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Dr. Martin: Acupuncture Treatment for Excess Perspiration

Brettmartin 2015_webNational University Florida faculty member, Brett Martin, DC, MSAc, recently published an article titled, "Acupuncture for the Treatment of Hyperhidrosis: A Case Report," in the Journal of Chinese Medicine (#108, June 2015).

Hyperhidrosis is profuse perspiration that is not required for regulation of body temperature. It can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition depending on the area of the body affected. Excess sweating can occur all over the body, or concentrate in the areas with the highest number of sweat glands such as the scalp, underarms, palms of the hands or soles of the feet. 

Current treatment for hyperhidrosis consists of minor or major surgery, Botox injections or medications. Minor surgery involves excision of the local sweat glands while major surgery involves excision of nerve ganglia. Only 2.8% of the US population is affected by this condition, so there is little to no research on the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment.

In Dr. Martin's case study, the patient experienced hyperhidrosis of his hands, which interfered with his ability to write. The underlying cause of his hyperhidrosis was anxiety. Dr. Martin used acupuncture to treat the underlying cause. This reduced the patient's hyperhidrosis by 70% for a few weeks, with a 40% reduction overall by the end of the treatment period. Even after cessation of acupuncture treatment a month later, the patient maintained a 40% decrease and reported that his symptoms were much more tolerable than before. He also reported improvement in his wellbeing, since his anxiety was less intense.   


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