Herpes Zoster - Shingles

May 6, 2018

Understanding Herpes Zoster

Herpes zoster, commonly referred to as shingles, is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. While most people who had chickenpox as children won't experience shingles, those with a weakened immune system or increased stress levels may be at risk.

Recognizing the Symptoms

The symptoms of shingles usually start with a burning sensation, itchiness, or tingling in a specific area of the body, followed by the appearance of a painful, red rash that typically develops into fluid-filled blisters. The rash commonly occurs in a band or belt-like pattern on one side of the body.

Some other common symptoms include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to touch

Causes and Risk Factors

Shingles occur when the varicella-zoster virus, which remains dormant in the nerves after a previous chickenpox infection, reactivates. While the exact cause of the reactivation is unknown, it is believed to be related to a weakened immune system or increased stress levels.

Some of the risk factors for developing shingles include:

  • Advanced age (people over 50 are more susceptible)
  • Having had chickenpox
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Undergoing cancer treatments
  • Experiencing high levels of stress

Effective Treatment Options

At Sanctuary Therapies, we offer alternative and natural medicine treatments for herpes zoster. Our experienced practitioners specialize in providing holistic care to help alleviate the symptoms and promote healing.

Some of our treatment options include:

  • Acupuncture: By inserting thin needles into specific points on the body, acupuncture can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with shingles.
  • Herbal Medicine: Customized herbal formulations can be beneficial in boosting the immune system and supporting the body's natural healing processes.
  • Mind-Body Techniques: Techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, and breathing exercises can help manage stress and promote relaxation, which may aid in the recovery process.
  • Dietary Recommendations: A healthy diet, rich in immune-boosting foods, can play a significant role in supporting the body's ability to fight off the virus.
  • Topical Natural Remedies: Applying certain topical ointments or creams with antiviral and soothing properties can help relieve pain and discomfort.

Prevention and Self-Care

Prevention of shingles involves maintaining a strong immune system and managing stress levels effectively. It is also essential to avoid direct contact with individuals who have active shingles to minimize the risk of transmission.

Self-care measures that may help alleviate symptoms include:

  • Keeping the rash clean and dry
  • Using cool compresses to soothe the affected area
  • Avoiding tight or irritating clothing
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, as recommended by healthcare professionals
  • Practicing good hygiene to prevent secondary infections

When to Seek Professional Help

If you suspect you might have shingles or are experiencing persistent pain and discomfort, it is crucial to seek professional help. At Sanctuary Therapies, our dedicated team of practitioners will assess your condition and recommend a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, early intervention and appropriate care can help shorten the duration of shingles and reduce the risk of complications.

Contact Sanctuary Therapies today to schedule a consultation and start your journey to relief and healing.