“I was a total skeptic. I didn’t believe acupuncture could help me. I was really sick. I didn’t have health insurance. After about two days of protesting, when I was too weak to argue any longer, I was brought in to Denise for help. I didn’t believe she could help. When I laid down, my temperature was 102.5. A half hour later, after she’d stuck me with a couple of needles, my fever was 99.5, and I felt tons better. I totally didn’t believe (which is why I took my temperature beforehand, so I could say, “I told you acupuncture doesn’t work!” Joke’s on me!) Now I recommend Denise to everyone.” Nikki Q.
- Frequent colds and flu
- Missing time from work
- Food allergies
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Catch colds easily if others have one
- Skin allergies
- Cough with or without phlegm
- Frequent sinus infections
Why acupuncture helps
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help prevent colds and flu by building the body’s defenses. Wei Qi is the Chinese medical term for Defensive Qi. Whether you get sick or not depends on the strength of your body’s Wei Qi. If it is strong, you won’t get sick very often. If it is weak, you may get sick when someone next to you sneezes.
First line of defense: prevention
The first line of defense is to make sure your body’s shields are up. With acupuncture, the most important point for this is Stomach 36 (location). We stimulate this point with acupuncture and by a technique called moxibustion. The herb mugwort (moxa) is burned on or near the acupuncture point or on the acupuncture needle directly. Herbs can play a very important role in keeping your body strong. The formula Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Shield Decoction) has three very important herbs in it and is the basic formula to keep your Wei Qi strong.
Treat the illness early
If you do get sick, seeing your acupuncturist for treatment as soon as possible will help decrease your symptoms and will shorten the duration of your illness. You may get acupuncture, herbs and cupping therapy. Cupping is a therapy that uses glass cups and fire or suction to create a vacuum. The cups are placed on the back, over the lung area and moved around or left stationary. They are very effective to help draw the illness out of your body.
Often one treatment with acupuncture, herbs and cupping will be all you need if you catch the cold early. At the end of the acupuncture session, you may have a lower fever, your throat may be less sore, and/or you may have less sinus congestion. For more persistent illnesses, getting treatment once or twice a week is best until symptoms are gone. Again, we emphasize coming in for acupuncture at the first sign of a cold or flu.
Eating healthy to stay healthy
A healthy diet is very important to help strengthen your immune system. A balanced diet of whole grains, vegetables, fruit and some meat, along with advice from your acupuncturist about your body’s needs will help you stay healthy. Things to avoid include processed sugars, white flours and white rice. It is also a good idea to limit your intake of fatty foods, alcohol and dairy. They lower your body’s defenses and leave you more susceptible to getting sick.
Ask your acupuncturist about treating chronic immune problems such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis