Monday, January 16, 2012

Acupuncture for Shingles

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
After having the chickenpox (varicella zoster virus), the virus lays dormant in our system.  With stress, lowered immunity, or age, there can be a reactivation of the virus which presents as shingles.  Shingles is a virus that causes pain and/or a rash/blisters along different nerve pathways and demonstrate along  different skin areas, dermatomes, associated with the nerve pathways. The rash or pain usually occurs on one side of the body .  The area may have hypersensitivity and mild to extreme pain which can feel like sharp prickles and/or itch.

Common Western Medical Approaches
Anti-virals may be helpful within the first 72 hours of the start of the shingles virus.  The appearance of the rash usually occurs close to this time or after.  After 48-72 hours, the antivirals may be less effective. The antivirals help to control symptoms and minimize complications.  However, in Western approaches, pain killers may also be prescribed to minimize the pain.

How Acupuncture Can Help
In China, acupuncture is recognized as the most effective treatment for shingles.  When shingles occur, acupuncture works to strengthen the immune system and reduce stress, which can both bring on a shingles attach.  Acupuncture is very helpful in reducing the pain of Shingles, as well as post-herpetic neuralgia.  Acupuncture can greatly reduce the amount of time that you will experience pain and have the rash or blisters visible.  

-Leah (Shilmover) Karpelson, Lic.Ac.
Master of Acupuncture, NCCAOM Diplomate of Acupuncture
Owner, Point & Balance Acupuncture, LLC
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