Acupuncture for Eczema – A Possible Cure?
Eczema is defined by the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology as “a pruritic papulovesicular dermatitis occurring as a reaction to many endogenous and exogenous agents”. In layman’s terms, eczema is an itchy skin irritation or eruption that occurs because of internal or external factors. How could acupuncture treat these skin eruptions? Is it even possible?
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is believed to have originated from China and its underlying principles include the presence of acupuncture body points located along meridians. These meridians are similar to a path that our vital energy, which is called “chi” or “qi”, uses to flow through our body. By inserting very fine needles into these points, acupuncturists can relieve pain and treat patients for several ailments and diseases.
Knowing a little bit more about both eczema and acupuncture, is it possible that acupuncture could treat the eczema caused by internal factors? The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture considers acupuncture to be a complementary therapy for many conditions including selected dermatoses such as eczema.
Controlling Eczema With Acupuncture
According to traditional Chinese medicine, eczema could be described as an imbalance in three areas: heat, wind and dampness. Some common external sources for heat imbalances are consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, eating overly spicy food or being stressed out.
Wind imbalances can be recognized by their sudden appearances and disappearances. If a person suffered from eczema in his/her early childhood and also suffers from asthma, it could be caused by an allergic reaction and this type of eczema is very difficult to treat. It often requires long-term treatments.
Dampness imbalances can be recognized by an abnormally large amount of body fluid accumulation, such as the fluids that accumulate under the first layer of skin in the eczema blisters. The root of such imbalance often lies with the spleen, which is part of our digestive system.
When eczema occurs in the first 14 years of someone’s life, it is often an indication that a treatment should be started for the kidneys. After these first 14 years, the kidney is fully mature and the spleen becomes the most common factor in eczema pathology.
Acupuncture can provide some relief from the dry and itchy skin as well as correct the imbalances of heat, wind and dampness. Acupuncture for eczema is often combined with the application of herbal creams.
Other Means Of Controlling Eczema
Clinical observations have been documented by Zhonguo Zhen Jiu in June 2007. He concluded that pricking, blood-letting and cupping with a three-edge needle has a stronger therapeutic effect on acute eczema than western medicine.
One of the most common treatments for eczema in the western world is the application of corticosteroid ointments or taking steroids orally. Steroids are most commonly used as a fast way to get rid of the rash, but it may not be in the best interest of the patient, especially if the patient is a child. You should always discuss your options with your healthcare specialist.
July 20th, 2008
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