Marijuana’s Effect On Bell’s Palsy/Facial Paralysis and other Nerve Damage

(Note: this is FAR from my regular subject of how men can improve their bedroom performance, but felt it was important to give people who came down with Bell’s Palsy some amazing observation I’ve made regarding facial paralysis). ALSO, there are no scientific studies behind this, just my observations. And wait at least 6 months after hit with Bell’s Palsy before experimenting with marijuana).

I came down with Bell’s Palsy in March of ’08.  I woke up in the morning and half of my face was drooping.  I noticed early in the morning that I was slurring pretty bad.  I couldn’t close one eye, I couldn’t taste or feel my breakfast… and it was falling out of my mouth as I tried to eat.

I looked up the symptoms and thought I had a stroke.

Turns out, thank God, it was only a partial paralysis of my face.  Approx 75% -85% of people make a complete recovery within a couple of months, often times without medication.

I was in that 15% that didn’t completely heal.  Honestly, I’ve made a great recovery, and everybody tells me I have nothing.  But when doing facial movements in the mirror, I notice… big weakness still on the left side of my face.  Crooked smile…

Some women have told me it made my smile sexy… hopefully they weren’t just being nice.

The same obsessive researching I do on sexual knowledge, I turned it on Bell’s Palsy.

My research findings regarding Bells Palsy, Cigarette Smoking, and Marijuana Smoking

When I first came down with Bell’s, I wanted to do everything I could to make a complete recovery.

As soon as I had the symptoms I ran over to the doctor.  He diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy and put me on an anti-viral (acyclovir) and a steroid (prednisone).  I jumped on the medication as soon as it was ready.

I ate very well.  I ate to recover, too.  Lots of meat (protein), fair amounts of carbs, lots of fruits and vegetables.

At first I cut out all smoking (weed and cigarettes), all alcohol (even though my doctor told “Please, have a drink… you need it more than ANYONE!”), I only stuck to real light exercise without straining my face, slept as well as I could…

I looked up how smoking affected Bell’s Palsy, both cigarettes and marijuana.

Due to a lack of studies on these topics, I had to rely on anecdotal evidence, which can still give some very useful information.

I came across one girl describing her mother’s Bell’s Palsy.  She said that her mother came down with it many years before, and that she barely recovered.  She said that her mother smoked cigarettes every day.  That was enough for me to kick that unnecessary and harmful habit.

I also read a book online written by a man with Bell’s.  At the end of the book he showed his face, and it did not look like a very good recovery… throughout the entire book he mentioned smoking cigarettes during his recovery.

So, if you have Bell’s Palsy, and you want your face back, then NO SMOKING CIGARETTES.

After a few months without a complete recovery, I began to painfully accept the fact that my face may never look normal again.

I also looked for anything that would help the recovery.  I visited an acupuncturist twice a week for almost a year.

I drove four hours to meet with a Neuro-Muscular Retraining expert, and learned some advanced exercises to work on the weak facial muscles and help them recover.

After about 6 or 7 months, and a moderate recovery, I became a little stressed, frustrated, depressed… and bored.

I went out with a friend to eat, and on the way home I saw she had a joint in the ash tray.  I was sick of this shit, so I told her to light it up, and I took a couple of hits.

I went into my apartment, and began freaking out.  I thought that was it, my face was going to stop healing because I hit the joint a couple of times.

So I began my obsessive searching.  I came across a couple of very interesting posts.  This one man said he rapidly recovered from long-standing nerve damage when he started smoking Marijuana.

In his words:

Has anyone here used marijuana to alleviate the side effects of nerve damage and/or nerve regeneration after damage?

Two years ago, I had a gastric bypass operation. I suffered from some post-op aneorexia, and eventually I was numb to my chest, the muscles in my feet and legs atrophed, and I completely lost use of my feet/legs. I had a Bilateral Peripheral Neuropathy/myopathy combination.

It’s a much longer story than that, but that’s the basics.

I was in a wheelchair for 6 months, then began smoking pot.

I was up walking with a walker within a month, and could walk on my own within two.

I had shown no real improvements until I started smoking the pot. I’m just curious about others who maybe HAVE been scripted for neuropathy or similar…Scientifically, how does it work for nerve regen?

Pretty amazing stuff, huh?  Check out what this guy wrote:

About 6 years ago, I suffered a skiing accident that left me with nerve damage on my entire left side. I made some recovery for the next 9 months, but was really down in the dumps. At that point I made the decision to try marijuana and man was it the right decision. In the next 5 years I am on the verge of recovering my hand and my leg is almost back to where it was. Similarly, research now suggests that marijuana stimulates the production of new neurons and nerves in the brain. There have been some reports in very recent research that marijuana stimulates the growth of gross motor nerves and inhibits the growth of fine, but that is only one study so far. In the end we will see America’s approach to marijuana completely flip. At least we can hope.

My Observations regarding the Positive Effects of Marijuana on Bell’s Palsy

As I mentioned before, I began to perform these facial exercises that the neuro-muscular therapist put together for me.

I’ve had a slow but remarkable recovery since then.  It’s been 20 months since I came down with Bell’s Palsy, and they say that healing stops at around 12 months…

Just today a felt a new little twitch of nerve recovery on the part of my eye right next to my nose.  And each time I look in the mirror after one of these twitches, I look a little more like me.

This recovery cannot be attributed to the exercises alone.  The body’s innate ability to continue healing itself is powerful as well.

And then there’s the healing power of the mighty herb, Marijuana.

When I smoke Marijuana, I have the most amazing control over my face; I perform facial movements way more complete and controlled than normal.

I also make very deep insights into the workings of my face, how the muscles work, etc.  Marijuana has kept me constantly learning, understanding, and remastering my face.

There have been weekends where I wouldn’t do my facial exercises at all, and I would smoke decent amounts of Marijuana, and I’ll look in the mirror after the whole weekend, and my face looks great.  I’ll have better control over it when I go to the mirror.

After these pot sessions, I’ve had people tell me, “what’d you do?  You look great?”  stuff like that.  It’s the bud.

I wish I knew how to get some studies started on Bell’s Palsy and Marijuana.  But what the hell, all I’m going to do is put this information out here, and hopefully those who need it will be able to find it.

Other Advice regarding Recovery from Bell’s Palsy:

Begin Facial Exercises

Facial exercises have been clinically proven to aid and provide a more complete recovery of Bell’s Palsy.

This one man’s face was almost completely paralyzed for a year and a half, and upon starting the exercises at that point, began a steady recovery.  Up to three years later he was still improving his facial movement, and new patterns of control began to appear.

Quoted from a case study on it:

On average, voluntary movements increased from 10% to 80% (Figures 4, E-H).

In a follow up meeting two years after completing treatment, the patient and his wife felt that function continued to improve although he no longer practiced the exercises.

The patient was extremely motivated and compliant with the daily home program throughout the entire three year course of neuromuscular retraining, and was extremely pleased with the overall result.

For more information on this man’s recovery, you can view the case study here.

For more information on how to perform the facial exercises, as well as more information on the proven benefits of the exercises, visit this site.

Visit a Neuro-Muscular Retraining Expert:

Your face is your face.  You only have one.  In my case I had an NMR therapist a 4 hour drive away.  I rented a car, and took the trip, spending the night at a hotel.

Regardless of what you have to do, you should get to an NMR.  Even if you have to fly, stay at a hotel, etc. … think of the expenses and time compared to improved chances of having a complete facial recovery.

Here’s a list of NMRs

Don’t start the exercises too early, and don’t force anything.

The most important thing is to get on the medication ASAP after seeing the symptoms.

After that, rest (try and take time off from work), relax, sleep, eat, etc., but don’t try and force your face to move.  These forced movements can cause synkinesis, which creates incorrect nerve connection, like closing your eye every time you smile and vice-versa,

I would say the first 6 months just dedicate to natural healing, and then jump on the exercises.  Patience, patience, patience…. and faith.

You should also good understanding on synkinesis and how to prevent it from occurring.

Strange connection between emotions and healing

There’s a strange, but scientifically proven, mind-body healing connection.

Sometimes, when I’ve felt my happiest, or been really excited about something, I began to feel the little twitches of recovery.

I’ve also noticed that it is of utmost importance to learn to relax your brain.  We all have stress, but you must learn to ease your brain periodically.  After times of prolonged stress, my face looks like shit.

Learn to breathe deeply, close your eyes, and picture your mind just loosening up and relaxing… you may experience some recovery right there.

Never assume you fully understand how a facial movement works

I sometimes think I know exactly how a facial movement works, and I start trying to perform it a certain way.  And then I recover a little more movement, and I realize that I was off.

Constantly try to “reunderstand” movements.  Never assume you know exactly how they work.  This will allow you to gain a better understanding.

Also, this might sound weird, but try and understand this: picture your head like a 3d grid.

These movements are not 2 dimensional, like side to side, or in to out.  Some of them require dynamic movements in a couple of directions (like smiling for instance, it’s sort of like an inward pull with just the corners of your lips, mixed with a simultaneous lift of part of your cheek, leading to a kind of inwards/upwards diagonal pull).   Sounds complicated but improved understanding will come with time.

Extra benefit of Bell’s Palsy Facial Exercises… The development of potent concentration

Something about sitting there and deeply concentrating on these movements.  It creates a powerful concentration, which spills over to improved abilities in a number of unrelated activities.

Vitamins and Facial Massage:

There’s a friend of my family who’s a neurosurgeon.  He gave me the following vitamin regimen:

  • b12
  • b6
  • Vitamin C
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B1

Being that he surgically works with nerves on a regular basis, I would assume he has a deep understanding of how they work, heal, what benefits them, etc.

I don’t remember the exact amounts, but I take them in fairly heavy doses.  Try to learn the upper limits of some of these vitamins (most don’t really have an upper limit, except B6 I believe).  And take a fair amount.

He also mentioned that massage was very good for stimulating the muscles and bringing blood to the face.

Hope all of this helps.

I will periodically add more information to this section as it comes to mind, or with any major insights.

Best regards,

-David Carreras

Mr. Manpower’s Guide

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  1. Hi, I dont wanna go into my story its too long. But ill tell you the basics.First of all tho let me thank you Honestly. I mean I never would have thought weed would helped my situation.Ever since I got diagnosed with BP:-( my whole lifes changed forsure. My self esteem when down immediatly, and ive never had that problem.Ever!. But i sometimes think was GOD punishing me or something? I dunno but I hate having it. I got mine when I was 8 months pregnant by the love of my life. I always smiled .Not tyring to toot my own horn but i had a beutiful smile too. Pearly whites and teeth were straight, with no braces ever. Any way he loved that about me. When I went to the hospital for the condition I too thought I had a stroke, cause I had just woke up from a nap. I slept alot when I was pregnant. Anyway he was supportive the whole way thorough, never treated me different even though I knew the changed was obvious. Even my 8 year old neice that looks up to me even use to comment and ask me about my face and why it was like that.Its been almost 5 months now and I cant complain. Ive came along way but I know Its not my face. Even though people tell me im fine(I would ask)Im going to try your suggestion though thanks! God Bless You!

    • Hello Antionette:

      I feel your pain on the smile… I had a great, pearly white smile too… even though I didn’t used to show it off much (always kind of moody dude).

      I never knew what I had till it was gone.

      But with exercises I’ve developed my own smile. I’ve had a couple of women tell me its a sexy, coy smile, so its alright.

      Also as to looks, you’re married, so you can’t really “test” your looks.

      But me, a couple months into having it, went out, and hit it off with a number of attractive women, including some that called me cute, so that was the ultimate confirmation… we don’t look bad at all!

      As time goes by, you’ll heal more and more… you’ll see.

      Follow all the instructions I mentioned above to best ensure the most complete recovery possible.

      God bless you to Antionette… oh and it was kind of a blessing in disguise… I far less dwell on the physical, including in other people, and appreciate others more, inside and out… I’ve gotten much “deeper” I believe.

  2. im 16 years old and i was dignosed with bells palsy jan 9 2011. im in high school so you know it sucked so bad. i became depressed and suicidal, i lost all my friends, the only person i had was my boyfriend. he’s a saint. i woke up one morning and my lips felt funny and over the day it got worse. the left side of my face was completely paralized. after the 4th month i was ready to do anything,so i went to accupuncture with electricy, i was skeptical but it worked instantly.i had a sever case and was told by serveral doctors if it did get better it wouldnt be a “full” recovery. im in the 8 th month of bells palsy and my eye closes and my cheek moves, my eyebrow still dosent move but atleast i dont look like a zombie anymore;P
    i did try pot and it did help with the depression and cheak movement. it was crazy. hopefully i make a full and complete recovery, fingers crossed. thanks for the tip:)

    • Stay strong Nikki! Healing continues even years in! If you haven’t started yet, do some facial exercises… follow my instructions up above… good luck and God bless!

