. I also used positive affirmations daily to remain positive.

I went for a Reiki treatment today and as I suspected I am holding onto alot of negative energy right now. I sometimes tend to take on other peoples "stuff" and I believe that it comes out through my nerves. I will therefore need to focus more on releasing this and also find a way to not take it on. Already I feel better than I did yesterday, with just one treatment. I believe that the medical industry has a role but they tend to focus on the symptoms and not the reason. I also believe that they never look at a person holistically and therefore the connection of our emotions, energy, past experiences etc do not come into the diagnosis. I do believe that the bells palsy is caused by the herpes virus but I also believe that it may be stimulated in me when I am stressed and need to release. These are obviously my views and I respect that Doctors, healers and other patients may have other views.

Thanks again for listening!



Heather, i do agree about the stress factor and make sure to keep up with the NOW ultra b-12 i wrote about.

i'll ask my webmaster to not add your work email address to the webpage.

all good fortune to you.
be in touch anytime.
maggie (not maggie. thanks . . .)


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This story sent by Jeremy on March 14th, 2010....

I received the ER diagnosis and the CT scan did show BP. The b-12, fish oil, vit c and b complex are truly the cure. I am now 75% better after only two weeks. Hey folks, vitamins are the key in lieu of steroids.


Jeremy West



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From Stephanie, on October 17th, 2009...

Dear maggie...
Your page is a Godsend, as are the many postings and e mails you have there. As you can tell from my e mail address, I am in "natural medicine" and have been practicing acupuncture for the past 15 years. I have known about Bell's palsy for years, especially treated it in China when I was there working in a Hospital for 3 months. My case felt so odd, and quite honestly scared the tar out of me! I had gone in for a colposcopy (cervical biopsy) in a clinic very close to the border of Mexico. Had the colpo due to irregular Pap, but seems that is okay now. At any rate, within 3 days of the Colpo, I began having back pain, that felt like sciatica (I don't get that unless I am in very bad shoes or very cold weather)... I had a few Ayurvedic treatments, which seemed to keep the back pain at bay. Then, I flew from California to NY and by the time I arrived, I had a fever, swollen glands and the back pain was becoming unbearable. That first night at home (at my Dad's), I didn't sleep a wink for the extreme pain in my back. It was sheer misery. By morning, I was a mess, and had to stay in bed, taking Tylenol every 3-4 hours. I had none of my own supplies so relied on what was nearby. I had only fluids and broth from chicken or veggie stock... I had zero appetite.

Once the back pain subsided, I was still dealing with fever, chills, a RAGING headache (I never get headaches) and throbbing every time I got up, thinking my head may blow off my shoulders. Boohoo. I was so unhappy and felt helpless (a very intimidating feeling for someone whose life is dedicated to helping others heal).... It took a week before I started feeling better, and even then a bit tired. But, I was able to take long walks, enjoy meals, and the remaining symptoms were the swollen glands (throat) and feeling hot at night... that finally went away and I was feeling better. I flew back to California with my lovely Mom and within 10 days, I started noticing the novacaine sensation others describe... Oddly, I could feel is coming on right away and knew exactly what it was. (Yikes, but ME???? WHY????) I was scared and didn't know why this was happening...

I began acupuncture immediately, (this was 5 days ago), and did go to the ER since my cardiologist said that was urgent due to my mitral valve prolapse. (For those with MVP, they HAVE TO be certain you didn't have a stroke so DO get the brain scan (CT or MRI)...My head was fine, and they gave me the prescriptions and sent me on my

I didn't take the meds, since I react to just about every Western med...SO, I began taking Lysine, TONS and TONS of garlic, vitamin C, B 12 injections, and doing lots of self massage and prayer as well... I have to say, this has been such a humbling experience. Day 2 or 3 my eye was in so much pain that I went to an Eye Doc... he was an angel...turns out he had BP and recovered completely. This man was so wonderful, kind, and even let me cry sitting in the chair...!!! He gave me drops to put in every 45 minutes, and assured me I didn't have Ocular Herpes (when one reads too much...) So, my face is still not much better, but it is only 5 days... I have been reading like crazy, and found your page which has given me so much hope and connection to others... THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!! Bless you and all the people who have to deal with this and other maladies... It's a lesson in compassion and unity and that is how I am trying to view this experience... Also, it has hit home the fact that appearance is NOT everything, and living near Los Angeles and going to school there has been a very confusing thing, living in the Land of the Beautiful....HA!!! I am choosing this experience, like so many others, to be my teacher and to help me become a better person, to grow closer to those who are like-minded, and drift from the "negative" influences.

