Acupuncture and Pimples

Chinese medicine is unique in its totally different approach to treatment compared to western standards. The use of acupuncture for pimples evidences this difference.

A pimple is a general term given to several types of skin disorders that usually result from clogged pores. The most severe forms of the condition can lead to large and painful cysts that often leave scarring. Aside from this, the condition rarely poses any other health threat. It does cause a bit of a self esteem problem especially in younger people. Although the lesions often appear on the back and chest areas, the face is the most common area for acne outbreaks.

Western style medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine are in agreement that a healthy lifestyle and good diet are helpful in the prevention of diet. There is, however, the common lack of depth in Western medicine when looking into the root causes of the problem. There are many cases where proper diet and healthy living are not enough to prevent outbreaks. Western style medicine sees certain causative factors such as stress and greasy makeup as contributing to pimple outbreaks, but the focus is on the topical treatment of the pores themselves and not on the underlying factors.

Traditional Chinese medicine sees pimple outbreaks as usual as a disharmony in the natural order of the body. Often the cause is seen to be the accumulation of heat. This damp heat rises from the organs and causes the blockage and subsequent eruptions of acne. Therefore, acupuncture treatments that target the causes of the heat accumulation can be effective in clearing up the condition and preventing its return. There are several acupuncture body points that are useful for cooling of the blood, and these are often the targets.

The acupuncture treatment is usually a long term process that addresses the chronic conditions. The treatments will often need to be repeated two or three times a week over a period of time to effect a complete reversal of the disharmony. In some cases, the condition has become so severe that steps are taken to address the more acute issues first. In these cases, the treatment regime will consist of diet restrictions and possibly even herbal supplements to the acupuncture sessions.

In very severe cases, the lesions themselves can be treated with acupuncture needles directly. There are two approaches to this that are used. One is to surround the lesion with small needles. This is a process known as “surrounding the dragon.” Another approach is more a process similar to lancing a cyst. A very small needle is inserted directly into the lesion until pus or blood appears. This process is very much a merger of Western treatment and acupuncture, but to the acupuncturist, it will only be useful when coupled with the long term treatments that address the underlying causes.

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