For many years acupuncture was viewed as a crank medicine by Western medical experts, like so many other natural and holistic therapies, but although somewhat unorthodox by Western standards, Traditional Chinese medicine, of which acupuncture is a technique has been used and perfected over many centuries, and although today they have also adopted modern drugs from the West.
Traditional Chinese medicine lives on, and even in Hong Kong, a British colony for 99 years you will see dozens of establishments selling traditional Chinese remedies, run by experts in their field and of course just as many skilled acupuncturists, who have this same knowledge and are therefore able to use acupuncture for acne as well as herbal concoctions.
What Acupuncture Involves
In case anyone does not actually know what acupuncture is, a brief explanation is in order.
In its traditional form Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into various areas of the body, the positions of which is dictated by the patients illness, they may only be inserted a very short distance, or they may go deeper if the practitioner is highly skilled.
The number of needles used varies, it is generally around five, but could be up to 15 depending on what condition is being treated, they may be left in position for a few minutes or sometimes up to half an hour.
Many acupuncturists use disposable needles, so any cross-infection is never a worry, but there may be others that use an autoclave, this is a device used in hospitals to sterilize surgical instruments.
There are some other techniques used that come under the umbrella of acupuncture for acne, some or all of these may be offered, especially if you have an aversion to needles, they are not covered in this article but given here as a reference.
- Tuina – massage focused energy flow and acupressure points
- Moxa – certain medicinal herbs warmed to add heat to acupuncture points
- Heat lamp – .
- Cupping – or moxibustion used to aid energy flow
- Gua-sha – uses a tool to provide friction to the skin
- Herbs – herbal teas or capsules made of herbs may be prescribed.
A consultation may last an hour or so, but you may need to make up to eight visits, you will need to check the rates in your area as there can be quite a wide variance.
Bear in mind there are many people now who practice acupuncture in the West and while they will be skilled at what they do, acupuncture is mainly used in the West to treat painful conditions such as muscle pain, back pain, arthritis, and rheumatism for which it can be very effective, it may even even be used during childbirth, dentistry or after surgery, of course it stops pain but uses no drugs, and it is still widely used by medical doctors in China and of course they use acupuncture for acne.
Does Acupuncture Work On Acne Skin?
The answer is probably no, not just as a stand alone treatment, conditions such as in this case acupuncture for acne, may require additional herbal remedies to be taken to complement the acupuncture treatment itself, and these will be traditional Chinese herbal remedies, therefore it is likely that very few Westerners will have the necessary knowledge of these herbs to be able to prepare them, so if you want to give this method a try your best bet here would be to seek out a native Chinese Medicine practitioner in your area if you can find one.
The herbs used for the treatment of acne should perhaps cost around $25.
Some practitioners may create capsules that can be easily ingested, otherwise you may need to make an infusion yourself, much like making tea, the drawback to this method is that many of the herbs used are extremely bitter and taste awful, but I have a secret ninja trick to combat this problem, this is CIA stuff so keep it to yourself.
Ready? Pinch your nostrils together you won’t taste anything! works every time for anything that tastes horrible.
The points at which the needles are inserted lie along invisible ‘energy channels’ called meridians, in the body, and these channels are believed to be linked to the bodys internal organs.
The needles are used to unblock, increase or decrease the flow of energy through these meridians, to the Chinese this energy is called ‘Qi’, pronounced “chee”
You may have heard of the expression Yin and Yang, in Chinese medicine this refers to two opposing but complementary forces in the body. Yin force is passive and represents darkness,coldness,moisture and swelling while the Yang force is aggressive and a source of stimulus and represents light, heat, dryness and contraction. When you are well the Yin and Yang are balanced and in perfect harmony. However an imbalance is believed to cause illness and disease.
Your First Visit To An Acupuncturist – Diagnosis
On your initial visit to an acupuncturist, the diagnosis of the illness is first achieved by a series of general questions by the practitioner, much like a doctor would ask, about lifestyle, diet, sleep pattern, phobias you may have and the all-important questions about stress.
They may have a look at your tongue, as a lot can be learned about the general state of your health by a close inspection of this organ.
