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Right side jaw numbness…

Dear John,
I have a 65 year old male patient who is experiencing right side jaw numbness – down from the ear to the middle of the chin (constant). There is some pain, but the main complaint is numbness. He has had this problem 4.5 months. He has seen his local doctor who has ruled out a stroke; otherwise, the western medical profession can see no problems with him physically. I have tried several different techniques – the first was Dr. Tan – and I needled the LI area contralaterally. Unfortunately, this didn’t work. I then tried local points with electrostem.  We saw no benefits. I have tried Dr. Jiao’s head points – the sensory area, lower 2/5th with electrostem – both laterally and contralaterally.  Today is the first day that he might have noticed any difference and he’s not sure if the numbness has been diminished at all.
Do you have any suggestions regarding points or perhaps an herbal formula?

Thank you again so much for your help.

Beverly K. Cowan
Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Dear Bev,

I would need to know a lot more about his TCM patterns and diagnosis.
How are the pulses and tongue?  Is there yin xu and/or phlegm damp? Has he done viral testing?

I will give some very general thoughts for consideration.

May need something fairly powerful to warm and open the channels.  The basic formula for this could be Xiao Huo Luo Dan.  Because of the age of the patient this is likely too strong and would need to be combined with some other formulae that treat the underlying patterns and diagnoses. As you know, Xiao Huo Luo Dan is to transform wind damp, dispel stasis (of blood), transform phlegm, warm the channels, and free the network vessels.  You would probably some additional qi movers. You would want to be particularly careful with this formula if there is extreme yin vacuity or heat. Evergreen makes a formula called “Symmetry” that uses the basic principles of Xiao Huo Luo Dan but mellows it a bit.

You might try Master Tong points GB 34, MTP 77.22, MTP 77.23.  I needle these points contralaterally.  Also, 77.01 and 77.02 are great points;  actually my most used Master Tong points.  Great for seizure disorders and epilepsy.  I have used this with great success for Trigeminal Neuralgia, so it may work for him…..and it won’t do any harm. If that does not work then I would use moxa and warm needle technique on local points.

Benfotiamine (fat soluble Thiamine) is #1 on my list for any neuropathy.  I would also use 3-5 grams of Vitamin C, OPC (oligomeric pro-antho cyanidins), and alpha lipoic acid to support the action of the benfotiamine.
L arginine is the best for arterial inflammation if you suspect it.  If there is erectile dysfunction this is a certain choice.
Serrapeptase is #1 if you suspect fibrin deposits or if high fibrinogen levels have shown up on labs.
Nattokinase is great if there is micro circulation (blood stasis) problems.  If the sublingual veins are engorged I would use nattokinase and a lot of Dan shen (salvia mitorrhiza) and huang qi.

If there are any heart/circulation problems, or if he is on statins, I would consider Ubiquinol at 300 mg, L-carnitine at 1 gram, magnesium glycinate at 500 mg, D- ribose at 3-5 grams

Let me know what transpires.

– Dr. John Nieters, L.Ac. DAOM, FABORM

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