In this radio show with Dr. Dennis Lobstein, we discuss the Chinese Medicine theory behind the symptom of itching. “Grasping the Wind” in Asian Medicine is what is necessary to relieve the symptoms of itching. Wind is any kind of movement that changes rapidly and unpredictably. The root of the word “itch” it comes from “pruric” in Latin. For acupuncture point locations mentioned below, please refer to YinYangHouse.com
In Western terms it is the sensation causing desiring to scratch which is different from pain which causes withdrawal. The same C fibers in the spine are involved in both symptoms.
Allergies, infections, insect toxins, medications, and even pregnancy can contribute to itching. Diabetes and thyroid and other hormone imbalances can also contribute to itching from the Western medical perspective.
Pruroceptive – itch receptors (nerves involved with itching). There is a neuro and psychological component. Both peripheral and central component. Xerosis is the name in Western medicine for “dry skin”. In the West, we treat the histamine receptors. Chloroquines, like HCQ, have been used for itching. The Benadryl is the type used the most commonly. Steroids can cause calming of autoimmune reactions as well.
Sao Yang is a yang disorder that is relieved by MORE yang which is scratching. That is unusual given that in deficiency, putting more Yang makes sense but the opposite isn’t as common a treatment. But for itching, there is both a yin and yang perspective.
Two kinds of Itching in Asian Medicine
There is external and internal “wind” that causes itching.
- “Wind-heat” presents as dry, itchy skin
- “Wind-Damp” presents as itchy swollen areas.
- “Wind-Damp-Heat” presents as itchy, swollen, red areas that feel warm.
We can use LifeWave patches to calm wind, drain damp, and clear heat using specific points.
Midline of the Body Points
Jade Pillow, governing vessel, GV16, is for Internal Wind – Wind Gate just below the occiput in the center at the top of the neck. Helps with internal wind including symptmos of tremors, flaccidy, an wind stroke. Shaking going on inside.
Conception vessel 2 on top of the pubic bone and CV7 just below the belly button, are good for genital itching as well. you can put a Y-Age patch like carnosine, or glutathione, or Aeon. That would be great to combine with Bladder 34 and/or Liver 5. It makes strong energetic triangles if you do both, however, Dr. Dennis feels using the least number of patches possible is good to try first. CV 2 also tonifies Jing essence and is great for scrotal itching.
Points that are on both sides (bilateral)
Wind Market, Feng Shi, for whole body itching which is gallbladder, GB31, located on the outside of the thigh when your arms are relaxed at your side, right on the ileotibial band, where the third finger rests. It decreases wind-damp and particularly in skin problems. It is great for whole-body sudden onset itching and hives. It treats Wei Syndrome which is weakness and paralysis of the lower legs. It is a versatile point for both internal and external wind.
100 Insect Burrow is a special point Bai Chong Wo (M-LE-34 point in the Shanghai acupoint) for severe itching of the skin. It is located just above Spleen 10 and 3 cun proximal to the superior border of the knee cap. It is for the bugs crawling itching feeling all over the body. It lowers wind-damp-heat specifically for skin problems.
Wormwood Canal is Liver 5, specifically indicated for genital itching in the pubic area. It decreaes damp hit and lowers itching and swelling and pain in the genitals. It also lowers fear and fright and Plumstone Qi (restores peace to the insanity to the body). Qi stuck in their throat. If you touch the inside of the lower tibia it is about 5 cun above the inner ankle bone. There is a little notch on the tibia and that’s where you would patch. Genital area is circumscribed by the liver channel. If itching is more posterior around the anal area, Dr. Dennis uses Bladder 57 with IceWave and Governing vessel 2 on the sacrum just above the coccyx with a Y-Age patch or X39. You can also use a patch stuck on the underwear instead of right over the skin near the Conception Vessl 1 point.
Winds Screen San Jao, Triple burner, TB 17 behind the ear, is for itching inside the ear. It decreases wind damp inside the ear. It is also used for internal wind such as spasms, stroke, lock jaw and tremors as well as external itching on the skin. He usually puts the patch behind the affected side, but you can use a combo by patching both sides. It is close to gallbladder 20 which also is used for internal wind.
Bladder 16, Du Shu, back shu points, one on each side of the spine about an inch and a half away from the midline of thoracic vertabra 6 where Governing vessell 10 is located. Back Shu points tonify and stimulate the Qi in the channels. Residual Qi feeds into the CV and GV. The Bladder 16 is a major acupuncture point. It is indicated for general itching and skin disorders. It deals with autoimmune issues, like psoriasis on the skin.
Bladder 34, at the 4th sacral foramen on the inner bladder line bilaterally, is indicated for genital itching. Good patches would be IceWave on either side.
Gallbladder 9 is near the apex of the ear on both sides and it is good for ear itching.
Bladder 28 is at the second sacral foramen decrease damp heat in the lower jiao and decreases damp with itching. Herpes lesions are damp-heat for example. He would use Bladder 28 and Bladder 57 (support mountain) which is on the lower leg where the calves muscle create a depression. Then you could put a Y-Age in the center near the symptoms. That would make two big triangles of energy supporting healing.
