If you’ve had chickenpox, you may be at risk of developing a painful viral infection called shingles. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime, usually after the age of 50.
The shingles rash isn’t life-threatening, but it can make your daily life miserable for weeks or longer. Still, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do to get relief from shingles, or if you can prevent this painful rash from developing entirely.
Unfortunately, Western medicine offers no cure for this painful condition. With acupuncture and herbal medicine, however, you can relieve shingles pain and feel better faster.
Read on to find out why acupuncture is an essential part of shingles recovery.
What is Shingles?
The shingles rash is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus (also known as herpes zoster). This same virus causes chickenpox in children.
The most common symptom of shingles is a painful rash that turns to blisters, usually on one side of the chest or abdomen. Shingles rashes can also develop on the face and may affect the eyes.
A shingles infection usually lasts about 3-5 weeks. But for about 10-18% of people, the effects can linger on with a condition called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). With PHN, burning pain in the skin and nerves can last long after the infection is gone – sometimes for months or years.
What Causes Shingles?
Shingles is caused by a virus – the varicella-zoster virus. After you have chickenpox, this virus lays dormant until it is triggered and shingles develop. But not everyone who had chickenpox gets shingles. So what’s the difference?
We don’t fully understand why some people get shingles, and others don’t. What we do know is that shingles occurs more in older people or those with weakened immune systems.
From an Oriental medicine perspective, shingles “activates” with weakened qi, stagnation, or poor health overall. When your body is weakened, the virus attacks more easily. That’s why, according to Dr. Ko, “it is important to take good care of your health on a regular basis. Steady exercise and balanced nutrition are important, and it is always good to keep clean and have good hygiene, and to avoid alcohol and cigarettes.”
Maintaining healthy habits as you age may help reduce your risk for shingles, or help you recover faster if you do develop the rash.
The Benefits of Acupuncture for Shingles and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia
Acupuncture can help relieve all kinds of pain, including irritation from the shingles rash and PHN. Studies show that acupuncture not only stops the pain but also helps reduce anxiety and improve the quality of life in those with shingles.
Acupuncture helps prevent intense pain in the early stages of shingles.
The earlier you get acupuncture after being diagnosed with shingles, the better. Studies show that acupuncture can help keep pain levels low during the 3-5 weeks of an active infection compared to those who do not get acupuncture treatment. It may also prevent severe complications from shingles, like vision loss, hearing loss, skin infections, and postherpetic neuralgia.
Acupuncture speeds up the healing process.
Acupuncture may help you heal from shingles more efficiently, so you can feel better faster. Studies show that acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbal medicine can shorten the process for shingles blisters to scab over, so your skin can heal quicker. It also shortens the time it takes for the rash to stop producing painful blisters entirely.
Acupuncture helps relieve lingering nerve pain.
If you’ve already had shingles and are now suffering from postherpetic neuropathy, acupuncture can help. Specialized acupuncture treatments work to reduce inflammation, promote nerve and tissue healing, and alleviate pain.
How to Get Shingles Relief with Acupuncture
If you have been diagnosed with shingles, make an appointment as soon as possible. Acupuncture helps support a strong immune system and fight infection more effectively. The earlier you get treatment, the faster your shingles rash will heal and the less likely you are to experience long-lasting nerve pain.
So, how does acupuncture for shingles work? “In general, the treatment period is 15-20 days. You should come every day until the treatment is over. The reason why you need to be treated every day is to quickly get rid of the bad energy so that it does not spread to other places,” explains Dr. Ko. Most of your treatment will involve acupuncture points that relieve pain, boost immunity, and fight the virus. Herbal medicine can also be used to help support healing internally.
Get Powerful Shingles Pain Relief at 120 Acupuncture
Shingles pain doesn’t have to take over your life. With acupuncture for shingles and neuralgia relief, you can interrupt the virus and reclaim your health.
If you’re struggling with shingles, postherpetic neuralgia, or any other health concern, 120 Acupuncture can help. Our experienced practitioner, Dr. Ko, has decades of experience helping people get to the root of their pain quickly – even when nothing else seems to work.
Book your appointment today, or call us at 1-818-980-7979 to get the relief you deserve.