Acupuncture for Eczema ReliefAccording to the National Eczema Association (NEA), 30 million people suffer with this allegedly incurable skin condition. Eczema (aka Atopic Dermatitis) is described as a Greek word that means to bubble or boil over. It can present throughout the body (even on the scalp) but is often located on the elbows or behind the knees and usually manifests during childhood. The main symptom of eczema is its intense itching that may cause sufferers to break the skin to the point of bleeding as they try desperately to gain some semblance of relief. This, unfortunately, creates what is known as the ‘itch-scratch cycle’ which inevitably leads to severe inflammation and possible infection. Some consider eczema to be an auto-immune disease which is when the body mistakenly attacks itself. In addition, eczema has also been linked to asthma and hay fever which some researchers believe may indicate a direct association to various causal factors.

Because it is considered incurable, conventional medicine does not look into the deeper, potential root cause of this disease. Instead it is linked to genetics or other assumed factors that cannot be changed. In turn, quelling symptoms has become the main target for conventional drugs such as topical, oral or injected corticosteroids, oral antihistamines, immunomodulators as well as a variety of special OTC (over-the-counter) topical creams. As with many conventional drugs, side effects are expected and considered an acceptable potential result of taking care of the bigger picture.

Acupuncture for eczema relief is one of many remedies in the naturopathic medicine toolbox that offers the opportunity for the body to embrace its own healing powers without side effects. By investigating how the vibration, circulation and overall energy of the body is affected allows an acupuncturist to determine the best approach for whole body healing. Temporary relief is the last resort for traditional medicine as finding and eradicating the cause takes priority. For an acupuncturist it is all about determining the best points for the quickest results.

Clinical Trials Recommend Acupuncture for Eczema
Targeting specific pathways (called meridians) throughout the body, the practice of acupuncture attempts to move what is considered the cause of every health challenge; ‘stuck energy’. To remedy eczema an acupuncturist will pay close attention to precise clues each individual physically and mentally exhibits. Once a clear picture emerges the acupuncturist will work points along these meridians that are directly linked to eczema symptoms.

The Department of Dermatology and Allergy at Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany conducted a study titled, ‘Influence of acupuncture on type I hypersensitivity itch and the wheal and flare response in adults with atopic eczema – a blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.’ They concluded that, “Acupuncture at the correct points showed a significant reduction in type I hypersensitivity itch in patients with atopic eczema. With time the preventive point-specific effect diminished with regard to subjective itch sensation, whereas it increased in suppressing skin-prick reactions.”

Researchers at The Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel went a step further and added Chinese herbal medicine to acupuncture treatments for eczema, concluding, “The results of this study suggest that the combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have a beneficial effect on patients with atopic dermatitis and may offer better results than Chinese herbal medicine alone.”

How It May Work
There are many theories on the exact mechanism of acupuncture.

A study by the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School reports that, “In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress.” (Hui 2010)

Acupuncture for eczema has been successful in various individuals by:
• Reducing inflammation
• Regulating and reducing the body’s adverse response
• Enhancing natural killer cell activities
• Increasing micro-circulation assisting in the reduction of swelling
• Rebalancing the immune system

The NEA reports of a small study by Northwestern University’s Department of Dermatology that concentrated on an acupuncture point often used for eczema. The point is Large Intestine (LI) 11 located on the lateral side of each arm near the elbow in line with the thumb. Its English translation is ‘Pool at the Crook’ which, “Clears Heat, cools Blood, resolves dampness, expels exterior Wind, regulates Qi and Blood, activates meridian, relieves itching.” The study found that those treated with acupuncture, presented, “significantly decreased sensation of itch, as well as improvement in skin findings of their eczema.”

An acupuncturist attempts to be able to “see” the body through a different scope than a conventional doctor. In attempting to rid the system of eczema it may take several sessions to experience results. In contrast, some report significant benefits after just one session. This depends on many varying factors but through professional guidance and maintaining an open mind, acupuncture for eczema relief may be a possible remedy choice. It could save you time, money, toxic medicinal therapies and years of pain and frustration. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or contact us to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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