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Shingles, or Herpes Zoster Viral Infection

Shingles, caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, affects the nerve endings in the skin. It usually occurs on the skin of the abdomen under the ribs leading toward the navel, but can appear anywhere on the body. An attack of shingles is often preceded by three of four days of intense pain in the affected area. Then numerous and excruciatingly painful and itchy blisters develop, normally lasting between seven and fourteen days. These blisters eventually form crusty scabs and drop off. After an attack of shingles, the pain may continue even after the blisters have disappeared, especially in the elderly. The pain can sometimes last for months or years. This post-herpetic syndrome can be even more painful than the original infection.

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Shirley's personal account and a message of Hope

Shirley: "I have decided to share my experience with the Shingles - especially how fast I have been able to overcome its terrible pains with natural health treatments - because I want to help those folks out there who continue to suffer from its terrible pains for months and even years after the initial outbreak. This is a message of hope."

"When I was 49 years old I came down with the Shingles but I didn't know that it was the shingles (or herpes zoster as it is also called). Initially I began to experience strange pains on the left side of my chest and I felt ill with weakness and malaise for 2 days before the eruptions of shingles broke out."

"It happened suddenly. I woke up one morning to discover with horror that 1/2 of my trunk, from my chest area all the way to my back was covered with nasty eruptions. While the eruptions were awfully ugly, itchy and caused burning and soreness, it was nothing compare to the horribly pains caused by the viral infection's attack on the nervous system. I became rapidly debilitated by continuous, unbearable stabbing like pains day and night in the area that had erupted. I could barely function anymore: I could hardly do computer work, eat or sleep. I resorted at first to take pain killers which didn't help. I refused to see an MD, dermatologist or neurologist because I have long ago lost confidence in these practitioners and their nasty drugs."

Shingles is caused by the same Virus that causes Chicken Pox

The biggest mistake that every Shingles sufferer makes, is preventing the body from being able to get rid of the virus quickly on its own by strengthening the immune system.

Most people that don't know about the easy and effective way to heal shingles would end up spending hours and hours on the Internet trying to research different remedies and treatments, and then go through an entire trial and error process of trying to cure Shingles on their own. Or they might visit their doctor, get some advice, maybe a prescription, and 'wait it out' until things get better over several weeks or months. If you follow this procedure, you will end up wasting a lot of time, get more frustrated and confused than ever, and end up wasting your money on something that doesn't even work!

Shingles, or herpes zoster is a viral infection of sensory nerve cells caused by the same virus (Varicella zoster) that causes chicken pox according to David L. Hoffman, M.N.I.M.H. The virus remains latent in the dorsal root ganglia of the spinal cord after the initial attack of chicken pox.The disease occurs most frequently in people over the age of 50.

It may be activated through such factors as emotional stress or physical trauma to the spinal cord and its roots through surgery or X-ray therapy. Shingles is a nerve disease with skin symptoms (eruptions) characterized by pain along an affected nerve and its branches and the eruption of blisters over skin areas supplied by the nerve. An attack will usually be preceded by a few days of intense pain in the affected areas. Then many extremely painful and itchy blisters develop, normally lasting 7 -14 days.

These eventually form crusty scabs and fall off. Following such an outbreak, the pain may continue even when the blisters have disappeared, especially in the elderly. This may go on for months and can be more painful than the original infection." I found further valuable information about acupuncture, diet and nervines (herbal tonics) for the treatment of shingles.

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Shingles Holistic Treatment program

Herpes BreakthroughStress is known to weaken the immune system and many researchers believe that stress could be a trigger for shingles. Researchers think that a weakened immune system can reactivate the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles is often seen in people who are suffering from certain medical conditions. Disease weakens their immune system, making them more susceptible to infection.

