Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I have shingles, and one of my eyes is swollen. Can acupuncture heal it and how long will it take? Do you have any other recommendations?
A: Shingles is caused by an outbreak of the herpes zoster virus. It is often accompanied by postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a severe pain condition that radiates from the affected nerve root to the area it innervates. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, and herbal medicine cannot cure the herpes zoster virus. However, PHN has been successfully treated with internal herbal prescriptions and acupuncture. Depending on the condition and severity of the virus, it may take anywhere from 6 to 12 treatments at a rate of a treatment every other day. I suggest you consult a licensed practitioner to determine the proper course of action.
You can locate a practitioner in your area by searching the practitioner directory at www.acupuncture.com