  3. A very interesting article Mr. Manpower. A few years ago, I was a fairly high functioning professional and had even, in younger days, worked on TV as a news reporter. Then came a severe case of Bell’s Palsy, and as you know, many things changed. Two years after the event I still have limited range of motion in my face, and when I eat and chew, my eye closes and tears. It’s a bummer, but like all changes in life, we need to adapt, and I have done so. No more TV work for me, though. 🙂

    If medical MJ helps, I am very willing to try it. You vitamin routine looks promising, too. My state isnot a medical MJ state, so I will have to figure out a way to procure medical MJ without being arrested on the southside of town.:)

  4. Thank you so much for this post my uncle was just today diagnosed with bells palsy. My stress level has been through the roof since i woke up and saw his face. I automatically thought stroke and rushed him to the hospital. So it has been a long day and i have been doing as much research as i could. And of all the personal experiences i have read so far yours has been the most in depth and helpful. I do have a question though, do you think it would be harmful from your experience if he continued smoking weed this soon after being diagnosed. (a quick side note he is a regular and avid smoker already)

    • Most important of all is that your uncle take the meds ASAP after coming down with it (sorry didn’t answer sooner!!, but he should be taking the meds already, believe its prednisone and acyclovir). Also, its important to take it for a good while, my neuromuscular retraining lady said even up to two weeks would be good! (my doc stopped me after seven days, wish I would have stayed on it longer).

      As to the marijuana smoking, just to be on the safe side, give it about two months after the bell’s came down, as it hasn’t exactly been tested in serious studies, and the most recent healing is most important, and quickest, and wouldn’t want to slow this down on my hypothesis/theory

  5. Gravatar Kelsea Nicole says:

    I’m 18, I was just diagnosed with BP last night at 3 am. My boyfriend took me to the ER, because through out the day it was getting worse. I got on the pills the first day it started, and the doctors said I have a very mild case. I can still move my lips to the side & blink somewhat, but my smile is horrid. I have self image issues as it is, so finding this, I was devistated. I smile all the time. I’m involved with my church and smile at people every chance I get. Now, I hate to smile, or even eat in public. Tonight I’m going to try to smoke to see what it does for me. From the sound of it, it will work very well. Thank you for sharing your story, it made me see I’m not the only one, and I could have it worse than I do. I’m crossing my fingers it doesn’t progress. How is your progress now?

    • Don’t smoke yet Kelsea

      while I don’t think it will make a big difference, I tried smoking months after it hit. I healed very well, but I had a terrible case to begin with.

      Since your case is minor, I really believe you’ll make a complete recovery, as most do (even with a complete palsy).

      Just make sure to take the full dose of the meds

      While I don’t think weed will hurt it right now, might be best just to leave it be

      I know it can be terrifying, but it will get much better

  6. Gravatar Kelsea Nicole says:

    I’m hoping it’ll be gone within a month. I’ve been taking my meds and it just wears me down, but I’ll do whatever I have to to help this heal fast. I read websites about facial exercises, but most say not to for a week or so after you have it. I’ve done a few, but I don’t want to mess up my healing process. When should I start?

    • Take all your meds, rest, eat, reduce stress, dont worry… almost every case completely heals, and rather quickly

      start the exercises after about a month or so, in the meantime continue talking and communicating with people the best you can, like you remember, and your face will continue coming along… no worries, you’ll be alright

  7. Gravatar Kelsea Nicole says:

    I will remember that. Thanks for all your help!

  8. So I was diagnosed with BP 2 weeks ago and it’s not as bad as many cases that I’ve seen… My mom had this years ago, my grandpa, and uncle. Weird? BP has def led me to become really depressed and self conscious. I’m 22/female and my smile was always one of my best features. I was always so confident and happy and would consider myself to be beautiful… Now with this my looks have been ruined along with my smile 🙁 … idk if I am just putting ideas in my head but I sometimes feel like my issue can be much more than just BP??? Is it normal to have migraines this far into it? My ear continues to hurt. I already finished my steroids and meds the doc gave me but I feel like my condition is getting worse before its getting any better? Every bone/muscle in my body aches I feel sore… I’m not sure if it’s my workouts or BP? lol. I know it may all be mental but I’m scared and I’ve tried meditating but for some reason I am failing at everything i have tried. I feel like this has taken over my life. Sometimes I just feel like I may have a tumor or something? I’m always tired and can’t find the motivation to go on with anything!!! I’m a pothead and have been for over a year and smoking weed has helped me a whole lot with this healing (just keeps my mind off it i guess) but I started wondering if perhaps smoking so much could interfere with my healing process? Do you think that can happen? I have no complaints about it but I just don’t want to make the process last any longer… What are your thoughts on that? I’m a big believer in marijuana so I hope I am not wrong. I was sort of considering not smoking until I got better… But then again I guess I just put so many ideas in my head bc i’m so paranoid about not making a full recovery.

    • Hi Cynthia

      I’m sure you look fine already. Most people get better all the way, so no worries. Just relax, go out and walk, rest up, eat well, sleep well, reduce stress. Stay away from the weed for now. Wait a couple months, by then you should be all back to normal. If not healing can take a little longer, maybe up to six months. But I’m pretty sure you’ll be done sooner.

