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Acupuncture: Shingles

Shingles is a very painful skin rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox The virus responsible for both these conditions is the Varicella zoster virus. After a person has contracted chicken pox the virus may remain dormant in the body for years and then get reactivated for a multitude of reasons including: emotional stress, compromised immune system, or cancer. However, in most cases the exact reason for the reactivation of the virus remains unknown. The disease is contagious before the blistering rash gets crusted over.

Globally the incidence of shingle is approximately 1.2-3.5% annually, increasing with age. It generally affects more women than men, though it can affect any age it’s predominately seen in individuals age 60 and over.

Conventional treatment is geared toward easing the pain and reducing the severity and duration of the condition. Antiviral medications work best if started within 72 hours of the first sign of the rash. Their aim is reduce the severity and duration of the shingles. Anti-inflammatory drugs are use to reduce the risk for postherpetic neuralgia which is damage to the peripheral nerves, a complication of shingles. Narcotics are used as well for those with severe pain.

Alternative treatments for shingles include acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy, ayurveda herbal therapy, homeopathy, hypnosis, and vitamin supplementation.

Traditional Chinese medicine theorizes that shingles is caused by the presence of disease causing wind, dampness and heat in the body. The lesions seen with shingles manifest themselves in a way that the traditional medical practitioner is able to ascertain whether dampness, wind or heat were the causative factors. The location of the lesions clue the health professional as to which channels are blocked thereby causing Qi imbalance. Treatment of shingles with TCM is based upon opening the flow of qi through the channels and addressing the wind, dampness and heat components.

Few research studies have been conducted utilizing acupuncture as a treatment method for shingles. The most decisive clinical studies to date showed alleviation or decrease of pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia lasting up to a year after treatment.

Dr. Elisha expertly utilizes acupuncture as part of a comprehensive treatment program for shingles. The holistic approach includes a diet and exercise plan as well as herbal and homeopathic remedies. Let Dr Elisha alleviate your pain, promote a better sleep pattern, and help you relax and feel generally better.


Call Dr. Elisha at the Healing Center today, and start feeling good and young again!

            Telephone:  561-498-1414