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  • Writer's pictureCat Calhoun


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes new skin cells that grow deep in your skin to rise too quickly and pile up on the surface. While eczema generally appears around the skin creases, psoriasis can be found on the head, elbows, knees, and other places. Psoriasis is characterized by thick red patches that are covered with scales that often look silvery. These patches will bleed it you scrape them with the edge of a credit card. This helps differentiate them from eczema. They itch and hurt, making it hard to sleep, walk, or even do self-care.

One form of psoriasis is called psoriatic arthritis. This affects the joints, ends of the fingers and toes, and sometimes the skin tissue around the spine.

Psoriasis in Chinese medicine is blood heat + toxins, so the basic principles include clearing blood stagnation, cooling blood, and clearing toxins.

Basic acupuncture protocol

Bilateral needling:

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:

Point discussion

  • Si Ma San/Four Horses is an excellent point to assist the immune system toward proper function and is also excellent for skin conditions. Use guide points to point it to the target area. *Use mirroring, channel association, point function, and/or TCM guide points to target the area. Example of guide points: Knee point to guide to the elbow, Gb 39 for the back of the neck, UB 63 or San Zhong for the back of the neck, etc.

  • Liver points in this prescription calm the mind and assist the body in the proper movement of blood. Huo Ying and Huo Zhu are Master Tung's Liver 2 and 3, so also cool the blood.

  • Xia San Huang contains point to nourish the Middle Jiao and build proper immune response. This 3-point combination also contains the Shen Guan point, which is always good for chronic interior conditions. Stomach 36 works toward this also. Stomach 37 is the lower he sea of the Large Intestine meridian and helps remove toxins from the body by promoting healthy bowel response. The association between the Large Intestine and Lung meridian also assists with skin problems such as psoriasis. Stomach 44 helps clear heat from the stomach channel, further cooling the body and the blood heat that contributes to this disease.

Consider the herbal formula Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin combined with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang or Evergreen's Dermatrol (PS) for psoriasis. You could also modify Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin and Huang Lian Jie Du Tang.

All of these formulas will clear stagnant blood, cool blood, and clear toxins from the body. Consider adding guide herbs just like you add guide points! Ge Gen for the back of the neck, Niu Xi for the knees, Du Huo for the lower spine, Qiang Huo for the top of the head, etc.

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