Shingles can cause intense pain. It comes on strong and can last. Early treatment is the most effective.
This patient had been a regular in the clinic before. But this time, she came in with Shingles. I noticed a number of my patients had shingles this spring.
Shingles are a reemergence of the chicken pox virus which usually travels along the course of a nerve. In acupuncture, there is an idea that stored heat can come out in the spring. A dormant virus can be understood as stored heat.
She is a young woman in her 30’s. The shingles were on the left side of upper back and scapula. They were on the acupuncture meridians of the small intestine channel and traveled down her arm on the pericardium and heart channels.
The lesions were red, felt hot, and somewhat itchy, but the pain was not extremely intense. The upper back and scapula was the most intense region of lesions and discomfort.
She also complained of alternating chills and fever and slight nausea. Pulse was stringlike and she had an thin fur on her tongue.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment
In acupuncture, there is an idea that a pathogen can be stuck in the body. In this case we choose herbs and acupuncture to harmonize.
Herbs- Xiao chai hu tang with dao chi san. This formula harmonizes the body and will drain heat from the heart channels.
Topically- patient used neem oil, a natural Indian oil for rashes and skin diseases.
Acupuncture points were simple, focused on releasing the pathogen and included SJ 5, GB 41, Du 20, and Plum Blossom needle around the lesions
After herbs, patient was feeling immediately better. She felt the neem oil help remove the feeling of heat. The herbs also removed the feeling of heat and discomfort. Shingles usually stay around for 2-3 weeks with a lot of pain, discomfort and itch. After only one week her lesions were almost all gone on her upper back. The shingles that were left on her arm which were not bothersome.