Premature Baldness - from a TCM perspective.
Premature hair loss, or Seborrheic Alopecia (SA), is a common health problem that many Hong Kong people face. Patients with this disease have notable scalp seborrhea and significant itching, often accompanied by excessive dandruff, greasy hair and other symptoms. The disease is more common in men than in women. Men often notice a receding hairline or hair thinning at the top of their head, women often notice a widening of their part.
In the early stage, hair loss often starts from both sides of the forehead and gradually extends to the top of the head, which affects the patients’ appearance and aggravates their psychological unease.
It could be due to the normal process of ageing, or it could also be a signal that your body is under stress, has hormonal changes, or certain medical conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, SA is often due to the lack of Qi and Blood going to the hair scalp. This could be either due to weakness in the body’s energy (such as due to illness or ageing), or stagnation in the body’s energy (such as due to stress or hormonal changes).
Plum-blossom needle refers to a type of acupuncture treatment by tapping the skin surface with a special needle tool. It brings your Qi and Blood to the hair scalp, and helps stimulate your hair follicles to grow.
The method of Qi-invigorating needling is to stimulate the scalp function by replenishing the Qi of the spleen and kidney, so as to solidify the hair and prevent detachment. Treatment is pleasant and feels like a gentle scalp massage.
Clinical studies (1,2,3) have shown that plum-blossom needling in combination with herbal medicine, can encourage hair regrowth. In a recent study done in 2020 (3), the total effective rate of the Chinese medicine group was significantly higher than that of the Western medicine grou
p (95.45% vs. 81.40%), and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05).
If you have any questions about hair loss or hair scalp conditions, please consult your Chinese Medicine Practitioner.
References: 1. Clinical Observation on Acupuncture Treatment for Alopecia Areata. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 31(2) - Xu K. (2015) 2. Therapeutic Observation of Seven-star Needle plus Acupuncture-medication for Alopecia Due to Heat and Dampness in Spleen and Stomach. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 33(9) - Lin KR, Yun AS & Jiang YF. (2014)
3. The clinical effect of plum blossom needle acupuncture with qi-invigorating superficies-consolidating therapy on seborrheic alopecia - Qiuyi Li, Yubin Xie, Xushan Zha (2020)
Xie Yongqi, Novena 謝詠琪中醫師 Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner (Registration No. 7229)