TCM for Colds and the Flu
Colds and the flu virus plague most people at least once a year. Hardly anyone manages to escape the typical runny nose, itchy eyes, and high fevers associated with a cold or the flu virus. However, traditional Chinese medicine has been very successful in treating patients who suffer routinely from colds and the flu virus. Individuals who are especially prone to contracting them should further investigate this viable alternative to standard treatment.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses natural herbs such as Angelica root and field, to rid your body of viruses. Acupuncture, a modality of traditional Chinese medicine, boosts your immune system by increasing cellular immunity. The ultra-fine needles are placed in specific points on the body to regulate and strengthen the body's Qi (energy) in order to prevent seasonal viral problems.
When used in combination with Chinese herbs, like those listed above, patients often recover from colds much quicker or avoid them altogether.
If someone has already contracted a flu virus or cold, there are still many herbs that can help. According to a double-blind study conducted by Hancke, Burgos, Caceres, and Wikman, the herb Andrographis, reduces the severity of cold symptoms by strengthening the immune system.
Every person has an underlying weakness in their immune system. This weakness gives colds and flu viruses an opportunity to enter the body and cause illness. Although this weakness can differ from person to person, acupuncture has successfully boosted the immune system of many individuals, boosting some immune enhancing chemicals for up to three days after the acupuncture treatment.
For Wind-Cold attacks, Dr. Stanley J. Swierzewski explains that "acupuncture needles are placed in points that eliminate Wind and dispel Cold and in points that treat symptomatic conditions such as runny nose and stiff neck." These traditional methods are often complemented by use of suction cups, or moxa.
According to Chinese medicine theory, drinking warm water will also help present dryness of the throat, a symptom that often leads to a cold. According to acupuncturists Bethany Hauch and Marcie Griffith, when pathogens travel deeper into the body, they create heat which dries out the body tissue. Keeping hydrated is an important first-step to curing colds or the flu.
When colds are detected early, acupuncture is especially effective when used in conjunction with Chinese herbs and massage to provide true immunity to the inevitable colds and flu viruses that people encounter.