Other Facial Acu Reflex Points

The trigeminal nerve contains both sensory (afferent) nerves and motor (efferent) nerves and is responsible for general sensation in the skin of the face and the front of the head, as well as for controlling the muscles of chewing (mastication). Muscles of mastication and muscles of facial expression are the two kinds of facial muscle. Two important muscles of mastication, the temporalis and masseter muscles, are innervated by the motor nerves of the trigeminal nerve. The ARPs formed in those two muscles are essential in treating some headaches and facial symptoms such as temporomandibular joint syndrome and facial paralysis.

The five branches of the complicated facial nerve innervate the 20 known muscles of facial expression and other structures, including the tongue (Table 8-2). Injury to the facial nerve or some of its branches leads to paresis (weakness) or paralysis (loss of voluntary movement) of all or some of the facial muscles on the affected side. The injuries may be caused by chilling of the face, inflammation, middle ear infection, fractures, and tumor. Proper needling of the affected muscles helps reduce inflammation and accelerates healing in many facial symptoms, including Bell's palsy.

TABLE 8-2 Nerves That Form the Important Facial Acu-Reflex Points

Nerve

Functional Categories

Functions

Trigeminal nerve

General somatic sensation

Sensations of touch, pain, temperature, joint position, and vibration for the face, mouth, anterior two thirds of tongue, nasal sinuses, and meninges

Branchial motor

Muscles of mastication and tensor tympani muscle

Facial nerve

Branchial motor

Muscles of facial expression, stapedius muscles, and part of digastric muscle

Parasympathetic

Parasympathetic function to lacrimal glands, and submaxillary, submandibular, and all other salivary glands except parotid gland

Visceral sensory (special)

Taste from anterior two thirds of tongue

General somatic sensory

Sensation from a small region near the external auditory meatus

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