Alopecia was brought to the forefront, thanks to Jada, Will and Chris. This allowed me to give hope and alternatives to thousands of people suffering with this condition.
For women like Jada, the psychological scars can be as devastating as the physical trauma. As she discussed during her talk show episode in 2018, “It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day, and then just a handful of hair just in my hands,” she said. “It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear.”
Alopecia is the medical term that refers to any form of hair loss. Alopecia areata is patches of hair loss in the scalp or body. This form is more common than you think. It affects 1 in 500 – 1,000 Americans. That means if you have 10,000 followers on Twitter, between 10 – 20 have this condition.
It is considered an autoimmune disease and the triggers are largely unknown. Some suggest it could be genetic or triggered by environmental factors, physical injury, chemical hair processes, illness, or stress.
Currently, Western Science has deemed alopecia areata incurable. The current known treatments that may help manage the condition are anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroid injections into the scalp, topical corticosteroid treatments or drugs to treat asthma, eczema, or rheumatoid arthritis.
However, there is a lesser-known treatment that may offer hope. Since this type of hair loss is characterized as a chronic inflammatory disease, Chinese Medicine is a great treatment of choice. Acupuncture and herbs are great at clearing inflammation locally and systemically in the body to halt the hair loss.
Once the inflammation is regulated, we use tonifying methods like stimulating the follicles with needling, electric stimulation and herbs can help promote hair regrowth.
In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are the powerhouse of the body that governs a huge deal of our aging process as well as hair health. The kidneys store our prenatal essence which is most of our constitution and genetics. With the fast and furious lifestyle, many of us live, our kidneys begin to take a huge toll of abuse which causes a depletion of our kidney yin and causes our adrenals to go into maximum overdrive to keep up with the demands of our modern-day lifestyles. It is essential to prioritize stress reduction, proper diet, sleep, and excessive strenuous activities.
This is why you would rarely see alopecia areata without other comorbidities like GI issues, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, mental health problems (depression or anxiety) or hormonal imbalance.
When’s the best time to start treatment? Before the hair follicles become damaged, so that means as soon as possible.
We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the effects of stress as either a trigger or a contributing factor to alopecia areata. During the treatments, it is imperative to mitigate the traumatic stress that may be continuing to keep the body in an inflamed state. Then in post therapy, we must help arm the clients with stress tools to maintain adrenal health and prevent relapse.
What’s my favorite stress tool? Qi Gong is my go to tool.
Doing unique breathing and movement to keep your energy channels open and energy flowing freely, you can keep the cortisol and inflammation out of the body. This will give your kidneys, other organs and tissues the space to heal and return to a healthier you. Imagine not only regaining hair, but improved digestion, sleep, breathing, more peace and happiness.