Ask an expert - body - skin conditions

53 questions

This is quite a difficult one to answer for two reasons:

 

  1. although the BAcC does not yet recognise standards of specialist qualification, there is a growing number of members who spend their time working with particular groups of patients, such as children or pregnant women, and who undertake further training directly related to these groups. While the acupuncture used to treat most 'special' groups is identical to any other kind of treatment, a strong case is currently being made that there are variations in standard patterns of treatment when dealing with the under 5's in particular. However, as a profession we are committed to generalist practise, and are still debating whether to allow people to claim expertise in any one field, so we would not normally be able to cherrypick a number of members in an area based on informal knowledge of their focus.
  2. although chinese herbal medicine is often used very successfully alongside, or sometimes instead of, acupuncture in the treatment of chronic skin problems, we are not in a position to comment on how suitable herbal medicine might be for a two-year old.

 

So, our best recommendation is that you contact some of the BAcC members local to you and ask if any have had further training in paediatric acupuncture and have dealt with this problem before, or perhaps google 'treating children with acupuncture north surrey' to generate a list of people who have undertaken further training. There are also a small number of well-known course providers whose websites often list members who have undertaken further postgraduate trainiing in paediatrics.

 

It may also be worth contacting the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (http://www.rchm.co.uk/) to ask its view of whether herbal treatment is suitable for infants. There is no doubt that the regularity and frequency of treatment may be beneficial in maintaining a momentum which weekly or bi-weekly acupuncture treatments may not match.

There are a small number of studies, two examples of which are:

 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9828874

 

http://www.ispub.com/journal/the-internet-journal-of-dermatology/volume-3-number-2/acupuncture-in-the-treatment-of-chronic-urticaria-a-double-blind-study.html

 

which make encouraging comments about the value of using acupuncture to treat urticaria. Of the common skin problems a great deal more research has been done on eczema and psoriasis, mainly because it is easy to put together a sufficiently large group for trial purposes, and the conditions are more clearly defined. Much of this research in undertaken in China, and doubt is often cast on the methodological soundness, which is why it is rarely accepted without great qualification in the West.

 

As you may have read in other answers on this website one of the strengths of Chinese medicine is that the patient's symptoms often make sense directly within the diagnostic categories which are unique to Chinese medicine. How a symptom feels, where it is, what times of day or night it feels better, what helps it to be more bearable often lead a practitioner, together with diagnostic signs like taking the pulse and looking at the tongue, to some fairly straightforward treatment strategies.

 

That said, from the first study you will see that there is a point prescription which is widely used to treat urticaria. This is often the case in Chinese medicine - for all the subtleties of diagnosis there are often some fairly routine agreed solutions. The skill of the practitioner often rests on determining whether treating at this level will make the problem get better and stay away, or whether there are underlying constitutional issues which might need to be corrected to ensure that someone stays well.

 

As always, we recommend that you find a BAcC member local to you and ask their advice on your unique presentation.

 

Q. How treat for Eczema. What points apply?

 

A. Eczema, as sufferers know to their cost, can be very difficult to treat, even in western medicine. It is not unusual for someone to have tried a wide range of medications and more complex interventions. Whlle there is no clinical evidence accepted in the west according to the exacting standards required by bodies such as PCTs and NICE, there have been thousands of slightly less rigorous trials in China which seem to show that acupuncture many help to relieve some of the discomfort and symptoms associated with the condition.
 
As we say in all the answers. there are no specific points for named conditions. Each person is given a unique diagnosis which determines where needles may be applied. In some cases the practitioner might use local points, i.e. near where the problem is located, if they feel that this may be of direct benefit to an acute patch of inflammation.

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