Friday, August 22, 2014

How I Treated Shingles with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

One day I noticed a painful red rash breaking out around my left side. At first I thought it was Chicken Pox because I'd recently treated a patient with a bad case of that rash. Although I didn't think that Chicken Pox was usually contagious, that seemed the most logical connection. The more it went on though and the more I thought about it, I knew it had to be Shingles, or Herpes Zoster. How did I know? It was more painful that itchy, it seemed to emerge from the spine, the spine itself felt quite painful and burning, and it was only on one side of the body following a nerve root path. It was a textbook case. I knew from my school studies that acupuncture and Chinese herbs could be very helpful and enlisted the help of an acupuncturist friend who also lived in Santa Rosa, CA.

In the meantime I did some online research as I continue to be interested in diseases as metaphors for what we are struggling with on deep levels. Although famous new age thought author Louise Hay called Shingles "Waiting for the other shoe to drop," the words of a less famous blogger resonated even more. "Shingles", she said, is a "Crossroads before fear and trust." This really seemed to ring true in my life as I was in the process of deepening my spiritual path and letting go of some fearful patterns in my mind. I believe my conscious choice to take the path of more faith and letting go sped my recovery. It also allowed me to approach the acupuncture and herbal treatment I received with receptivity and confidence.

The acupuncturist I saw diagnosed me as having "damp heat in the gallbladder channel" and had me take high doses of herbal tablets called Long Dan Xie Gan Tang. The herbs were cooling and drying and had me feeling better in about a day. I also took some blood moving herbs to help with all my spinal pain. Surprisingly moxa over the sores was very soothing. Although the disease has heat to it, moxa is still helpful because the sores are fluid filled and damp is dried by moxa. Moxa can often be done at home and not just y the Chinese Medicine doctor. My husband, in fact, was very helpful with this part of my treatment.

If you or someone you know is suffering from Shingles near Sonoma County, Ca call Kat at (707) 775-8311 or visit for more information about treatment.

What Works for Me

As an acupuncturist who also had her fair share of illnesses and recovery I am going to blog about some of my discoveries that might be of value to others. The truth is that as much as I've learned by helping others through infertility, pain, insomnia, depression and other illnesses, I've probably learned even more through my own body.

 My own body has been an empirical study in various herbal formulas, nutritional supplements as well as various forms of body work and healing therapies. I like being able to tell my patients not just that something will help, but that I know what it tastes like and how it feels in the body and what the after effects may be like. Here are a few of my problems that I've learned much about through my own body: Colds and strengthening immunity, Shingles, Insomnia, Heart Problems, Menstrual Irregularities and improving fertility, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, cleansing and detoxing. Here are just a few of the different types of treatment modalities I've experienced and learned from: Reiki, Bowen Method, Feldenkrais, homeopathy, hatha yoga, physical therapy, EFT, massage, Kairos therapy, hypnotherapy, spiritual midwifery, art therapy, Barbara Brennan Healing and Chinese Face Reading/Nine Star Ki. Wow what a list. I'm sure there are more! If any of these particularly appeals I'd love to hear what you want me to write about. With so much to chronicle it is hard to know begin.

Here is my contact info: Kat Delse Mardirous, L.Ac.: (707) 775-8311
To learn more about my practice visit: