A hemifacial spasm presents as an involuntary contraction of the muscles on either side of the face , which occurs secondary to compression of the facial nerve by a vascular loop at the root exit zone [7, 8].
Traditionally, hemifacial spasm treatment includes several approaches such as anticonvulsant medications, and chemical or nerve decompression .
Hemifacial spasm is considered to be an eyelid convulsion in Oriental medicine literature and an eyelid convulsion, Anpojindo, Poyunjindo refers to a blepharospasm in Oriental medicine literature . According to Oriental medicine, the treatment methods of Sopungsanhan (remove the pathogenic Qi), Bogigeodamsikpung (increase vitality and eliminate abnormal body fluids), Pyeonggansikpung (stabilize liver Qi and remove the pathogenic wind Qi) and Soganigi (recover liver Qi) are usually used .
Research on Oriental medicine for treating facial spasms includes a literature investigation , an acupuncture study [13, 14] and a Soyeom Pharmacopuncture study , but no study of HPP has yet to be reported. In this study, we treated facial spasms with acupuncture and HPP, and we evaluated the effect by using Scott’s scale .
The research involved 32 patients who visited the Acupuncture & Moxibustion Department at Semyung University Hospital of Oriental Medicine for facial spasm treatment from March 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012. Exclusion criteria included the following: cerebrovascular accident (CVA), hypersensitivity or active skin disease, active infectious disease requiring medical care for the entire body, mental diseases and alcoholism and/or drug addiction.
HPP was prepared by using the following protocol provided by the Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute;
With disposable 2-cc syringes (SIR Medical Co, Ltd.) and 30-G needles, the subjects were injected 0.1-0.2 cc and 1~2 cm deep, respectively, at each meridian point once a day, three times a week. Before acupuncture, the HPP procedures were mainly performed at the Sabaek (ST2), Seung-eup (ST1), Gwal-lyeo (SI18), Chanjuk (BL2), Sajukgong (TE23), Hagwan (ST7), Hyeopgeo (ST6), Jichang (ST4), Wan-gol (SI4) and Yepung (TE17) of the inconvenient part. The treatment was performed once a day, three times a week.
The acupuncture needles were disposable, stainless-steel filiform needles (0.30 ㎜ x 40 ㎜) from Dongbang Acupuncture, Inc. Following the meridian points, the needles were inserted 5~10 ㎜ deep once a day, three times a week, The treatment was at Sabaek (ST2), Seung-eup (ST1), Gwallyeo (SI18), Chanjuk (BL2), Sajukgong (TE23), Hagwan (ST7), Hyeopgeo (ST6), Jichang (ST4), Wan-gol (SI4) and Yepung (TE17) of the inconvenient position and Hapgok (LI4), Taechung (LR3), Haeng-gan (LR2) and Pungnyung (ST40) of the convenient prat. Combined symtoms (neck or shoulder pain) were also treated by acupuncture at trigger points. The acupuncture needle’s retaining times were 15 min. The treatment was performed by a clinical specialist with more than 2-yr experience.
Physiotherapy (Infrared Ray (I.R.), Silver Spike Point (S.S.P). at face, Hot Pack (H/P) at neck and shoulder) were applied as additional treatment. All the patients understood and agreed to these treatments. They also signed a consent form that we have provided.
To determine the general characteristics of the patients and to evaluate the effect of HPP, we investigated the following:1) gender and age, 2) areas affected by the facial spasm, 3) other combined symptoms, 4) timing onset of the facial spasm, 5) Scott’s grade (Table 1) before treatment, 6) number of treatment, and 7) treatment results(change in Scott’s grade , and improvement results), According to Scott’s grade, an eyelid spasm has five degrees from normal to serious, the latter causing problems with reading, driving, walking, etc.
