Thursday, October 29, 2009
What is Shingles?
Shingles (herpes zoster) is an outbreak of rash or blisters on the skin that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox — the varicella-zoster virus. The first sign of shingles is often burning or tingling pain, or sometimes numbness or itch, in one particular location on only one side of the body. After several days or a week, a rash of fluid-filled blisters, similar to chickenpox, appears in one area on one side of the body. Shingles pain can be mild or intense. Some people have mostly itching; some feel pain from the gentlest touch or breeze. The most common location for shingles is a band, called a dermatome, spanning one side of the trunk around the waistline. Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles. Scientists think that in the original battle with the varicella-zoster virus, some of the virus particles leave the skin blisters and move into the nervous system. When the varicella-zoster virus reactivates, the virus moves back down the long nerve fibers that extend from the sensory cell bodies to the skin. The viruses multiply, the tell-tale rash erupts, and the person now has shingles.
What is the prognosis?
For most healthy people who receive treatment soon after the outbreak of blisters, the lesions heal, the pain subsides within 3 to 5 weeks, and the blisters often leave no scars. However, shingles is a serious threat in immuno-suppressed individuals — for example, those with HIV infection or who are receiving cancer treatments that can weaken their immune systems. People who receive organ transplants are also vulnerable to shingles because they are given drugs that suppress the immune system.
A person with a shingles rash can pass the virus to someone, usually a child, who has never had chickenpox, but the child will develop chickenpox, not shingles. A person with chickenpox cannot communicate shingles to someone else. Shingles comes from the virus hiding inside the person's body, not from an outside source.
Excerpted by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
Treated based on the treatment protocol of skin disorder affected by fire toxin in the blood, shingles(herpes zoster) responds well to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine; however the physician should differentiate first by the 8 principles ( heat or cold, exterior or interior, yin or yang, deficiency or excess ) and also zhang fu theory.
The most common Eastern diagnosis is liver-gallbladder damp-heat accumulation.
In this case, the patient has the damp-heat accumulation (also some fire-toxin) in “the liver and gallbladder” and “spleen and stomach”.
: 53 year-old , overweight male with hypertension and border-line high cholesterol, ruddy complexion, has taken prednisone for 3 ½ weeks, which didn’t seem to help and decided to try acupuncture.
- Poke the affected area with a lancet and do the cupping for blood letting and place the 0.5cun needles along the affected area.
- In order to affect the whole body and enhance the immune system, Eastern differentiation should be made and the physician will choose the indicated acupuncture points.
- Acupuncture points : Tonify:LI11, ST36, Sedate: SI5,ST44, LV2, HT8
Results: After the treatment, he experienced noticeably the immediate pain relief with no itch and the decrease of redness in the affected area was even visible.
long dan xie gan tang(gentiana longdancao decoction)
: long dan cao, huang qin, zhi zi, mu tong, che qian zi, ze xie, chai hu, sheng di huang, dang gui
chu shi wei ling tang(eliminate dampness decoction by combining calm the stomach and five-ingredient powder with poria):cang zhu, hou po, chen pi, zhu ling, ze xie, chi fu ling, chao bai zhu, hua shi, fang feng, zhi zi, mu tong, rou gui, gan cao, deng xin cao
sheng ma ge gen tang(cimicifuga and kudzu decoction) with zi cao(lithospermum)
:sheng ma, ge gen, zhi gan cao, chi shao
Tak ri so dok um(eliminate toxicity decoction) from sang tong 93 in bang yak hap peon
: jin yin hua, chen pi, huang qi, tian hua fen, fang feng, dang gui, chuan xiong, bai zhi, jie geng, hou po, chuan shan jia, zao jiao
Common Indication: Clear heat, cool the blood and relieve fire toxicity while venting rashes
By Hoon Cheol Kim, Ph.D,L.Ac, Tao of Medicine, Acupuncture and Wellness in Los Angeles
1. Chinese herbal medicine formulas & strategies by Dan Bensky, Randall Barolet (May 1990), Eastland Press
2. Pricking blood therapy combined with ultraviolet irradiation for treatment of acute herpes zoster - Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2009 Apr;29(4):285-8.
3. Observation on the therapeutic effect of electroacupuncture of Jiaji (EX-B 2) plus regional encircled needling for herpes zoster]
Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2009 Apr;34(2):125-7, 135.
This article is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease, if you need any condition related to this article and contact your physician or licensed acupuncturist.