Hair loss affects almost everyone during a point in their lives. It is estimated that globally, 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from hair loss.
Clinically, common treatments include medication or surgical options, like hair transplant or surgical restoration. But there are also natural remedies that help decrease hair loss and encourage new hair growth. This is where Traditional Chinese Medicine, aka TCM, approaches hair loss differently.
TCM practitioners believe that the main cause of hair loss is blood deficiency. “Hair will grow well if there is sufficient blood in the body, and blood in the body is governed by the spleen and the liver. A well-functioning spleen and liver will allow healthy hair growth and shine.”
Conversely, healthy hair reflects healthy ‘qi’ in the body. A TCM practitioner can get a sense of a person's health or deficiencies by looking at hair and scalp health.
While hair type and volume are determined by our genes, overall hair condition is determined by our lifestyle. Factors such as stress, anxiety, diet, sleep and medications can affect the condition of the body, and therefore contribute to possible hair loss.
By understanding the whole patient – beyond his or her hair problems – TCM practitioners seek to restore balance to the body, which ultimately can restore hair health.
Treating Hair Loss
The specific treatment prescribed depends on the causes of the hair loss, the person’s age, as well as the TCM practitioner’s observation of overall health, including the patient’s complexion, tongue, and pulse.
Hair loss that comes with advancing age is often the result of a gradual loss of blood, kidney ‘qi’ and essence. A treatment to help nourish the blood and kidney ‘qi’ can help reduce hair loss. Women are also more prone to losing hair after giving birth, a life event which, while joyful, is believed to deplete the mother’s energy and blood. After giving birth, Chinese women drink copious amounts of a hot sweet drink brewed with dried longan, red dates and wolfberries, all of which help replenish ‘qi’ and nourish blood to restore health to new mothers, including the state of her hair.
When hair loss is more pronounced, herbal medication and acupuncture can help stimulate blood circulation to the head.
TCM can also be used to mitigate the extent of hair loss after chemotherapy treatments.
Healthy Hair Tips
Maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, healthy diet and sufficient sleep.
Regular scalp massages and acupuncture can help increase blood circulation on the head, which helps maintain a healthy scalp and hair growth.
Take herbs that nourish the blood, including wolfberries, red dates, and dried longan.
To prevent premature greying, foods that nourish the kidneys may help: Black bean, black sesame, mulberry and blackberry.
Interested in TCM? UEWM Clinic offers TCM treatments like acupuncture, tuina and herbal medicines. Look at our Specialists's page to learn more.
Talk to your doctor to see if acupuncture may be a good option for you, or schedule with UEWM Clinic here.
For more information about UEWM Clinic visit our website at www.uewmclinic.com
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