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Research: Acupuncture Treats Shingles

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating shingles symptoms. Postherpetic neuralgia is one of the most common complication of shingles. The condition affects nerve fibers and skin causing burning pain that can be treated using acupuncture.

Research results indicate:

  • Acupuncture and electroacupuncture helps relieve postherpetic neuralgia related pain

  • Acupuncture speeds the healing of shingles-related lesions and reduces the duration of symptoms

  • Acupuncture can improve quality of life

  • Acupuncture can alleviate associated anxiety

  • Patients receiving both traditional pharmacological treatment in combination with acupuncture had superior patient outcomes in comparison to patients using only drug therapy



Wang Y. Acupuncture Combined with Western Medication for the Treatment of Acute Herpes Zoster and for the Prevention of Postherpetic Neuralgia: A Clinical Study [J]. Tianjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Journal of China Prescription Drug, 2016, 14(9):96–97.

Pei, W., Zeng, J., Lu, L., Lin, G., & Ruan, J. (2019). Is acupuncture an effective postherpetic neuralgia treatment? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of pain research, 12, 2155–2165.

Chen JS et al. Clinical Observation of Acupuncture Combined with Drugs Treatment of Acute Herpes Zoster and Prevention of Postherpetic Neuralgia [J]. Journal of Modern Hospital, 2013, 13(9):8–10

Tyring, Stephen, Rick A. Barbarash, James E. Nahlik, Anthony Cunningham, John Marley, Madalene Heng, Terry Jones, Ted Rea, Ron Boon, and Robin Saltzman. "Famciclovir for the treatment of acute herpes zoster: Effects on acute disease and post-herpetic neuralgia"

Wei JD, Chen JM & Wang LS. (2014). Clinical Observation of Surround Acupuncture and Simiaoyon’an Decoction on Herpes Zoster. Journal of Hubei University of Chinese Medicine. 16(2)acute disease and postherpetic neuralgia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial." Annals of Internal Medicine 123, no. 2 (1995): 89-96

Yi JK, Tang ZZ & Yang JL. (2015). Efficacy and Safety of TCM Combined with Acupuncture Treatment for Herpes Zoster Neuralgia. 31(8)

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