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Acupuncture for Acne

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Adherents and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) see acupuncture as an effective treatment for acne. They consider acupuncture as a way to bring back balance in the body and cure maladies that are due to a specific imbalance such as acne and other skin conditions.

The body has thousands of acupuncture points on the skin and underneath these points are pathways of energy where vital energy known as Qi travels. These energy vessels are called meridian. Acupuncture points, Qi and meridians are all concepts of traditional Chinese medicine. When a condition occurs, the cold and hot aspects in the body known as yin and yang become imbalanced. This causes physical symptoms like acne. To help bring back balance, specific acupuncture points need to be identified and treated with acupuncture needles. Once the needles are pricked into the points, the flow of energy becomes normal once more helping bring back balance to the yin and yang. This, in turn, results in the treatment of the condition.

Based on this concept, acne breakouts and zits are symptoms of excessive heat in the lungs. This means that to heal those breakouts and zits, the lungs, (the organ, according to TCM, that controls your skin) need to be cleansed and cooled down. An effective way of accomplishing those is to insert thin acupuncture needles into certain points to stimulate the meridians.

For acupuncture therapy to be truly effective in treating acne, multiple treatment sessions are needed. Oftentimes, other modalities like “cupping” are combined in the acupuncture treatment. Cupping is a TCM modality that uses glass cups to suction certain parts of your skin. According to TCM practitioners, this technique helps remove toxins from your body and also cools down your lungs that all help in restoring balance in your body.

The methods utilized by western medicine are entirely different than the one used in acupuncture. Acupuncture, unlike conventional western medicine, is a holistic therapy that not only aims to treat the breakouts and zits, it also cures the root of the problem or imbalance.

A study was done involving the use of electro-acupuncture to resolve hormonal imbalance causing certain types of acne. The results indicate the potency of electro-acupuncture in resolving acne symptoms since a greater percentage of the subjects who were treated with this procedure showed significant improvements compared to the ones who were treated with anti-acne medications and creams. In electro-acupuncture, an electric current from an external electric device is passed through the needles while the needle is in your acupuncture point.

If you have acne or just want this condition from developing in your body, you need to consult with a licensed acupuncturist in order to see if acupuncture is the best one for your condition. You can also talk to a dermatologist since he can recommend to you the best treatment for your acne. People with severe types of acne need to stay with their prescribed medications.

In treating acne, acupuncturists base their plan of treatment on the patient’s constitution and manifested symptoms.  Being a natural form of treatment, acupuncture treatment takes time so do not expect instant results after a few acupuncture sessions.


Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

Written by Valerie

April 18th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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