I will keep you posted on my progress with all the natural remedies...Thank you again, and I am most grateful for your kind gesture of connecting everyone here on this page...

Blessings and thanks,

P.S. Anyone who wants to know more of what I have taken, is welcome to contact me, I will be happy to help!!!


response from maggie, October 17th:

oh, stephanie, you have truly been through it.
i am so glad to hear you've had angels along the way.
in the end, that's all that matters isn't it—how we care for one another.
i'll be adding your story to my bell's page.
i wish you all good fortune. be in touch anytime.



follow-up from Stephanie, October 17th:

Hi again maggie!!
Sorry, after all my ranting about my BP case, I forgot to ask you if, from your experience, you have encountered people that get this after the flu or similar to what I described??? ... I am still a bit dumbfounded by how this came about... Do a lot of people with BP feel depressed too??? .... Thank you so much for your kind note... It is a blessing to know there are people who have gone through this as well...!!!

Sincerely, Stephanie


response from maggie, October 17th:

hello, stephanie,
i'm not sure what caused it. most people say a virus. my intuition says it's a virus accompanied by a trigger of some sort.
i hope you're trying the b-12 shots every day IM rather than sub cu. i used them for ten days 1cc a day and convinced my doctor to let me give them to myself. my nurse daughter taught me how.
regarding feelings of depression, understandable especially the first time around. keep the faith. do the regimen. i wish you such good.
do contact me again if you'd like.


follow-up from Stephanie, October 17th:

Thank you again, maggie...
Yes, I am doing the B 12 injections, every other day... I have them from my cardiologist, since he felt they may help with my Mitral Valve Prolapse... and, hopefully they will help with the Bell's..
I re-read your journey with BP and must say you are very brave and strong... I'm grateful and honored to have met you here. I will certainly keep you posted, and hope your most recent episode has passed in a hurry....

Blessings to you,

Sincerely, Stephanie

follow-up from Stephanie, October 25th:

Hello Dear maggie...
I just wanted to give you an update. I believe very much, it was your kind support and assistance on your page that helped me to heal very quickly from the BP... I am still doing B 12 shots for another
few weeks, every other day. I have been taking 3,000 mgs of Vitamin C daily in 2 doses, double dose of Multi vitamin, Elderberry extract 2 times a day (viral fighter), and steams on my face with Ayurvedic
Herbs Nirgundi and Rasna. I ALSO had Nasya (oil drops in the nose, also an Ayurvedic Treatment), and took warm milk with 1 teaspoon of Ashwaganda and 1/4 tspn nutmeg at night before bed...
It will be two weeks tomorrow, and I am 95-90 percent better.
I am praying a lot, and feeling immense gratitude for the help that has helped me on this path of healing...
I hope I can be of help to others and to you, as you have been for me!!!

Kind thanks, many warm regards,



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From Mary on December 18, 2006...