The data were analyzed by SPSS/ 10.0 for windows program with descriptive statistics, paired
The 32 patients in this study were composed of 11 men and 21 women, and the age distribution is shown in (Table 2) The facial spasm was located on the left (Lt) side in 24 patients and on the right (Rt) side in 8 patient; the distribution of locations is shown in (Table 3)
Grade of the spasm’s intensity classified by using Scott`s description 
Distributions of gender and age
Distribution of areas affected by the facial spasm
Distribution of other combined other symptoms
Comparison of Scott grade change comparison before and after treatment
Fifteen patients complain of only facial spasm, 12 patients of neck or shoulder pain on the same side, and 5 patients of neck or shoulder pain on the opposite side (Table 4) The onset of facial spasm was less than 1 month in 18 patients, 1~3 months in 8 patients, and more than 3 months in 6 patients.
The Scott’s grade at the first , was grade 1 in 20 patients, grade 2 in 7, and grade 3 in 5. Fourteen patients were treated fewer them 4 times, 13 patients were treated 4 ~ 8 times, and 5 patients were treated more than 8 times.
According to the improvement results, 23 patients reported their condition as excellent, 8 as improved and 1 as mildly improved.
After treatment, 25 patients were Scott’s grade 0, 6 were Scott’s grade 1, 1 was Scott’s grade 2, and none was Scotts grade 3. A comparison of the Scott’s grades before and after treatment showed that 20 patients changed from grade 1 before treatment to grade 0 after treatment. Of the 7 patients with grade 2 before treatment, 4 changed to grade 0 and 3 changed to grade 1. Of the 5 patients with grade 3 before treatment, 1 changed to grade 0, 3 changed to grade 1, and 1 changed to grade 2 after treatment (Table 5)
After treatment, the Scott’s grade 1 group was given an average of grade 0, the Scott’s grade 2 group was given an average of grade 0.47, and the Scott’s grade 3 group was given an average of grade 1 (Fig 1)
The results of Shapiro-Wilk normality test showed that, the data followed a normal distribution. Before treatment, the Scott’s grade average was 1.53 ± 0.664, but after it was 0.25 ± 0.39 (
The results of this investigation were found to be clinically significant and are as:
The facial spasms occurred mainly on one side. The spasms occurred more frequently on the left side, with the left side to right side ratio being about 19:8. A large number of facial spasm patients have other symptoms at the same time. More than half of the patients had a comorbidity such as neck or shoulder pain. Patients tended to visit the hospital soon after the onset of symptoms. Approximately 56% of the patients visited the hospital within one month after the onset, 25% of the patients visited the hospital 1-2 months after the onset, and 19% of the patients visited the hospital three months or more after the onset.
After only four times treatments, 14 patients reported improved symptoms and did not visit anymore. Of the remaining patients, 13 patients received treatment 4-8 times and only five patients received treatment more than 8 times. About 72% of patients reported excellent improvement with the combination treatment. In Scott grade, 25 patients (78%) were improved to grade 0, and 6 (18%) to grade 1. Only one patient (3%) was improved to grade 2. According to the statistical analysis of the effects of HPP treatment, symptoms decreased significantly, and HPP combination therapy had a great effect on patients with severe symptoms.
Pharmacopuncture is an oriental treatment method in which certain amounts of ingredients extracted from Oriental medicine herbs are injected into meridian points or reaction points on the body’s surface after a diagnosis of the patient’s physical constitution and disease status has been established. This therapy has clinical advantages in exhibiting both acupuncture and drug effects .
HPP is one of the most widely used herb-acupunctural materials to replenish vital essence and blood in Oriental traditional medicine . Many studies have reported on the the rapeutic effectiveness of HPP. HPP as a treatment has effects on peripheral facial paralysis , the capacity to regulate bone resorption , protection against osteoporosis , protection against radiation enteropathy , and the growth-promoting activity of nerve regeneration .
Facial spasms usually occur on one side of the face, and abnormal muscle spasms occur around the eyes, mouth, and platysma muscle. They usually occur at ages form 40 to 50 and more often in women. They usually begins around the eyes and move to around the mouth. They are worsened by stress or fatigue, and can accompany some facial muscle weakness, but there is no paresthesia .
