Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Cupping, Electroacupuncture
Various studies have been carried out to observe the efficacy of acupuncture on reducing neuralgia after shingles. In one Chinese study patients were randomized into two groups. In the bleeding and cupping group, the local pricking with syringe needle and cupping was applied in the local painful area, once every two days. The second group was prescribed a conventional medication. The result showed cupping therapy had a definite effect on post herpetic neuralgia and could possibly be one of the mechanisms of analgesic effect. Patient QI found another Chinese study using three groups where one group was treated with herbal cupping, the second with thermal compressing and the third with western medicine. The study showed herbal cupping had remarkable effective rates on post shingles pain, compared to that of the two other groups. It concluded that herbal cupping relieves pain effectively, and had a better outcome than Chinese Medicine herbal thermal compressing therapy and conventional medicine.
Furthermore, a study involving an approach integrating several therapies from Traditional Chinese Medicine showed reduction in pain was maintained for up to two years.
There is an established tradition of certain classical homeopathic remedies for shingles. The first is Rhus Tox which would be most homeopaths first choice. Some combination remedies are also used for their antiviral effects. There are a wealth of individual case studies in Homeopathy publications, however Patient QI found no detailed clinical trials specific to Shingles.
Specific Homeopathic remedies for Shingles can be found here:
Bee venom has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects and to be able to reduce pain, althouth questions still remain regarding bee venom as a treatment. However, Patient QI did find a recent case study where a patient was given bee venom injections to treat the severe pain and hypersensitivity he had as a result of shingles. The pain levels were evaluated before every treatment and by his fifth visit his pain had significantly reduced. This shows bee venom does have the potential to become an effective treatment for neuralgia after shingles, although further trials need to be conducted.