Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, a symptom of which is nerve pain. Other main symptoms include multiple blistering on the skin of the chest, back, lower back and thigh, accompanied by sharp nerve pain. Under normal circumstances, the patient will experience pain, discomfort and skin irritations along the nerves about 2-3 days before developing herpes. After 2-3 weeks the blisters will form scabs which will then dislodge and the wound will heal itself. For some patients the pain of blistering is very intense.
GP’s are only able to prescribe pain killers to relieve the pain of shingles, but for many patients this is insufficient. After researching and treating 500 cases of shingles, TCM Prof Liu uses a combination of hot needle, cupping and herbal medicine to very good effect for about 95% of patients.
For patients with shingles who did not receive effective treatment, the symptoms will evolve and worsen. The latent virus will continue to grow within the nerves causing further damage to the nerves resulting in chronic and acute pain which severely affects patients’ day-to-day lives.
GP’s cannot cure the disorder, but only prescribe strong painkillers to treat the symptoms. TCM Prof Liu utilises acupuncture to enhance the body’s immunity and hot needle and cupping to induce detoxification of the affected regions. Around 90% of patients achieve good results from this treatment.
Cluster headaches are associated with the release of histamines from cells, symptoms include sharp pain on one side of the head, runny nose and watery eyes. Treatment is via antihistamines and agents to constrict the dilated arteries. Cluster headaches are also known as suicide headaches. TCM Prof Liu utilises herbal medicine and acupuncture to achieve excellent results in more than 100 cases of cluster headaches.
TCM Prof Liu also treats the following to great effect:
The cause of migraines is similar to that of cluster headaches, but the intensity of pain is lesser. It will often be characterised by tingling or pinching sensations, throbbing pain or swelling pain. Some patients receive no relief from strong pain killers. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that the cause of migraines stem from the toxins in the liver, resulting in an imbalance in the contracting and expanding of the blood vessels in the brain. Chinese medicine practitioners use acupuncture and herbal medicine to balance the function of the liver to treat migraines.
Neck pain is often caused by inflammation of the nerves and joints in the neck, bone spurs or damage to the joints and soft tissue in the neck. This causes restrictions in neck mobility and function. For young people neck pain is usually due to sports or work injuries. For older people bone spurs and bone degeneration are more likely to be present.
TCM Prof Liu utilises remedial massage to promote blood circulation of the soft tissue to reduce inflammation.
Most often affecting patients over 50 years of age, frozen shoulder is a condition in which the soft tissue of the shoulder becomes inflamed – often due to cold, sports injuries or work injuries. Main symptoms include stiffness, restricted movement and degenerative inflammation.
TCM Prof Liu utilises hot needle and traction techniques to treat the tendon adhesion that causes frozen shoulder, which can be cured in 5-10 sessions.
Back pain is often very common, including lumbar pain, muscle pain, joint pain, tendon and nerve pain. Causes include cold, sports or work injuries or acute sprains. TCM Prof Liu utilises hot needle to draw out cold air, remedial massage to dispel inflammation and osteopathy to re-align and strengthen the spinal joints.
Sciatic pain is caused by bone spurs or inflammation of the lumbar joints or protrusion of the lumbar cartilage discs, resulting in acute pain of the lower back and leg. TCM Prof Liu utilises acupuncture, cupping, massage and herbal medicine to treat the inflammation of the lumbar joints.
Tennis elbow is due to damage to the forearm or outer arm ligaments caused by sports or work injuries – damage is in the form of soft tissue inflammation. TCM Prof Liu utilises hot needle and remedial massage to treat with very marked results.
Often caused by accidents, manual labour, cold and degeneration, chronic arthritis exhibits the main symptoms of joint swelling, congestion and fever, restricted mobility. Chronic arthritis is often diagnosed via CT scans and ultrasounds. TCM Prof Liu treats the root cause of the inflammation via hot needle, remedial massage and herbal medicine. Most patients can stop treatment after 5-10 sessions.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by damage due to wear and tear of the tendons, nerves and blood vessels of the carpal tunnel within the wrist. This can cause inflammation of the carpal tunnel and further result in narrowing of the carpal tunnel and paralysis of the wrist and fingers.
TCM Prof Liu utilises acupuncture, hot needle and massage to reduce the inflammation and swelling of the carpal tunnel and promote restoration of normal nerve function.
Period Pain (Dysmenorrhea)
Period pain occurs before, during or after the menstrual period, causing abdomen pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that possible causes may include cold air, damp, bad moods and anaemia. Herbal medicine is extremely effective at treating period pain, it can promote blood circulation in the uterus and balance hormones.
Gout is due to imbalance of the purine metabolism. Clinical symptoms include chronic and acute inflammation of the joints, swelling and restricted movement. This is often accompanied by gout stones and sediments in the joint cavity, which will result in chronic arthritis and uric acid. TCM Prof Liu utilises herbal medicine to reduce the uric acid in the blood, and massage to reduce inflammation and swelling.