Acupuncture in the treatment of shingles and postherpetic neuralgia

Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of suffering from shingles and postherpetic neuralgia couls explain it is one of the worst most excruciating pains to have. Generally by the time I see someone the pain has persisted for longer than expected and the disease is at a tougher stage to treat, as it has become entrenched.
Generally with acupuncture and herbs, if done from the onset, the progression of the disease can be staunched by boosting the immune system, and possibly with the introduction of herbs containing targeted anti-virals. Symptomatically points and herbs are chosed to reduce systemic inflammation, as well as specifically targeting nerves causing pain.


My preferred techniques for targeting the nerve pain are using distal techniques (I prefer not to needle into area that are already irritated. The styles that are most conducive to that are Sujok (using allpoints on the hand to influence the body), Master Tong’s/ Dr. Tan’s methods (using areas of the body to influence distal regions), channel theory, and Kiiko Matsumoto style.


One particular case sticks in my mind. A woman in her late 50’shad gastric bypass surgery, but suffered from complications. Once she got to her desired weight she continued losing. She was not getting sufficient calories or nutrients from her food. She succumbed to Shingles on her face, and the postherpetic neuralgia would not go away. By the time I go to see her, half of her face was inflamed, painful, and distorted from the nerve inflammation. It looked as I there was a line drawn down the midline as the other half was undisturbed. She was also experiencing significant pain in her mouth as well. We started at 3 treatments a week, and by the end of the first week, we had reduced the pain in her mouth to almost zero, and her face was 70% better. This was all done by having her test an area to gauge the level of pain. I would find a corresponding point elsewhere on the body that should stimulate a healing reaction there, and then I would have her test again. We would repeat this testing until we had reached maximum improvement for the session.


By the end of the second week, we had surpassed 85% improvement, and looking at her there were no signs of the shingles. Over the course of 6 weeks, we achieved a 95% improvement, and she was discharged.

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