Thursday, 27. May 2010 7:10
Skin diseases such as for example eczema, is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as shi zhen or damp rash and are generally either chronic or acute conditions. In TCM diagnosis and treatment is based on what is called pattern discrimination; the disharmonies, stagnations, deficiencies, wind, pathogenic influences, Heat or etc. within the body that affect the whole body health. The assessment establishes whether there is a pattern of Damp Heat or a pattern of Blood Dryness as seen from the TCM perspective. A Damp Heat pattern will include red, weepy skin lesions that are itchy, plus other signs and symptoms the TCM practitioner establishes. With Blood Dryness the lesions are dry and may also be itchy. The lesions may be more or less red or perhaps even pale plus other signs and symptoms established by the practitioner after a thorough examination of the patient.
Eczema may have a basis in other allergies. In dogs, some breeds seem also to be more prone to skin diseases than others; for example golden retrievers, terriers, poodles, Dalmatians, schnauzers. In dogs the cause for eczema can be internal and/or external parasites, fungus, yeast, fleas, chemical substances and drug reactions and others in addition to dietary and environmental allergies and sensitivities from a western perspective. Therefore thorough pattern discrimination is important. In TCM no health issue is seen in isolation, but always on the background of overall health. Once a TCM diagnosis is established the practitioner writes a treatment option for either herbal formulas or acupuncture or both, as well as dietary recommendations, which directly correlates to the specific person or animal’s TCM diagnosis. The herbal formulas for the two types of eczema will be different and may include topical treatments. If the condition has elements of dietary allergies, the diet must be checked and changed. If there are external causes for the eczema, these need to be eliminated not only on the animal, but also in the animal’s environment for treatment to be successful.
While an acute condition is easier and quicker to treat than chronic, enough time needs to be allowed for the treatment to work and to bring harmony back to the body.