TCM Diagnosis and Treatment for Acute Shingles Infection
Because the shingles lesions often coincide with the parts of the body traversed by the Liver and Gall Bladder meridians, the TCM strategy in the treatment for shingles revolves around clearing Damp Heat in the Liver and Gall Bladder. One way of clearing out damp heat is through acupuncture. Those who have received acupuncture for shingles will be quick to affirm a significant change in the way they feel after treatment. Acupuncture can reduce painful sensations very effectively and most of the patients at our TCM clinic attest to its efficacy.
TCM Herbs for Shingles infection
Herbal medicine is the other way to treat shingles using TCM. The herbal aspect of traditional Chinese medicine is often overlooked in the treatment for shingles. We thoroughly recommend it, because it is crucial in the prevention of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).
In the acute phase of shingles, herbal medicine will always include herbs like Gardenia and Skullcap to drain out pathogenic damp, as well as a slew of herbs like Bupleurum and Lonicera that have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral action.
How the shingles blisters present also affects how we choose herbs for our patients. The size of the blisters, how much they ooze, as well as possible accompanying symptoms like fatigue and poor appetite, help the TCM physician determine the optimal mix of herbs. For some patients, the TCM herbs may focus more on clearing Liver fire; for others, the focus may be more on draining Spleen damp.
In some patients with a weak constitution, tonic herbs are added in with care to support the immune system in a gentle manner. As the intensity of the acute phase begins to peter out, the TCM herbal formula is modified to take into account the need for enhanced circulation, with the intent to prevent postherpetic neuralgia.
As certain foods are not optimal for the body, the patient is advised to stay away from both raw and spicy foods, and to not indulge in rich foods for the time being.