Acupuncture for Cold

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, body could potentially go through six stages of sickness when the patients catch a cold. Conventional medicine has begun paying closer attention to acupuncture as there have been numerous research studies explaining the complex mechanism of action it has on the body.

Most recently, scientists have been able to determine the role acupuncture plays in boosting the body’s immune system by enhancing the production of natural killer cells, which is the primary defense mechanism against organisms that make us sick. It also acts on a complex immune building system that regulates white blood cells directly linked to the fight against infections, allergic reactions, and even autoimmune disorders.

For patients who are seeking to boost their immune system to protect them from getting sick, oftentimes a multidisciplinary approach is best.  Acupuncture can easily be incorporated into your conventional treatment plan, working with physician.

Below you will find some of the more common Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for the common cold. There are many ways to treat this condition with Eastern Medicine and our presentation is only one of many possible options.

Etiology & Pathology:

Wind-Cold with either Cold or Wind predominating

Wind-Heat

Wind-Dry

Differentiation:

Wind-Cold

Signs & Symptoms:

An invasion of wind-cold is made possible when the Defensive Qi (Wei Qi) of the person is temporarily weaker than the force of the Pathogen. Weakened Defensive Qi (Wei Qi) may come about as a result of emotional stress, overwork, poor diet and a host of other factors.

Strong and/or frequent changes in environment also play a role (i.e. the effects of going outside on a cold winter day from a heated home).

Patient may have: An aversion to cold, shivering, low or no fever, chills predominated over feelings of heat, no sweat, occipital headache, stiff neck, body aches, slight cough, sneezing, running nose w/white discharge.

Tongue:  Thin white coating (indicates cold) or normal (indicates wind)

Pulse:  Floating, tight (indicates cold predominates) – Floating, slow (indicates wind predominates)

Treatment Protocol:

Release the Exterior

Expel the Wind

Scatter the Cold

Restore the Descending and Dispersing Function of the LU Qi

Treatment Points:

Main Points:

LI 4 & LU 7 – Disperse to Move Qi in the head & face, Release the Exterior, Circulate and Descend the LU Qi.

UB 12 – Main point for Wind Disorders; may cup to move the LU Qi and Release the Exterior.

Secondary Points:

GB 20 & GV 16 – Main Points for Wind; use if Head/Neck Tension is pronounced.

UB 13 – LU Back Shu; use if Cough is pronounced to restore the descend and dispersion functions of the LU.

ST 36 a/or GV 14 – generally strenghten the Wei Qi.

Tonify KD 7 & Disperse LI 4 to induce a sweat.

 

Wind-Heat

Signs & Symptoms:

Similar Wind invasion via weakened Wei Qi as described above in Wind-Cold but patient presents with heat signs.

Patient may have: Fever and Chills w/Fever predominating, slight sweating, runny nose w/yellow discharge, headaches, body aches, cough, sore throat (more severe than wind-cold), slight thirst.

Tongue:  Red Sides

Pulse:  Floating and Fast

Treatment Protocol:

Expel the Wind-Heat

Release the Exterior

Restore the Descending and Dispersing Function of the LU Qi

Treatment Points:

Main Points:

LI 4 & LI 11 – reduce fever.

GV 14 – Main point for reducing fevers, works well with LI 11 listed above.

TH 5 – Disperse for Wind-Heat, useful in exterior conditions.

Secondary Points:

GB 20 – Head/Neck tension, especially posterior.

LU 11 – Bleed point for severe sore throat w/high fever (May disperse LU 10 in cases with fever and no sore throat.

Possibly local points for sore throat – LI 18 a/or CV 22.

Wind-Dry

Signs & Symptoms:

Similar Wind invasion as above but patent presents with signs of dryness – occurs in the desert southwest a/or climate controlled environments.

Patient may have: Aversion to cold, fever, slightly sweating, dryness of nose, mouth & throat, dry cough.

Tongue:  Dry, slighly red in the LU/HT area

Pulse:  Floating

Treatment Protocol:

Release the Exterior

Expel Wind

Restore the Descending & Dispersing Function of the LU Qi

Tonify Body Fluids

Treatment Points:

LU 7, LI 4 & LU 11 – Release the Exterior.

CV 12, SP 6 & KD 6 – Tonify Body Fluids.

tative regime to ward off colds and the flu.  Optimally, several acupuncture treatments are needed for the body to respond, and “tune up” visits would be beneficial until cold and flu season is over.

 

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