If you are noticing red, white, thick and/or silver patches on your skin or if you are experiencing skin inflammation or flaking, you are probably suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis is a rapidly growing problem around the world—especially in the United States, where it affects the lives of several million in the nation. This disease generally occurs due to an overactive immune system, which causes the skin to generate new cells at a noticeably higher speed than usual. This results in the scaling, discoloration, and thickening of the skin.

Treatments for Psoriasis

There are many treatments to reduce the redness and itching common with psoriasis, such as light therapy, steroid creams, oral medications, and so on. As per a report compiled by JAMA Dermatology, acupuncture was also one of the alternatives and complementary therapies that helped patients suffering from psoriasis. Acupuncture can balance the immune function to reduce the inflammation so the body will not produce too new cells abnormally.

How is Acupuncture performed?

The trained acupuncturists will first diagnose your symptoms and examine the areas affected by psoriasis. The needles used for the treatment are extremely thin and are sterilized prior to treatment. Depending upon the technique used by the acupuncturist, needles are inserted at varying depths, which can range from 0.2 inches to almost 2 inches deep. Once the needles are inserted into the skin, the needles are left for between 25 - 45 minutes. The moment the patient starts feeling numbness, tingling or heaviness in the needled area, energy has started moving. The acupuncturist may also insert the needles at areas surrounding psoriasis flares, also termed as 'surrounding the dragon’, and in other cases; the expert will insert needles at different places on the body.

Guidelines for Acupuncture

In order to control psoriasis flares, acupuncturists generally suggest between 6 to 12 acupuncture sessions, which varies depending on the rate of progression. It is wise to put on loose, comfortable clothing while heading for an acupuncture session as you might require removing some of it or simply adjusting it during the course of the treatment.

You should not schedule the appointment after or before anything stressful. One should also avoid any kind of alcohol or caffeine consumption before an acupuncture session. Additionally, you must eat before the session, as acupuncture makes your body burn more calories and lowers blood sugar levels which can cause fainting and lightheadedness.

Psoriasis is caused by an imbalance of the immune function, which can be related with digestive problems, high stress, and hormone and nervous system imbalances. Acupuncture treatments are used to target different organs, so the balance of each organ can be restored, making acupuncture extremely effective for combating psoriasis. In order to get rid of chronic inflammation and restore the normal skin structure, you need 6 to 12 months treatments.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Li Zheng is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and graduated from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine with 11 years of formal training, including 6 years of residency. She holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the US and is a Harvard Medical School-trained researcher and a professor at the New England School of Acupuncture. Her two practices are located in Needham, MA, and Boca Raton, FL. She has 26 years of clinical experience. For more detail please visit our website https://bostonchineseacupuncture.org/.