Keen attention will also be paid to your pulses, as they may glean a lot of other health pointers from this, probably more than Western doctors, notice the plural there, there are six pulses in each wrist. They will also pay attention to your skin and hair color and texture, your posture and movement and may also listen to you respiration and voice.
After this they will then have an idea of the necessary therapy needed to correct the out of balance Qi.
The first question most people ask about acupuncture is does it hurt? the answer is no all you may feel is a slight prick of the skin, due to the technique and skill of the practitioner.
It is absolutely nothing like an injection with a hypodermic syringe, acupuncture needles are a lot thinner and sharper and are round pointed so there is nothing to fear and they do not damage the skin, the punctures do not bleed either.
The Likely Cost
The cost of treatment may cost around $60-80 for the visit and up to maybe $30 for a variety of herbs.
It has to be said that the whole course of treatment is not particularly cheap, and it may not be affordable by everyone, but if you have tried just about everything else then it may be worthwhile giving it a try.
This may also be an alternative acne therapy worth trying for someone who cannot take prescription drugs for whatever reason, and of course many of these are also very expensive.
Chinese Medicine Outlook On Acne
As you may be aware acne is on of the most widespread common of skin complaints.
Most afflicting teenagers and pregnant women, largely because of hormone levels, but the severity with which each individual gets stricken with it can vary greatly, from a few pimples to painful nodular or cystic forms.
But of course, no matter severe it is, from a teenagers viewpoint especially, young girls, it can have quite an effect on their social lives and emotional well-being.
Western Medical textbooks define acne as a disorder of the sebaceous gland located at the base of hair follicles in the skin, through excess skin oil production and dead skin cells skin pores can become blocked, become infected with acne bacteria thus leading to pimples and zits or spots in the early stages.
However in treating diseases of the skin a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner will first consider the non-tangible factors of their client such as their physical and emotional state and also their environment.
When reading about Chinese medicine, you must forget any thoughts or ideas you have about Western medicine, this is a totally different ballgame, and it is probably because of this Chinese medicine took a long time to become accepted.
A Brief Look At The Chinese Methodology
In Chinese medicine, each organ has precise functions and is joined to a channel that runs from the skin’s surface internally to connect with the organ.
To traditional Chinese medicine practitioners acne is for the most part associated with heat and dampness that affects the lungs, the stomach and the spleen.
This is because the lung has control of the skin, so it follows that any skin problems can be traced back to the lungs, before you begin to think this is mad consider for one moment the skin condition eczema, in a multitude of cases eczema sufferers also have asthma (lung problem) doesn’t seem so daft now does it?
The lung also regulates the pores of the skin, which is one way that the heat that causes acne can escape from the body.
The stomach is by nature a warm area of the body, as this is where food is digested, but because of this it can gain extra unwanted heat which can then manifest as pimples along the stomach channel, which leads to the chest and the face.
Dampness in the stomach can also contribute to having oily skin.
The spleen is in charge of digestion. When the digestive system is working properly and in balance body produces plenty of energy and is able to get rid of dampness. If the spleen is not working well, dampness can accumulate and lead to greasy skin and acne.
The consumption of greasy, spicy, and heavy foods disrupt the function of the spleen in digestion that can lead to dampness, which can influence an acne outbreak.
How often have you read about poor diet on this and other acne sites?
Don’t forget these ancient Chinese texts and theories were written a long time ago and there are many volumes covering most ailments known at that time, only recently has Western medicine understood the effects of diet, so there could be something to acupuncture for acne after all.
Beginnings Of Acupuncture Therapy
Because we are accustomed to Western medical science and practices, and the fact that that Chinese medicine refers to non-tangible areas of the body, it is easy to see why from the preceding text that Chinese medicine was thought of as being crackpot.
However be that as it may, the first Chinese medical book on acupuncture was written around 400 years BC, it was called the Nei Ching Su Wen, which translates as the ‘Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine’ and from ancient records this was around the time the technique was first used successfully.
It is hoped that this acupuncture for acne article has been useful if you have been looking for possible alternative acne cures.
For some further reading on alternative remedies you may like to check out some of the articles below…
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