      If by 6 months you’re not 100% healed, start face exercises and vitamins, stuff like that… you’ll be okay, like I said, I’m sure you look great already. We judge ourselves way harder than others.

  9. Gravatar Jeanne Davis says:

    I’ve had BP for 19 months now. I did steroids, acupuncture, deep bio-facial massages, and rehab. Take vitamins and B12 and do my facial exercises twice a day. Can close my eye all the way now if I concentrate but can only partially blink. Only half my mouth can smile. I also have synkenesis. I hear 15% never recover and I fear I’m in that 15%. Think weed will really help?

    • Its worth a shot now. Not so much for the actual healing, although it may help. But if you get high, and do the facial exercises, you make all sorts of insights into your face, what you’re doing wrong, what you can correct, and I believe it actually gives you better control over the features… you may see further advances in your results from the exercises

  10. Gravatar Jesus Yvette says:

    Thank you!!!!
    I had bp when I was 21, I’m 29 now.
    The day before yesterday my bottom lip (left) began to feel numb, then today my face has been in some pain. I asked my neighbor if he still smoked because I felt it would help me relax, and hopefully the bp won’t come back. I wanted to make sure my theory was correct and I bumped into your page. Thank you!!!!

  11. What a great group of stories. I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy 5 days after giving birth. I, too, thought I’d had a stroke. I, too, had a great smile. I, too, am becoming depressed.
    It’s been 5 weeks since the BP started. It’s gotten worse and worse. I cannot close my eyelid still, much less blink. And my mouth, cheek, eyebrow, and nose are completely paralyzed. My husband is a police officer and I haven’t smoked pot since high school, but I’m considering trying it out!!
    Thanks so much

  12. i was diagnosed with BP 2.5 months ago.. i too had a great smile… my gf left friends stayed..i am in China right now..i am a chain smoker..and a big pothead..i did not stop smoking..but cant smoke weed in china..i saw a neurologist..i took medicines for a week..i did not change anything…i still go to clubs/bars…i am a guitarist..i still perform…although some people make fun off me but fuck off !!1
    i wanna know that
    1. should i quit smoking/drinking?
    2. should i jump on exercises?
    3. should i go for accupunture?
    4. weed is illegal in china..can i smoke it on doctor`s advice? :p

    • 1. Stop the cigarettes, drink only a little
      2. Wait 6 months before exercises, take all the vitamins I mention… relax as much as you can, and don’t strain your face and try to force facial movements.
      3. Acupuncture can help, but no electrical therapy
      4. If the doctor allows it (and its legal to smoke then), otherwise be extremely careful, because I heard they are VERY serious with their punishments… otherwise go back to the US, and its much less risky (but still risky…)

  13. I took a nap on my stomach the other day and felt a slight pull under my jaw. When I woke, I couldn’t control the left side of my face and today i JUST got diagnosed w/BP. I thank God it wasn’t a stroke and that most people fully recover! They told me stress was a major factor and my blood pressure 169/101 in the ER. I’m waiting for the antiviral and steroid meds from cvs now.

    I strongly believe in the medicinal properties of marijuana and intend to incorporate that into my treatment. What I noticed the last couple of days though, is that when I get angry and have to curse a rassafrassa out THATS when I feel the twitches on my left side! Just a note to say clearly, faith, the mind, and emotions play a role in this disorder as well…
    peace and blessing to us all, God Jesus speed our recovery!

    • Yes, I agree strongly that emotions, faith and mind play a role. It’s so strange… it’s almost like God is teaching a lesson. Take ALL the meds, and don’t use the weed yet… use that a couple months down the line, if healing is not complete on it’s own. Take note though… healing is 100% in most cases, so no worries

  14. In my own experience weed was actually a huge factor in causing damage to my Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) that included the facial nerve (the 7th cranial nerve) which led to symptoms that had a lot in common with BP. I had to also deal with a mild case of Peripheral Neuropathy which left every single muscle in my body weakened and almost numb including my internal muscles (stomach, intestines, etc.). My case wasn’t that severe but I’ve been dealing with it for two years now and still not fully recovered. I believe that it was caused by smoking high THC strains for a while without realizing the damage I was causing to my own brain and body in general. I think waiting till all symptoms subside before reaching for a joint or oil or any other mean of consumption would be a wise decision and If you insist on trying weed as a medicine I would recommend looking into high CBD strains with low THC concentration just to be sure.
    All in all, it’s a one person’s experience and might not apply to everyone else I just thought why not share my story and maybe someone somewhere will make use of it.
    God Bless

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