Can acupuncture help with chronic blushing?

Q:  Can acupuncture help with chronic blushing and stop the body from overheating?

A: This is an interesting question. As far as the second half goes, there is a substantial element of Chinese medical theory devoted to understanding the balance of Yin and Yang in the body, and Cold and Heat are just one manifestation of this duality. The fact that someone feels that they are constantly over-heating is a symptom which can be interpreted very thoroughly in the system, and there are dozens of treatments which would be applied to help to reduce this feeling.

However, we are assuming that you have made your doctor aware of this problem. There are a number of pathologies from a western perspective, some more serious than others, and it is vital that your doctor is aware of the problem and has run the sorts of tests which would help him or her to eliminate health problems for which conventional treatment ought to be given promptly.

It may well be that blushing is a part of this process; the appearance of a flush on the face is often a local manifestation of a systemic problem, and there are a number of case studies of men having treatment for prostrate problems for whom hot flushes have been successfully brought under control with acupuncture. This one

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20605360

is not untypical. The manifestation of the problem often involves flushing of the face or blushing.

However, again the caution is that the symptom is understood for what it is. There are a number of physical reasons why someone might blush frequently and also several emotional reasons, and any practitioner worth their salt will want to establish the extent to which the emotions are also involved. It may well be that the situation is a complex mish-mash of causes, where the visible physical discomfort and change of appearance itself causes stresses which make the problem exacerbate, but all medical systems try to break spirals like this by understanding their complexity and looking for ways to intervene and stop the escalation.

The advice we often give, to visit a local BAcC member and obtain a face to face assessment, applies particularly here. There is a wide range of possibilities and while at a distance we would feel cautiously optimistic it would require sight of the problem and the diagnostic indicators to give a clear idea of what acupuncture treatment may achieve.

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