The ancient healing art of acupuncture successfully treats all types of hair loss, according to Dr. Stuart Mauro, L.Ac., O.M.D., who has more than 30 years' experience in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Acupuncture stimulates blood circulation to the scalp, which increases nourishment of the hair follicles.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles at different acupuncture points on the body. The basic theory behind acupuncture involves the concept of qi--say "chee"--the life force energy running throughout the body that allows us to talk, walk, eat and breathe. When qi becomes insufficient, blocked or imbalanced, illness occurs. Acupuncture stimulates qi and blood flow throughout the body, allowing it to function optimally.
Acupuncture & Hair Growth
According to Chinese medicine, the quality of the hair relates to the sufficient amount of qi, blood and kidney energy within the body. The kidneys control the nourishment of the hair. When the body has an insufficiency of qi, blood and kidney energy, hair loss results. Acupuncture improves qi and blood flow within the body, strengthening the kidneys and promoting healthy hair growth. Applying acupuncture directly to the scalp stimulates blood flow, which stimulates new hair growth.
Your acupuncturist inserts a number of very fine acupuncture needles at various acupuncture points on the body, which stimulate qi and blood flow and tonify the kidneys. Or he may use a seven-star hammer, or plum blossom needle. The seven-star hammer is a small, hammer-like tool with several small needles protruding from its face that stimulate the surface of the skin. Your acupuncturist gently taps the hammer on the surface of the scalp, stimulating blood flow and promoting new hair growth.
Diet, Supplements and Herbs
Your acupuncturist may make suggestions regarding dietary changes, supplements or Chinese herbs that promote hair growth. According to a study in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in 2004, researchers achieved a cure rate of 83 percent in 110 people with alopecia--hair loss--who received seven-star acupuncture combined with external application of the Chinese herb astragalus.
Find an Acupuncturist
Look for a qualified practitioner. Most states require that acupuncturists be licensed in order to practice. Education and training requirements for licensing vary by state. Check with your local health department to find out your state's requirements for licensing. National acupuncture organizations including the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) may provide referrals for qualified acupuncturists in your area.