Gentle Japanese Acupuncture & The Common Cold, Part 2

So how exactly can you use acupuncture and moxibustion to treat a cold? Let's look at a recent case.

Jane had been receiving treatment for fatigue and insomnia. However, on the day in question, Jane's clinical presentation was quite different than usual. Sore throat, chills and fevers, neck stiffness and a headache: it was clear that Jane was in the early stages of coming down with a cold.

It is crucial to determine how far the cold has progressed, and in what fashion. If a person has a cough, fatigue and no appetite, then you would treat them very differently to someone who has just begun to feel sniffly in the last few hours. Poor-quality or incorrect treatment can exacerbate the symptoms.

Jane still had her appetite, no cough, and decent energy levels, plus her symptoms had only begun that morning. Combined with pulse diagnosis techniques, I was able to diagnose her with what we call Lung Deficiency/Yang Excess/Heat Syndrome.

Basically, this means that her Defensive Qi (explained in my last post) had become deficient. This allowed the cold to penetrate to a small extent, where it was met by violent but not-completely-effective resistance (hence the chills, fevers and other symptoms).

If we directly strengthen the Defensive Qi at this point, Jane's body will have the resources it needs to repel the pathogen and halt/reverse the progression of the cold.

As mentioned in my last post, Defensive Qi circulates around the exterior of the body, at the level of the skin and body hair. Therefore, if we want to stimulate Defensive Qi our intervention needs to take place at the skin's surface. Deep needling will at best have little effect, and at worst cause significant deterioration of the patient's condition.

Defensive Qi is produced by the Lung and the Spleen/Stomach/digestive complex. Therefore, by contact needling the Lung and Spleen meridians at particular points we send the body a twofold message:

1. Produce more Defensive Qi

2. Send it to the surface of the skin (where the battle between the body and the pathogen is taking place).

Supplemented by other needling and moxibustion techniques, this treatment can be very effective in restoring the body's immunity (allowing the body to expel the pathogen and return to health).

After applying the treatment, I advised Jane to go home and eat something warm for dinner (to further strengthen her Defensive Qi). The next morning, Jane woke up feeling as if the cold had never threatened to strike in the first place!

If you can't afford to take a few days off work just to entertain a cold, why not book an appointment on 6241 6060?

Stay well,

Adam McIntosh