Found your site while trying to "save face" last month. A lot of great info and a comfort to read other's stories. An ESPECIALLY BIG THANKS to Annie O'Neill in New Zealand, as I followed her protocol and began to get movement that very evening! I was also taking St John's Wort, Melissa and Prickly Ash tinctures. Another big thanks to my remarkable massage therapist, who has been in practice for 26 years and is trained in 22 different modalities—-after all these years it's as though her hands have "eyes" and just see where they need to go. She has treated many people with Bell's and knows the traditional massage for it as well as having added her own elements. The first session was very gentle and just seeking to activate the deadened nerves, not much visual change, though some. However, I had very dramatic results after each hour session thereafter and would recommend massage to anyone who can find a very experienced therapist who is familiar with treating Bell's. I tried acupuncture 3 times but became terribly inflamed after each session. I love acupuncture, but not for this. I found it much too stimulating and it just seemed to aggravate the nerve (same could be true of massage in the wrong hands). After 4 weeks from onset, I was visually (to look at me) at 100%, but internally there was still some "sponginess" feeling of inflammation in my face and head, and another 10 days of sensitivity to sound. Eight weeks out, I still have to be very careful with the nerve (thanks in part to a can of bug spray on a high shelf that came down and hit me on the brow bone like a bullet to the head—-adding injury to insult!) Having to be careful in terms of me getting enough rest and not being in loud noise for too long——the nerve starts to tingle. Oh, prior to my onset, I had two very sleepless nights and awoke after the second night with my adenoids quite swollen—-like a sinus attack. That's when I noticed the difference in my tongue sensation, but it was another 3 days before I began slow paralysis, which took 8 days to complete. Day nine, I started the protocol I found here, and it was that night that I first had movement in my mouth! From there, I progressed quickly the first week—-to about 75%, but the last 25% took about another two weeks—-this is where the massage was critical in terms of me reclaiming my face. My only regret is that I bothered to go to a Neurologist, (day 4) who seemed less informed about Bell's palsy than I! When I tried discussing information I had found on the Internet, he said, "Well, you have to consider where you get your information." I said, "PubMed? Ohio State University?", both of which also had info about B12 studies. He had no response. I took the Acyclovir and Prednisone, to which I not only did not respond, but continued to decline and paralyze. A friend got me in to see her Integrative Doctor, and I began B12 injections as well as oral B12 in the form of Methylcobalamine the same day I started Annie's protocol. I am now going to offer this info to a neighbor's 24 year old daughter whom I have just learned has been frozen and suffering for 5 weeks—-no improvement. Thanks again for starting this site and allowing those of us who actually know what works a chance to speak and share and
heal. I agree with your tag, "We are the angels we've been waiting for."

Off to pass in on.....

With grateful thanks, Mary





From Dotti, on October 8, 2006...

I am currently suffering from Bell's palsy. I have found that wearing swim goggles during sleeping hours provided my eye with sufficient moisture. I lube the eye and put the goggles on. They protect the eye from scratching and keep the eye very moist. I also do this in the afternoon if the eye feels irritated.

Wearing a gauze patch or taping the eye shut applies unwanted and dangerous pressure on the eyeball. Try this - it works and provides great comfort!!

Lockport NY





From Annie, on July 15th, 2006...

Hi maggie,

I read with interest your article on Bell palsy. I suffered this 3 weeks ago with all the classic signs that you have mentioned, eye wouldn't blink or close, right side of my face was numb, corner of mouth dropped and my speech was slurred, it felt like I had had a stroke. I was lucky enough to meet an American doctor who was on a working holiday in New Zealand and he suggested that I try B12 injections 3 times a week, the dose being 500mcg, plus Acety-L-Carnitine (ALC) 1 tablet daily, and Methyl-Sulphonyl-Methane (MSM) 500mg 3 times a day, plus vitamins B1, B2, and B6, 3 times a day, dose being 50mg.

Well it worked, within 12 days I was back to normal. It was incredible how after the first 9 days of nil changes that in the last 3 days that all the nerve ends started to respond. The B12 injections are to continue for the full period of 4 weeks. I hope this helps with any of your readers who are suffering from this terrible condition.


Annie ONeill
New Zealand


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i would like all Bell's Palsy sufferers to know about the potential lyme disease/bell's palsy connection i was recently informed of, yet don't recommend that sufferers, indiscriminantly, rush off to get long-term rounds antibiotics. do educate yourself. google. read. then decide. (in a book called Healing Lyme by Stephen Harrod Buhner (ISBN# 0-9708696-3-0), the author says that approx. ¼ of new Bell's palsy cases are attributable to Lyme.



Additional stories may be read on the Bell's palsy archives page.

Click here to read excerpts from maggie's latest book, Caring in Remembered Ways. In Caring . . . , maggie honors deep-seeing ways that go beyond courtesy and kindness and empathy to the living compassion that embraces all the rest. This personal, practical book celebrates the interconnectedness of all life. It is fitting for caregivers, ministers, counselors, teachers, parents, volunteers, young people—all of us who want to nourish each other in ways we can feel, no matter the circumstances of our lives. "We are the angels we've been waiting for."

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