I followed the holistic program that was recommended and had acupuncture 3 times a week. I also took several herbal and homeopathic remedies and ate mostly fresh raw fruits during the next few days. To my total amazement, on day 8 of the initial outbreak, the pain had been reduced over 90% and on the 11th day, the blister had dried up and all the pain was completely gone. I was amazed at the speed on my recovery because according to my research on shingles and from the testimony of friends who had the shingles, I knew that the pain may continue long after the eruptions have disappeared. This pain is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia and it may last for months and even years.

Important Note: Start treatment early

The Acupuncturist told me that it was of utmost importance to start acupuncture as soon as possible after the eruptions had broken out, and while they were still wet, and not wait until the eruptions had dried off. He explained to me that it was crucial to start the treatment early so as to PREVENT nerve damage. Once the nerve is damaged, it is much more difficult and it takes much longer to achieve healing. He also recommended mega doses of B complex and vitamin C to support the nerve system.

He related to me how some patients come to see him for treatment for their pain (post herpetic neuralgia) months or even years after their experience with Shingles. He said these patients went first to their dermatologist and to their neurologist and tried numerous drugs such antiviral or pain killer medications which were of little or no help and wasted precious time. By the time they came to see him for acupuncture treatment, their nerves were already severely damage and the treatment was much more difficult.

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses.

Camu-Camu provides effective nutritional support

Health care practitioners report that Camu-Camu has provided very effective nutritional support for Herpes virus sufferers, putting shingles into remission and actually cutting the expected flare-up time in half! In addition, common ‘cold sores’ are said to be less common, not as ‘full blown’ and resolve in one day. Shingles, is a remanifestation of the chicken pox virus in adulthood in a new form and cold sores are the result of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1). The herpes virus takes a number of different forms and is widespread today as a public health problem. The Epstein-Barr virus is another common form of the herpes virus which may linger in the body for years, often causing fatigue and raising the total viral load which the body must combat. Yet another form of the herpes virus is genital herpes which is caused by the herpes simplex virus 2. The principal anti-viral pharmaceutical medicine is Acyclovir® which like most pharmaceutical drugs, causes unpleasant side effects in some people.

In his Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing, Dr. Gary Null states that Camu-Camu has extraordinary medicinal properties and is the most potent of herbs that contain phytochemicals with anti-herpes properties. He says that Camu-Camu helps to strengthen the immune system, and maintain healthy gums, eyes and skin and offers support for people who have the hepatitis virus. All forms of the herpes virus lay dormant at the base of the spine and become active when the immune system is stressed beyond its ability to respond effectively.

Common stressors include insufficient rest, prescription drugs, emotional upsets, poor diet, menstrual periods, vaginal yeast infections, and too much sunlight on the skin. Genital herpes is usually transmitted sexually. In addition, Null lists disease conditions and the herbs that have been found effective for their health promoting properties in reference to specific system weaknesses and problems. In discussing the holistic treatment of depression, he lists 19 plants containing chemical compounds with antidepressant properties, in order of potency Camu-Camu is no. two on his list.

Some health care practitioners have reported that Camu Camu works the same day to help relieve depression and anxiety, and they have weaned some of their patients off pharmaceutical anti-depressants. There are no side effects, such as photo-sensitivity or gastrointestinal problems, and it can be used safely in combination with pharmaceutical antidepressants. There have been no reports of its interference with the effectiveness of any pharmaceutical drugs.

Teas Are One of The Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature's Healing Herbs

Teas can help fight depression and anxiety, heal skin conditions and gastrointestinal disorders, regulate hormone imbalances, improve your sex life, prevent illness, and help you heal faster. Many diseases and conditions for which we turn to modern medicine can also be treated naturally with healing herbs. These treatments can be safer, less expensive and possibly even more effective than traditional methods. Plant food and herbal medicine help in another way as well: by providing nutrients that are essential to life. Research has now shown that many of us are deficient in several nutrients essential to optimal health, if not essential to life itself. Many of these important, natural ingredients are found in herbs, but not in synthetic pharmaceuticals.

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Can Chickenpox Vaccine Increases Risk for Shingles?

