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Bell’s Palsy and Facial Retraining [podcast]

bell's palsy
bell's palsy
Jackie Diels, occupational therapist and facial retraining expert for Bell’s Palsy patients

Do you know anyone with Bell’s Palsy? It’s an unusual question but this sudden onset of paralysis/droop to one side of the face affects 40,000 Americans every year. It’s believed to be caused by the same herpes virus that causes a cold sore.


In 85% of patients that get Bell’s Palsy, the facial paralysis will resolve on its own without any treatment within three months. The other 15% will have lingering nerve issues and asymmetry to the face. And that’s where Jackie Diels come in! In our podcast with Jackie, an occupational therapist, she discusses how she treats patients with synkinesis, an abnormal rewiring of the facial muscles after Bell’s Palsy.


Hear how she teaches patients to “turn off” the abnormal movements through facial retraining. She sees most of her patients via Skype these days because people seek her out for help from across the country. After listening to her in this podcast, you’ll understand why she’s so popular. Through the use of metaphors and analogies, she has an incredibly clear way of teaching the patient how to improve their facial symmetry and smile.


Bell’s Palsy facial retraining with Jackie Diels

For more information or questions about Bell’s Palsy or facial retraining, email Jackie at or send her a message through the comments sections on our show notes page at


Listen to more of the BuildMyBod Health Podcast by clicking here. And if you have an interesting story to tell and want to be a part of the BuildMyBod Health podcast, email us at




7 Responses

  1. I have Bells Palsy for 8 months and about a month ago developed synkinesis. I would like to find out if there is anything I can due to improve my condition. Thank You

    1. Botox can definitely help with synkineses or if you’d rather try occumpational therapy first, you can contact Jackie Diels, the therapist that I spoke with in the podcast. You can contact her through her website. Hope that helps. Thanks for reading and listening.

  2. Hi,
    My name is Tonya and I’ve been dealing with the effects of Bell’s palsy for about 5 yrs. When it first hit I was extremely depressed. The one think I took for granted was gone….My Smile!
    Although it had gotten better, I see changes every day but I’ve developed synkinesis. The entire left side of my face is out of wack. When I go to smile my left eye closes, even when I yawn. At times it gets too me, but I’m trying not to let it consume me or make me go back into hiding. I’m a new grandmother and I’m tired of having a lopsided face. I call it my high low face.
    If you have any suggestions on facial exercises I can do, hopefully it’s not too late, ANYTHING will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

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