This shingles acupuncture research concludes that acupuncture and Chinese herbs are a powerful treatment for shingles. Researchers concluded that acupuncture dramatically relieved rashes and pain from the herpes zoster virus (shingles). Most importantly, acupuncture and herbal medicine got better results than antiviral and anti-inflammatory medications alone, indicating that usual care protocols are suboptimal without Chinese medicine inclusion.
What Is Shingles?
Shingles viral infection is excruciating. Anyone who has had chickenpox as a child is prone to get it as an adult. Symptoms include painful blisters, typically located on one side of the torso, neck, face, or head. The blisters burn and itch for days or weeks if left untreated.
Even after the blisters have subsided, patients have severe nerve pain in the area where the blisters used to be, feeling like burning, stabbing, tingling pain. We have had patients come to our clinic complaining of postherpetic neuralgia. Their doctors have prescribed them gabapentin for years but still suffering debilitating pain. (Click HERE to learn about our fantastic treatment for postherpetic neuralgia).
Shingles Acupuncture Research
Researchers conducted this shingles acupuncture research study at the People’s Hospital in China. Study organizers randomly assigned 88 patients diagnosed with herpes zoster infection (shingles) to either acupuncture and herbal medicine group or a drug control group (offering anti-inflammatory and antiviral medications).
Acupuncture Produced Superior Results
The acupuncture group produced significantly greater patient outcomes. Outcomes included a higher cure rate, a better overall effective rate, and a lower failure rate. The researchers concluded that standard procedures to alleviate shingles in hospital and outpatient settings (antiviral medications) absent of acupuncture and Chinese herbs are much less effective at providing relief to patients.
In this shingles acupuncture research study, the acupuncture group included 20 male and 24 female patients with an average age of 44. The control group had 18 male and 26 female participants, with a mean age of 43 years. The mean duration of disease in both groups was four days. There were no statistically significant differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups at the beginning of the study.
The control group treatment was drug therapy, including:
Acyclovir (200mg, three times a day)
Vitamin B1 (10mg, three times a day)
Ibuprofen slow-release capsules (300mg daily)
Acyclovir topical ointment
The acupuncture group took the Chinese herbal formula Long Dan Xie Gan twice a day, morning and evening. It contained the following herbs:
Sheng Di 30g
Che Qian Zi 30g
Ban Lan Gen 30g
Huang Qin 15g
Chi Shao 15g
Zhi Zi 15g
Da Qing Ye 15g
Long Dan Cao 12g
Ze Xie 12g
Chai Hu 10g
Dang Gui 10g
The patients in this group received acupuncture at the following acupoints:
Practitioners also applied acupuncture locally in the areas of herpetic rashes, inserting needles between blisters. At Raleigh Acupuncture, we use a similar technique described in this shingles acupuncture research study. We surround the blisters with the sterile, hair-thin needles in a particular configuration that dramatically speeds up healing and reduces pain. The technique is painless and completely safe for the patient. Click HERE to learn about Raleigh Acupuncture’s Shingles treatment.
Patients with a complete resolution of rashes and clinical symptoms (including pain) classify as cured. Those with at least a 30% improvement in rashes and pain reduction rank as effective. Patients showing less than 30% improvement in rashes and no change or worsening of pain, classify as ineffective.
In the drug control group, 15 patients classified as cured, 21 ranked as effective, and eight classified as ineffective, yielding a total effective rate of 81.8%. In the acupuncture and herbal medicine group, 25 patients classified as cured, 18 cases ranked as effective, and one classified as ineffective, yielding a total effective rate of 97.7%.
Herpes Zoster Acupuncture Summary
Acupuncture and herbal medicine have demonstrated effectiveness in treating shingles for over one thousand years. This shingles acupuncture research study confirms the benefits of acupuncture for the treatment of herpes zoster.
If you or someone you love have shingles, try acupuncture. It’s safe, effective and provides long-lasting relief.
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This post is a summary of the following shingles acupuncture research study: Cao Bo (2018) “Clinical Study of Longdan Xiegan decoction Combined with Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Herpes Zoster” Guide of China Medicine Vol.16(25) pp. 174-175.
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What our Clients are Saying
I got the shingles shot and still got shingles! Anyway, a friend had gotten relief at Raleigh Acupuncture for her shingles, so I tried it. What a huge difference. The first week, before getting acupuncture, my pain levels from the rash were 10 out of 10. As soon as I started my acupuncture, the pain decreased. They had me better within a few weeks. I was thrilled and am very grateful.
My wife had gone through shingles a few years back and had gotten relief from acupuncture. So when I got it, we called the next day and set up an appointment. The docs at Raleigh Acupuncture are now two for two, helping both of us. Thank you!
I developed a terrible case of shingles last year. The rash ran from back to front. It was burning, painful and very itchy. I was beside myself. I had been to Raleigh Acupuncture for knee pain and decided to call to see if they could help. Sure enough, they said come in immediately. I’m so glad that I did. I felt better after the first treatment. I ended up having about half a dozen treatments over the course of two weeks. They completely resolved my shingles. I strongly suggest you try acupuncture for shingles. It works amazingly.