How can TCM and acupuncture help with vocal cord palsy?

Doctor's Answers (2)

Vocal cord paralysis is also known as recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis. The recurrent laryngeal nerve controls the muscles of the voice box, when the nerve is injured, patients may experience problems with their speech, breathing and swallowing. As the left recurrent laryngeal nerve travels a longer distance than the right nerve, clinically, left vocal cord paralysis occurs more often.

Vocal cord paralysis may be caused by the following reasons:

  • Bacterial or virus infection
  • Tumours eg. lungs/thyroid
  • Trauma eg. Surgery at the neck or throat
  • Neurological problems eg. stroke

In TCM theory, we believe that the throat and the ability to speak are closely related to the lung function. When there are external pathogens such as wind, heat, fire etc invades the lung, it may cause the lung to function less efficiently and hence resulting in problems with the throat. Furthermore, the throat and the lungs, just like other parts of our body, requires nourishment from Qi and blood in order to function well. A depletion or poor circulation of blood and Qi to the lungs and throat can affect their function in speaking, breathing and swallowing.

TCM physicians may prescribe medicine which includes a combination of different herbs. If the patient is diagnosed with external pathogens invading the lungs, appropriate herbs would be added to dispel the external pathogens or to strengthen the lung function. If the patient is diagnosed with poor blood and Qi circulation in the body, herbs which can improve the flow of blood and qi may be added. Other herbs may also be added according to the patients’ condition.

Other than TCM herbs, acupuncture may also help patients with vocal cord paralysis. Sanitised needles may be inserted into acupoints which are near the throat. This can directly help the localised area to improve on the circulation of blood and Qi. Based on the patients’ condition, needles may also be inserted to other acupoints which can help to dispel external pathogens, replenish blood and Qi or to relieve other symptoms the patient experience.

Both the consumption of TCM herbs and acupuncture treatment can be used together to improve on the patients’ condition. The response to the treatments and the duration needed may vary from patient to patient. Patients are advised to seek consultation from a professional TCM physician for a clear diagnosis whereby he/she can then provide an appropriate treatment.

Yes. Acupuncture does help with your condition. Vocal cord palsy can affect your ability to speak and even breathe. Inserting needles at selected acupoints elicit can healing effect and aid in your voice recovery.

I would suggest that you come down for a consultation. Chinese physician will diagnose your body condition and advise you on the treatment plan. Other than acupuncture, herbal medication can be beneficial too.

Do bring your medical reports along, hope this helps!

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