Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

Subscribe!

Columnist needled over advice for herpes zoster . . .

MagazineMarch 2003 (Vol. 13 Issue 12)Columnist needled over advice for herpes zoster . . .

In Harald Gaier's article about shingles in WDDTY (vol 13 no 9, p 6), Dr Gaier quoted from the Shanghai College text that acupuncture is not appropriate for shingles - this is a misquote as the book is only referring to cutaneous acupuncture

In Harald Gaier's article about shingles in WDDTY (vol 13 no 9, p 6), Dr Gaier quoted from the Shanghai College text that acupuncture is not appropriate for shingles - this is a misquote as the book is only referring to cutaneous acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is renowned for being highly effective in the treatment of herpes zoster, and I can vouch for this myself, having successfully treated it on several occasions - and the earlier you treat after the onset, the better. - Jane E. Robinson, Yeovil, Somerset

Letters to the editor. . . and acupuncture long used to cure shingles I have always appreciated Harald Gaier's articles in WDDTY.

However, concerning his advice that 'acupuncture and cupping should never be used on patients with herpes zoster', I can assure you that herpes zoster can be treated extremely successfully by acupuncture.

What the book does say is that 'cutaneous acupuncture and cupping is contraindicated for cases of herpes zoster'. Cutaneous acupuncture is not the same as the acupuncture that is commonly used to treat herpes zoster. It is a different form of treatment and one that is rarely used by most acupuncturists. It is carried out by tapping on the skin with a special lightweight 'hammer' rather than by inserting acupuncture needles.

I have observed the treatment of shingles with acupuncture on many patients in a Chinese hospital, and we also teach the treatment in our college. - Angela Hicks, Joint principal, College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, Reading, Berks

Harald Gaier replies:
In my article, I meant that standard acupuncture or cupping should never be used directly on the herpes lesions, and I apologise for not making that clearer.

However, I am well aware that herpes zoster is frequently treated by a needling method called 'surrounding the dragon', where acupuncture needles, inserted in healthy skin around the lesion, in effect 'fence' it in.

Although I know that acupuncture is a standard treatment for herpes, I have not seen any scientific evidence for its effectiveness. Remember that my remit in my Alternatives column is to report on peer-reviewed scientific evidence of success of any alternative treatments.

If any acupuncturists know of any such evidence for treatment of herpes, I'd be interested to see it. Otherwise, perhaps one of the colleges would like to carry out such a study.


Aids and hiv

You may also be interested in...

Sign up for free today

Sign up now to get your FREE 17-point Plan to Great Health

Free membership gives you access to our latest news reports, use of our community area, forums, blogs, readers' health tips and our twice-weekly
e-news letter.

WDDTY Recommends

Latest Tweet

About

Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2016 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved