Alopecia areata is hair loss caused when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. While this autoimmune disease doesn't really threaten health, it definitely affects how the patient looks. The scalp gets patchy in places and they might lose hair on their face or other body parts and does point to an underlying dysfunction of the immune system. Take this seriously!
These patients frequently have stress and poor self-esteem because we humans are very visually oriented creatures! Treat the mood and stress as well as the hair loss.
Acupuncture basic Rx
Use this basic acupuncture prescription as your guide. Add points intelligently to address the patient's differential diagnosis as well!
Right side: Huo Ying, Huo Zhu, Lv 6* *Master Tung's Lv 6 is needled next to the tibia on the Spleen channel rather than on the bone itself. Use your fingernail to palpate and slide the needle right next to the bone.
Left side: Xia San Huang, St 36, St 43
Needle Yintang and Sishencong These standard TCM points calm the mood and guide the energy to the head. You can also add Du 20 as a guide point.
Yintang, Sishencong, and Du 20 all calm the mind, addressing the stress and self-esteem issues, but also guide the energy of the other points to the head. You can needle these first or last, but I generally needle them last after amping up the Qi with the left and right side points.
Huo Ying, Huo Zhu, and Liver 6 are on the Liver channel, which has a branch going to the vertex of the head. The Liver channel is also responsible for moving blood.
The left side points are all on the Spleen and Stomach channel. Healthy hair is a function of healthy blood. The Spleen and Stomach channel will nourish blood, as these channels are rich in Qi and Blood.
Consider Qi Bao Mai Ran Wan, Ba Zhen Tang, or Evergreen's Polygonum 13 herbal formulas. These are really good for alopecia from cancer treatment too.