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  • Marieke Pieterman, L.Ac.

Acupuncture + Chinese herbs = help for shingles rash and pain

By Marieke A. Pieterman



Acupuncture + Chinese herbs = help for shingles rash and pain

Last year, I received a desperate call from a client of mine complaining of the following symptoms:


“I woke up on Saturday morning with an extreme headache across my forehead and this feeling like there was a ‘weight around my neck’.


Friday night I was scratching my right thigh, thinking maybe it was a spider bite or something, but then on Saturday and Sunday it was itching like crazy and I got four patches of what look like shingles!


On Saturday, at first, I’d get really, really cold, like the chills, then I’d get nauseous, and then I’d notice another outbreak!


Then on Tuesday I had excruciating, burning neck pain and started getting a shingles outbreak on my left bicep.


And now that I think about it for the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve had really low energy and have felt really sluggish and that is always a sign for me that my immune system is really low”.


Does this sound all too familiar to you, or perhaps what a family member or friend has experienced when they have developed shingles?


A CLIENT’S TESTIMONY


The great news is that acupuncture can help. In fact, this very same client wrote me a testimony for my website:


"After 3 acupuncture treatments with Marieke, she relieved my pain and helped heal my shingles in 10 days compared to 4-6 weeks without treatment!”


It’s also interesting to note: I did not use Chinese herbs with this particular client because her stomach had recently been so sensitive to various foods and other herbs she had tried. However, acupuncture and Chinese herbs have proven to be even more effective for treating shingles and even outperformed today’s pharmaceuticals.


3 RESEARCH STUDIES ON SHINGLES, ACUPUNCTURE AND CHINESE HERBS


Researchers from three independent studies confirmed that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine significantly relieved the itching from the shingles rashes as well as the excoriating, burning pain that is so often associated with the herpes zoster virus/shingles.


Furthermore, it was discovered that acupuncture and herbal medicine outperformed the typical anti-viral and anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals (e.g., Valacyclovir (Valtrex) oral and topical) that are the typical standard of care protocol for the herpes zoster virus.


In fact, once the shingles blisters have subsided, patients can be left with severe nerve pain lasting several weeks and up to months after their initial outbreak, with no relief in sight with Western medicine.


In addition, acupuncture and herbal medicine was significantly more effective the earlier it was administered – just like what we experienced at Holistic Heart Acupuncture when acupuncture began just five days after the initial shingles symptoms with my client.


Acupuncture + Chinese herbs = help for shingles rash and pain

Here’s a brief synopsis of each of the studies:


STUDY #1


In this study, researchers at the People’s Hospital of Shenyang Economic and Technological Development Zone recruited 88 participants and randomly assigned them to either the control group (receiving Western anti-viral and anti-inflammatory medication) or the observation group (receiving both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine).


The control group was 44 participants (18 males, 26 females, with an average age of 42.8 years) who had been experiencing shingles symptoms for an average of 3.6 days.


The observation group was 44 participants (20 males, 24 females, with an average age of 43.6 years) who had been experiencing shingles symptoms for an average of 3.4 days.


In this research study, the control group only received Western medication for 10 days for their treatment of shingles which included Acyclovir (200 mg), three times a day, Acyclovir topical ointment, Vitamin B1 (10 mg), three times a day, and daily Ibuprofen, slow release capsules (300 mg).


The observation group received Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a Chinese herbal formula for 10 days that was administered daily, two times a day. For patients that were experiencing concurrent constipation, excessive heat/inflammation, pus-filled blisters, and severe pain, additional Chinese herbal formulas were administered.


In addition, the observation group received daily acupuncture and moxa in the areas affected by the shingles rash and acupuncture in the back, arms, and legs, for a total of 10 days. The shingles rash was initially assessed after five days of treatment.


In this research study, the results were categorized as the following: cured, effective, and ineffective.


Cured was defined as patients who had a complete resolution of both the shingles rash as well as its pain.


Effective was defined as patients whose rashes improved and pain was reduced by at least 30 percent.

Ineffective was defined as patients whose rashes improved less than 30 percent and experienced no reduction in pain or the pain worsened.


RESULTS


In the control group, there were 15 participants categorized as cured, 21 participants as effective, and eight participants as ineffective, yielding an 81.8 percent total effective rate.


In the observation group, there were 25 participants categorized as cured, 18 participants as effective, and one participant as ineffective, yielding a 97.7 percent total effective rate.


STUDY #2


In the second study, researchers at the Changjizhou and Jimusa’erxian TCM Hospital recruited 40 participants and randomly assigned to either the control group or the observation group.