Hemifacial spasm is considered to be an eyelid convulsion in Oriental medicine literature, and eyelid convulsion, Anpojindo, Poyunjindo, refers to a blepharospasm in Oriental medicine literature . According to Oriental medicine, the treatment methods of Sopungsanhan (remove the pathogenic Qi), Bogigeodamsikpung (increase vitality and eliminate abnormal body fluids.), Pyeonggansikpung (stabilize liver Qi and remove the pathogenic wind Qi), and Soganigi (recover liver Qi) are usually occur with facial spasm .
In this study, we treated facial spasm with acupuncture and HPP, and we found the following: Thirty-two patients visited the Acupuncture & Moxibustion Department at Semyung University Hospital of Oriental Medicine for facial spasm treatment from March 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012. The patients included 11 men and 21 women; 4 were 21~30 yr old, 7 were 31~40 yr old, 11 were 41~50 yr old, 6 were 11, 51~60 yr old, and 4 were more than 61 yr old 4 (Table 2) There were no significant differences in the demographic characteristics (Table 2)
As to the areas affected by the facial spasms, the Lt eye was involved in 10 patients, the Rt eye in 5, the Lt cheek in 2, the Rt cheek in 2, the Lt mouth in 6, the Rt mouth in 1, the Lt eye and cheek in 3, the Lt cheek and mouth in 2, and the Lt eye and mouth in1 (Table 3) More patients had facial spasms on left side spasm had them on the right side (Table 3) Fifteen patients complained of only facial spasm, 12 of neck or shoulder pain on the same side, and 5 of neck or shoulder pain on the opposite side. More than half the patients appealed combined of other symptoms (Table 4) The onset of facial spasm was less than 1 month in 18 patients, 1~3 months in 8, and more than 3 months in 6 patients. More than a half of patients visited within one month of the onset. Because they were worried about serious CVA diseases, so visited earlier.
As to the Scott’s grade before treatment at the first time visit, 20 patients were in grade 1, 7 in grade 2, 5 in grade 3 and none in grade 4. In this study, the number of grade 1 patients was more than the numbers of patients with other grades. The number of treatments was, fewer than 4 in 14 patients, 4 ~ 8 times in 13, and more than 8 times in 5. Usually when the patients themselves thought that the symptoms had improved, they did not visit any more.
After treatment, results were reported as excellent by 23 patients, improved by 8 and mildly improved by 1. In this study, most patients reported excellent or improved results. After treatment, 25 patients were in Scott’s grade 0, 6 in Scott grade 1, 1 in Scott 1, grade 2, none in Scott’s grade 3. In this study, after treatment, most patients were improvement in Scott’s grade 0 or 1. A comparison of the Scott’s grades before and after treatment showed that 20 patients changed from grade 1 before treatment to grade 0 after treatment. Of the 7 patients with grade 2 before treatment, 4 change to grade 0 and 3 changed to grade 1. Of the 5 patients with grade 3 before treatment, 1 changed to grade 0,3 change to grade 1, and 1 changed to grade 2 after treatment (Table 5) Facial spasms of all grade 1 patients before treatment were improved to grade 0, but those of grade 2 and 3 patients, although improved, were not all patients improved to grade 0; there was a tendency that high grade spasms were less improved than low grade spasms (Table 5)
After treatment, the Scott’s grade-1 group was given an average of grade 0, the grade-2 group an average of grade 0.47 grade, and the grade-3 group an average of grade 1 (Fig 1) Before treatment, the Scott’s grade average was 1.53 ± 0.664, but after it was 0.25 ± 0.39 (
In the research of Heo
Comparing exactly existing papers with our study is difficult, however, we conclude that it would be better in medical treatment to use acupuncture accompanied with HPP, to use the Wan-gol (SI4), and the Yepung (TE17) acupuncture points around the neck, and to treat neck or shoulder pain.
In summary, we treated 32 facial spasm patients with acupuncture and HPP, and the facial spasms of most patients were greatly improved. However, this study included relatively few participants, so the statistical analysis was difficult. Thus, further studies are required to investigate the efficacy of treating facial spasms with HPP.