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Do you have shingles?

Written by

Deborah Freudenmann BHSc


Individuals who have experienced shingles know how incredibly painful this condition can be. The common symptoms of this condition such as rashes, nerve pain, and hives can interfere with the routine activities of patients preventing them from living life normally.

Therefore, there is a need to understand the root cause of this condition and seek a functional medicine approach to relieve the symptoms and speed up recovery. 

What is shingles?

Shingles is an infectious condition caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus responsible for causing chickenpox. Individuals who have had chickenpox in childhood tend to have the virus persist in their bodies for several years.

The virus tends to hide, or even hibernate, in the nerve cells for several years after the patient has recovered from chickenpox, and might re-emerge as Shingles, especially during the phase the patient’s immunity has become weak.

Shingles, like chickenpox, is characterized by redness of the skin and rashes along with pain and burning. It often looks like a stripe of red blisters on one side of the body, typically on the neck, face, and torso.

Generally, Shingles clear up in about 2 to 5 weeks. The symptoms like burning and pain are likely to be severe for the initial 5 days. The skin rashes often turn into fluid-filled blisters within a few days and later, dry up forming crusts in 7 to 10 days. It may take another one or two weeks for the scabs to clear up completely. However, some individuals suffer for longer!

Hence, strengthening the immune system is critical for preventing Shingles in those with a history of chickenpox.

What are the symptoms of Shingles?

  • Rashes on the neck, face, and ears
  • Red patches on the skin
  • Pain and burning sensation
  • Blisters that are filled with fluid and break easily
  • Itching
  • Blisters and rashes around the torso and spine
  • Fever with chills
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache


What are the risk factors for Shingles?

  • Previous radiation treatment or chemotherapy
  • The use of medications that can weaken the immune system, like steroids, immunosuppressant drugs, and medications used after organ transplantation
  • Pre-existing health conditions that can weaken the immune system, like cancer and HIV/AIDS
  • Being 60 years or above in age (although not necessary)
  • Generally low immune system

The role of the immune system in the development of shingles

The immune system forms an amazing protective mechanism of the body that is designed to defend us against bacteria, toxins, viruses, and parasites. Our body is constantly exposed to a number of microorganisms that enter our body while breathing, due to skin contact or intake of contaminated foods or drinks, and via several other routes.

The immune system acts as the major defense mechanism of the body and attacks and destroys the microbes that pose a threat. The primary goal of the immune system is to protect the healthy tissues and organs of the body against invading microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that could cause infections.

If the immune system is weak or compromised, the immune cells may fail to gain control or fight the invading microbes efficiently. Shingles virus tends to take advantage of the immuno-compromised state and cause the reactivation of the virus thus triggering the development of the disease.

Ozone therapy for Shingles

The effectiveness of ozone therapy was assessed during one research study. The therapy was started immediately after the diagnosis or the suspected onset of shingles, particularly when the initial signs of neuralgia were noted.

During this study, ozone autohemotherapy was performed seven times every day during the initial phase and later, three times a week. Additionally, neural therapeutic injections were administered into the affected dorsal ganglia.

The patients were treated with local application of ozonized olive oil twice daily to relieve skin rashes after cleaning the lesions with alcohol. The affected parts were then covered with Tegaderm foil. In patients with severe or persistent pains, the treatment was followed by cold compresses of ozonated water.

The duration of the healing of the lesion and symptoms was one to two weeks, which was comparable to the usual healing period of Shingles treated with viralstatic medications.

The patients experienced a substantial reduction in the neuralgic pains after ozone therapy even without using any painkillers. This study has proven the effectiveness of ozone therapy for pain management and symptom relief in patients with Shingles.

This study has also shown that earlier treatment can reduce the frequency and intensity of the symptoms of post-herpetic neuralgia caused due to Shingles.

What if I cannot access a doctor for autohemotherapy?