A newly published study from the US Centers for Disease Control is further formal confirmation chickenpox vaccine damages natural immunity and causes the more serious highly painful potentially fatal condition of shingles: The incidence and clinical characteristics of herpes zoster among children and adolescents after implementation of varicella vaccination. It is long and well known in numerous studies that shingles cases and deaths in adults and the elderly will increase as natural immunity wanes as a result of the chickenpox vaccine.

It is however perplexing that the US CDC study authors declare themselves mystified by the increase in teenage shingles cases shown by their study. Shingles is a serious painful condition in adults which causes death in some cases. Chickenpox is normally a mild disease in children which most children used to contract and gain natural immunity from. Natural childhood diseases are known to prime children's immune systems for future disease immunity.

Chickenpox Vaccine Increases The Risk for Shingles

Scientists said that vaccinating children against chickenpox (varicella) could increase the risk that adults would develop shingles, a painful blistering rash that is potentially dangerous in the elderly. The team, at Britain's Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS), said that although vaccination would save thousands of lives over time, thousands of elderly people could also die from the complications of shingles, known as herpes zoster.

Writing in the journal Vaccine, they called for a re-evaluation of the policy of mass chickenpox vaccination that has been introduced already in the United States and is imminent in many other countries. In 1995, the chickenpox vaccine was approved for use in children over 1 year of age in the US and is now required for school entry. After a bout of naturally-occuring chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus remains dormant in the body and may reactivate decades later to cause shingles, a painful rash that typically strikes chickenpox veterans after the age of 60.

Marc Brisson and his team say their research shows that adults living with children have more exposure to the virus that causes chickenpox and enjoy high levels of protection against shingles. Being close to children means that adults are exposed to the virus, which acts like a booster vaccine against shingles, they believe. But if all children were vaccinated, adults who have had chickenpox would no longer be protected against developing shingles.

The researchers worked out a mathematical model that predicts that eliminating chickenpox in a country the size of the United States would prevent 186 million cases of the disease and 5,000 deaths over 50 years. However they said it could also result in 21 million more cases of shingles and 5,000 deaths.

The PHLS said in a statement it was working out what the impact might be of
introducing a chickenpox vaccine in Britain. "As more evidence becomes available, it will be shared with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, which advises the Department of Health on the immunization schedule. JAMA May 1, 2002;287(17):2211:

Comment by DR. Sherri Tenpenny

By attempting to eliminate an essentially harmless childhood disease, we are going to create a disaster of epidemic proportions. This is the "first glimpse" of things to come: vaccines to treat problems caused by vaccines.

Chickenpox is a mild infection of childhood caused by the varicella zoster virus. A self limiting disease characterized by fever, malaise and an itchy, vesicular rash that covers the entire body, chickenpox usually resolves within 4 to 5 days, leaving the child with lifetime immunity. With vaccination by Varivax®, the duration of protection from varicella infection by is unknown.

Shingles is thought to be caused by the reactivation of the same chickenpox, causing virus, varicella zoster. It is generally a disease of the elderly but can also develop in insulin dependent diabetics and those who have immunodeficient diseases such as AIDS and leukemia. A shingles outbreak can be triggered stress, negative emotional responses, or by certain medications, including steroids [ex: prednisone], chemotherapy and radiation.

Unlike chickenpox, a shingles outbreak is anything but benign. The first sign is usually unilateral tingling, itching, or stabbing pain on the skin. After a few days, a red, blistering rash appears that is severely painful rash that can last for weeks. At its peak, symptoms range from a mild itch to intense pain.

When the outbreak resolves, it can leave numbness, skin discoloration and permanent scars. Serious complications, including facial paralysis, hearing loss, or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) can occur, and if the infection includes the eye, the result can be glaucoma, cataracts or even permanent blindness.

Approximately 20% of shingles cases can result in post herpetic neuralgia. This condition manifests as unrelenting pain that can persist for years after the initial rash has healed. There is no conventional treatment for post herpetic neuralgia and even the strongest pain medications are rarely helpful.