Itch, Scratch, Sigh… but does it end there?

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have discovered the truth about the “itch-scratch cycle.” It was previously thought that itching traveled along in your nerves the same way pain did. In fact, itching was considered a mild form of pain. However, said researchers at Harvard have learned that itching has its own distinct pathway.

In Chinese medicine, we see itching as a symptom of Wind. It comes and goes, moves around, and has creeping/crawling sensation, not unlike the wind blowing outside. When there is Wind in the skin, there is often dry skin, too. This is because there needs to be a Yin-Fluid and/or Blood deficiency to engender Wind internally.

One of the ways we treat Wind itching of the skin is by nourishing the Blood. This is done through acupuncture and herbal medicine. There are lots of ways to do this with food you can buy in the supermarket, too, if you do not have access to a practitioner of Chinese medicine.

A few easy ones: Since Chinese medicine operates partially on the Law of Signatures, you can eat red foods to nourish the Blood because blood is, well, red. Try roasted beets, organic red berries and cherries. Also good, especially if there is marked dryness or constipation, are black sesame seeds or sesame oil. Also try lotions with natural moisturizers and humectants instead of petroleum-based moisturizers, which tend to dry skin out.

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