At the Acupuncture Center of new Jersey we treat many patients this time of year for colds and flu. Between December and March there are waves of infection passed between family members and co-workers. We all know the common symptoms – alternating fever and chills, sinus congestion, coughing, headaches and sore throats, body aches and fatigue. We encourage our acupuncture patients to come in for acupuncture treatment and for safe, effective and natural Chinese herbal formulas that can significantly reduce the period of suffering and eliminate the need for harsher drugs like antibiotics and decongestants. These medications often have harmful side effects and provide only temporary relief while weakening the immune system. Many people suffer from a series of colds throughout the winter because these medicines do not support their immune system.
We use a simple combination of acupuncture points that reduce phlegm congestion and clear the sinuses and respiratory tract. Acupuncture is combined with traditional Chinese herbal formulas that have been used very successfully for centuries. They are still commonly used by Chinese people in China and all over the world and are very commonly prescribed by acupuncturists who have herbal training. They were formulated hundreds of years ago and differentiated according to the symptoms presented by sick patients. These herbal formulas consist primarily of dried leaves, twigs, roots or seeds and decocted or brewed to extract their active medicinal ingredients. Contemporary research has shown that these compounds can dilate or constrict the blood vessels, reduce inflammation and mucus production, relieve pressure and strengthen respiratory function, among other functions that relieve symptoms of cold and flu and strengthen the immune system.
Most acupuncturists are also trained as specialists in Chinese herbal medicine. Our staff at the Acupuncture Center in Morristown includes four highly-trained and experienced acupuncturists who are certified in Chinese herbal medicine. When we see a patient who is suffering from cold or flu symptoms we make an essential differential diagnosis based on their presentation of these signs
• Wind-heat syndrome: feeling warm or flushed red tongue, rapid pulse, feeling anxious or agitated, sharp muscle or joint pain, yellow mucus discharge, sharp headache or sore throat. This syndrome is often best addressed with the classical formulas Yin Qiao San or Da Qing
• Long Tang. These formulas cool the body to bring down heat and fever and nourish the fluids.
Wind-Cold syndrome: feeling chilled, pale face, slow pulse, tongue pale with white coat, clear white runny phlegm discharge and dull aches in joints or head. This syndrome responds well to Gan Mao Ling formula or Gui Zhi Tang formula.
Children with cold or flu can benefit from acupuncture and these formulas. We modify the acupuncture treatments so they are comfortable for little ones or use laser acupuncture on the points. We reduce the dosage and find ways to give the herbs in juice or apple sauce so they are palatable for kids.
Whatever your age or type of cold or flu you think you may have, go to your acupuncturist and herbalist to get the most sophisticated and effective form of natural treatment possible. You’ll get well sooner and have less likelihood of recurrent illness. All without antibiotics, pain medication or decongestants!