Acupuncture for dry and itchy skin

Acupuncture for dry and itchy skin

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Skin itching is annoying that can easily disturb daily activities and ruin a peaceful night sleep. It is necessary to resolve the problem timely. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has many methods to stop itching, and body point stimulations are often part of the management. It can be a way of quick relief for acute cases sometimes.

From a TCM perspective, body parts are linked up by the meridian system to form an organic whole, in which all components dependent and restrict each other physiologically, and they also influence each other pathologically. External skin changes reflect internal problems of the organs, blood and qi (vital energy), and meridians. For example, liver rules eyes, skin rashes in the eye lids are associated with liver meridian; lung rules nose, skin rashes in the nose are associated with lung meridian; kidney rules ears, ear rashes are associated with kidney meridian; spleen rules mouth, mouth sores are associated with spleen meridian; heart rules tongue, bumps on the tongue are associated with heart meridian.

Eczema is a general term for conditions marked by inflammation and dry, red, itchy patches on the skin.

In the new study, German researchers looked at the short-term effects of acupuncture on skin inflammation and itching in 30 people with atopic eczema.

They found that the therapy, when done minutes after patients’ skin was exposed to an allergen (either pollen or dust mites), appeared to soothe subjective feelings of itchiness. In addition, when patients were exposed to the allergen for a second time shortly after the acupuncture session, they tended to have a less-severe skin reaction, the researchers report in the journal Allergy.

Acupuncture and moxibustion regulate the meridians, improve blood and qi flowing of the skin, and thus help easy itchy conditions. There are plenty of evidences that acupuncture and moxibustion can inhibit inflammatory reactions and calm down the activities of nerve endings. For anti-itch purpose, physicians mainly stimulate body points along the spleen and large intestine meridians, which aim to clear heat, cool blood, nourish yin, enrich blood, eliminate wind and stop itching.

Modern research has suggested that acupuncture may help ease pain by altering signals among nerve cells or affecting the release of various chemicals of the central nervous system.

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