The control group was 20 participants (13 males, seven females, aged between 18-65) who had been experiencing shingles symptoms for an average of 4.5 days.


The observation group was 20 participants (12 males, eight females, aged between 18-63) who had been experiencing shingles symptoms for an average of 5.5 days.


Both the control and the observation group were administered daily, Chinese medicine, an herbal decoction, based on their Chinese medicine pattern and diagnosis, for a total of 21 days.


The observation group, in addition to the Chinese herbal decoction, received daily acupuncture in the areas affected by the shingles rash only, for a total of 14 days.


In this research study, the results were categorized as the following: markedly effective, effective, and ineffective.

Markedly effective was defined as patients who had a complete resolution of both the shingles rash as well as its pain.


Effective was defined as patients whose rashes improved by more than 70 percent and experienced some reduction in pain.


Ineffective was defined as patients whose rashes improved less than 30 percent and experienced no reduction in pain.


RESULTS


In the control group, there were 10 participants categorized as markedly effective, six participants as effective, and four participants as ineffective, yielding an 80 percent total effective rate.


In the observation group, there were 15 participants categorized as markedly effective, four participants as effective, and one participant as ineffective, yielding a 95 percent total effective rate.


The control group also rated their pain via a score where ratings of 7-10 indicated severe, unbearable pain; ratings of 4-6 indicated severe, but tolerable pain; ratings of 1-3 indicated mild pain; and ratings of 0 indicated complete absence of pain.


In the control group, prior to treatment, the ratings were 7.36 and after the treatment were 4.20.

In the observation group, prior to treatment, the ratings were 7.25 and after the treatment were 2.04.


These significant results in improvement of the shingles symptoms demonstrate that the combination of acupuncture and herbs is more effective than using only herbal medicine.



Acupuncture + Chinese herbs = help for shingles rash and pain

STUDY #3


In this study, conducted at the Yungang Community Sanitation Service Center in Beijing, researchers in the Chinese medicine and acupuncture department recruited their participants.


Thirty-six shingles participants (eight males, 28 females, aged between 25-78) participated in this study and had shingle symptoms for various lengths of time: eight participants had symptoms less than two days; 11 participants had symptoms between two-14 days; and 17 participants had symptoms over 14 days.


For 10 days, two Chinese herbal formulas were administered daily, three times a day, Long Dan Xie Tang and Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin. For participants that were experiencing concurrent constipation, excessive heat/inflammation, and severe pain, additional Chinese herbal formulas were administered.


Acupuncture was administered daily for 10 days in the areas of the shingle rashes and additional needles were added to the treatment for patients experiencing symptoms on the limbs, on the back of the torso, and for those experiencing symptoms of patterns of three Chinese medicine diagnoses.


In addition, wet cupping therapy was administered every third day of the treatment period. Wet cupping is when a lance is used to puncture the skin surrounding the shingles rash and then an acupuncture cup is placed over the punctures and retained for 10 minutes.


In this research study, the results were categorized as the following: recovered, markedly effective, effective, and ineffective.


Recovered was defined as participants who had a complete resolution of both the shingles rash as well as its pain.


Markedly effective was defined as participants whose symptoms of rashes and pain were almost completely resolved.


Effective was defined as participants whose symptoms of rashes and pain were only partially resolved.


Ineffective was defined as participants whose symptoms of rashes and pain either did not improve or actually worsened.


RESULTS


For those shingles patients that were treated with acupuncture and herbs; the eight shingles patients who presented with shingle symptoms for less than two days, there was a 100 percent effective rate with all eight being fully recovered.

For the 11 shingles patients who presented with shingle symptoms between two and 14 days, there were five patients who fully recovered, two patients who were markedly effective, and four patients who were ineffective, yielding a 63.6 percent effective rate.


For the 17 shingles patients who presented with shingle symptoms for over 14 days, there was one patient who fully recovered, one patient who was deemed effective, and 15 who were ineffective, yielding a 11.8% effective rate.


Clearly seeking help at the sudden onset of the shingles outbreak is ideal as acupuncture and herbal medicine was significantly more effective the earlier it was administered.


The results of these three different research studies demonstrates the promise of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine as a highly effective treatment for the rashes and burning pain so often associated with the herpes zoster/shingles virus.


GET HELP SOONER RATHER THAN LATER!!


Have you heard of someone getting shingles and their Western medication is not bringing them sufficient relief? Tell them not to delay and call Holistic Heart Acupuncture today so we can schedule them for fast relief of the itching and burning pain of shingles!


Acupuncture and Herbs Stop Shingles Pain, Outperforms Drugs


https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1908-acupuncture-and-herbs-stop-shingles-pain-outperforms-drugs


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