Ozone experts around the world, some you’ve probably heard of like Dr. Robert Rowen, Dr. Frank Shallenberger, Silvia Menendez believe that rectal ozone insufflation is “95% as effective as Major Autohemotherapy”. Again, if you have access to a doctor or clinic that offers major autohemotherapy it is certainly advantageous.

In saying that, there are many advantages to using Rectal Ozone Insufflation:

  1. It is entirely painless and minimally invasive way to use ozone in your home. Compared to major autohemotherapy it requires no needles, no syringes, no blood and thus virtually no discomfort.
  2. In total the entire rectal ozone insufflation requires only 2-4 minutes of your time compared to major autohemotherapy which takes 30-40minutes.
  3. The biggest advantage is that you can do this form of ozone at home and eliminates the need to find a clinic, doctor or travel.

Get your own “at-home” ozone bundle HERE! 

How does ozone therapy work in the management of Shingles?

Ozone therapy could be highly effective in the treatment of Shingles and other infections caused due to viruses and bacteria.

Ozone therapy has the ability to stimulate the body to maintain homeostasis by creating an acute, mild state of oxidative stress. It also activates certain pathways thus reducing inflammation in the body and allowing the immune cells to regain control.

Ozone therapy may also enhance oxygen metabolism, reduce pain, improve the body’s natural antioxidant mechanisms, and strengthen the immune system.

The treatment with Ozone has been found to be more effective and even safer than modern drugs including aspirin. However, unlike oxygen, we cannot breathe ozone. Hence, it needs to be safely administered through other routes.

The treatment can also be combined with the supplementation of essential nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B1, B6, and B12 to improve the results. These nutrients can complement the benefits of Ozone therapy by boosting the healthy functions of the immune system, restoring hormonal balance, and improving nerve functions.

Other treatment strategies for the management of Shingles

Improve Sleep and Reduce Stress

Improving sleep and reducing mental stress are the keys to deriving faster relief from the symptoms of Shingles.

Hence, it is advisable to follow a strict bedtime routine and take frequent naps as needed, especially, when you are sick. Also, ensure that you have supportive and comfortable bed, mattress, and pillows and that your bedroom has a safe and calming atmosphere.

This would restore your circadian rhythm and improve your sleep quality and duration.

Acupuncture, regular exercises, staying physically active, yoga, meditation, and a light walk in nature could also reduce stress and improve your sleep to a great extent.

Antiviral diet and nutrients

Introducing an anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral diet comprising of whole foods can help improve your symptoms as well as support your recovery from shingles. The foods you eat can either worsen your state of health or benefit it.

When it comes to viruses two main points stand out. You want to eat a high lysine and low arginine diet.

Lysine is an essential ammino acids that helps to support he immune system and supress viral growth. Arginine is an amino acid which does the exact opposite, it stimulates viral growth. Therefore, if you have a flare up of shingles, it would make sense to eat a diet higher in lysine and lower in arginine when dealing with viral infections.

Aside from Lysine, the intake of foods or supplements containing nutrients like vitamin D, zinc, vitamin C and herbs that possess natural anti-viral properties like garlic could help to enhance the effectiveness of the ozone therapy and protect you against the development and worsening of Shingles.

Foods high in Lysine

  • All meats
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Green beans

Foods high in Arginine

  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat germ
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Nuts
  • Grapes
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Blackberries
  • Chocolate
  • Sugars


Ozone therapy offers a safe and effective way to strengthen your immunity and improve the body’s defences against serious infections like Shingles. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and avoiding nutritional deficiencies can also play a role in supporting faster recovery.

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  • 2 Responses

    1. Hello, I got shingles a year ago and I think I have had postherpetic neuralgia ever since. It itches and sometimes is painful. I have an ozone generator, drink a litre of O3 water 3 or 4 times a day and rectal insufflate once or twice a week. I did not know that O3 does this but it certainly makes sense. How often should I drink (3 water and how much and how often should I insufflate?

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