- Tremors, itching, lack of muscle tone, shaking, patterns after a stroke.GV16 Jade pillow – X39 – occiput
- Optional: Gallblader 20 on either side of the neck at base of the skull – IceWave or Energy Enhancer or Sp6C left/Aeon right
- Gallbladder 34 – Icewave white on the right and tan on the left.
Acute Itching Relief Whole Body
- GB 31 – Aeon on the right, SP6C on the left or IceWave white on right, tan on left
- GV9 – T7 area on the back. in the centerline, for “yang within yang” damp heat itching/aching. Aeon (if not already used) or Alavida patch. Thoracic 7 is where an imaginary line between the two bottoms of the scapula.
Itching with Skin Disease symptoms
- Bi Chong Wo – (see above) – using IceWave white on right, tan on left (or Aeon/Sp6C combo)
- GV9 – centerline on the back (ideal) or CV17 on the front of the lungs if you don’t have help finding this point.
Genital Itching Protocol
- Liver 5 bilaterally – Energy enhancer or IceWave
- Bladder 34 on either side of sacrum – Aeon/SP6C or IceWave
- CV 2 or 7 – with Aeon or X39 or glutathione or carnosine.
Itchy Ears – Er Yang
- Kidney 3 – Aeon right, SP6C on the left, or IceWave or Energy Enhancer
- Triple burner 17 – Icewave or Energy Enhancer on both sides
- Optional – Galbladder 20 with Energy Enhancer or IceWave
They are window of the wood, so we want to involved liver. Do you have wind heat or wind damp heat?
If just heat, dry eyes, then use:
- Large intestine 11 if you just have heat
- Liver 3 on the left and Gallbladder 41 on the right – use IceWave.
If eyes are swollen, itching or moisture, then use:
- Spleen 9 left with Carnosine, and Stomach 36 right with Alavida.
- Liver 3 on the left and Gallbladder 41 on the right – use IceWave.
If liver points aren’t working as optimally, then add Gallbladder 20 with Energy Enhancer or IceWave for the wind on both sides of the body.
Holly – her family members have abnormal sounds coming from the inner ear. Accoring to Asian physiology, the ears are the windows to the kidneys. Kidney imbalance would be the problem or Liver Qi stagnation problem. So low rumbling is often kidney imbalance and high pitch is more liver. Example: Kidney 3 (IceWave or Energy Enhancer) and Triple burner 17 (Aeon on the right, SP6C on left) would be a good combination to start. You can also try Liver 3 and Triple Burner 17. You can top it off with X39 on the right on Gallbladder 9 on the skull at the level of the tip of the ear. Whether the symptom is on the right or left, you’d want to patch bilaterally for kidney or liver. Carnosine is relatively more Yin so that you can combine X39 on the right and Carnosine on the left Gallbladder 9. If there is vertigo with the ringing in the ear as well, you can use a combo of Liver 3 on the left and Gallbladder 41 on the right.
Elyse – Has a history of constipation and recently found out she has low HCL and digestive enzymes. Is there something she can do to improve digestion. She is being told to moxa Stomach 36 acupuncture point. She’s been on anti-convulsant, benzodiazepenes for a long time. She’s had a lifetime of GI gut issues. She is using castor oil packs and it helps. Excess heat in the bowel can dry out the waste. You can get it flowing through hydration. Eat lubricating things like walnut and honey, and dragon eye – longan fruit. It tonifies the spleen. Lung 8 is good for detoxing. She could use a Lung 8 on the left (dredging toxins from the lung channel), Stomach 40 to dissipate phlegm and get things moving, or the lower He He point for the colon is Stomach 37. Mulberries help with Yin tonification. Conception vessel 2 or 7 (or 12 to help regulate stomach and put energy down), patching with Aeon. Alternatively, try an Aeon right over the right side ileocecal valve or IceWave on either side of the belly button at Stomach 25, approx 1.5 inches bilaterally.
Nancy – stuffy and runny nose, sense of smell. Bladder 13, back Shu point on the lungs. Stick IceWave on those bilateral points if they are sore. It is below Thoracic vertebra 3 and 1.5 inches on either side. Lung 9 is the source point to the lungs on either wrist using Energy Enhancer or IceWave. Dr. Dennis and Dr. Karen suggests Alavida on the third eye GV24.5 and Aeon on the right nares and SP6C on the left side of the nares on Large Intestine 20 (you can also use IceWave instead of Aeon of SP6C).
Melissa – couple months of dry, (itchy), flaky skin, between thumb and forefinger on the left hand and then right hand. Then on her legs, round itchy red spots, and one on Conception vessel 22 area. Start with Bladder 16 bilaterally with IceWave/Energy Enhancer/ Sp6C – Aeon combo for general itching and BL 16 is for autoimmune issues. Option 2 is Lung 8 on the left and Stomach 37 on the right combo to move the qi down.
Carla – her mom has skipping heartbeat and burning sensation in the genital area and during urination. The antibiotics didn’t work. Points that would help the burning would be Aeon or X39 on CV 2 or 3 and Zi Gong which is on either side of Conception Vessel 3, 3 inches on either side, with IceWave. Carnosine (optional) on the outside of the underwear. Use Energy Enhancer patches or IceWave on Peridardium 6 bilterally or a yin/yang pair using right small intestine 4 and left heart 7.