Acne is a skin condition that is characterized by the development of nodules, papules, cysts, blackheads or whiteheads. It commonly affects teenagers and young adults, and often becomes a cause of cosmetic concern for affected individuals.
Acne outbreaks are attributed to excessive production of sebum by the sebaceous glands that is caused due to hormonal imbalance. The characteristic signs of acne appear when the skin pores or hair follicles get clogged by sebum.
While dermatologists often recommend the topical application of medicated creams for the treatment of acne, one can even look for alternative healing therapies for treating this annoying skin condition. Acupuncture is one of the many alternative healing therapies that are believed to be beneficial in the treatment of many health problems.
► What is Acupuncture?
◑ Acupuncture is an alternative healing therapy that originated in China and has been practiced for treating various ailments for ages. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into certain parts of the body in order to channelize the energy flow throughout the body.
◑ According to acupuncture the proponents of acupuncture state that ‘Chi’ or the life energy within the body, must pass freely through certain channels or pathways present in the body. Whenever the channels become blocked, and the flow of circulating life energy is disrupted, one becomes susceptible to various ailments.
◑ Under the traditional Chinese medicine, six pernicious influences that are believed to contribute to ailments include wind, cold, dampness, heat, summer heat and dryness. Basically, these refer to the internal climate of the body. Each of these influences affect specific parts of the body.
◑ The main aim of acupuncture is to correct the imbalance and establish a harmonious balance between the contrary forces called ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. Thus, acupuncture is a holistic approach that basically addresses the underlying cause.
An acupuncturist gathers information on the patient’s overall health or the internal climate by asking a series of questions. This helps the acupuncturist ascertain which acupuncture points need to be stimulated. An examination of the patient’s tongue and the pulse also provides valuable information on the health of the patient or the client. After that, thin needles are inserted at particular parts of the body in order to stimulate the acupuncture points.
Can acupuncture help in treating acne and reduce acne flare-ups? Is acupuncture a viable method of acne control? Is it safe to follow acupuncture for acne control? Well, such questions would be lurking in the minds of those who are considering about going for acupuncture sessions for acne treatment. Let me first tell you about the underlying cause of acne as per ancient Chinese medicine.
► Causes of Acne
When it comes to acne, heat and dampness are believed to be the two pernicious influences. While heat is believed to have an inflammatory influence, dampness is believed to cause stagnation. It is the accumulation of heat or damp heat that is believed to be the cause of acne.
Accumulation of heat in stomach pathways is believed to cause acne on forehead and around the nose, heat in stomach passageways causes acne around the mouth. Damp heat, on the other hand, is believed to cause pus-filled nodules.
It is believed that acne flare-ups may also occur while one is going through an emotionally turbulent phase. Consumption of oily or spicy foods may also create dampness, and cause acne outbreaks.
Acupuncture for Treating Acne
Auricular acupuncture is believed to be the most effective acupuncture treatment for acne. This involves stimulation of the acupuncture points on the ear. It is believed that inserting needles on these points helps to dissipate heat, dampness or wind, and thus remove the blockages in the energy flow.
Though many people may vouch for acupuncture as a great treatment option for various ailments, there is a lack of scientific evidence to corroborate the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment option for acne. However, those who are thinking about seeking the services of an acupuncturist, must make sure that they look for a licensed acupuncturist, who is experienced enough.