The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Facial exercise therapy for facial palsy

    The effectiveness of facial exercise therapy for facial palsy has been debated.

    Researchers at Universidade Estadual de Londrina-UEM, in Brazil, reviewed the evidence.

    First, the details.

    • 6 studies of facial exercises to treat facial palsy were included in the review and meta-analysis.
    • The risk of bias in the studies was low.

    And, the results.

    • Only 1 study presented sufficient data to perform the meta-analysis.
      • Significant improvement in functionality was found for the facial exercise group.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Facial exercise therapy is effective for facial palsy for… outcome functionality.”

    Bell’s palsy, or idiopathic facial paralysis, is a dysfunction of cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) that results in inability to control facial muscles.

    A few years ago, the same researchers reviewed the effects of exercises on Bell’s palsy. They evaluated changes in facial symmetry, synkinesis (involuntary movement of facial muscles that accompanies purposeful movement of some other set of muscles), lip mobility, and physical and social aspects.

    At that time they concluded, “Because of the small number of randomized controlled trials, it was not possible to conclude that exercises associated either with mirror or electromyography (EMG) biofeedback were effective.”

    Accordingly, they concluded, “The available evidence from randomized controlled trials is not yet strong enough to become integrated into clinical practice.”

    On the other hand, tells us, “Paralyzed muscles can shrink and shorten, causing permanent contractures. A physical therapist can teach you how to massage and exercise your facial muscles to help prevent this from occurring.”

    3/15/11 19:39 JR

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