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Acupuncture for Shingles - Herpes Zoster

What is shingles?

Shingles occurs when the dormant chickenpox virus in the body becomes active, irritating one or more nerve roots in the spine. This results in an unbearably painful rash that follows the nerve pathway - often along the ribs, shoulder or face. It is not known why the virus reactivates, but stress and low immunity increase the risk of developing shingles.

How can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce an anti-inflammatory response and 'switch off' over active nerves which may give relief from shingles pain.

In Chinese medicine, shingles is viewed as a 'latent pathogen' and 'external heat'. A latent pathogen is a virus or other infection that lodges in the body. It may not necessarily produce symptoms until the person becomes stressed or run down (glandular fever is another example).

External heat refers to the inflammation and red rash on the skin, and the burning, searing, itchy, hot pain the accompanies the rash.

Acupuncture points are utilized to encourage the latent pathogen and heat to drain out of the body. Local acupuncture points may be used, but as it is often too painful to touch, or if there are blisters, distal points around the hands and feet can be utilized to begin the healing process.

It is best to administer acupuncture as soon as possible after on onset of shingles as the less time you have the condition, the easier it is to treat.

Book online to begin your treatment now, or if you know someone with shingles, please share this article with them!

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