Flu & Cold

How does Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treat colds?

Chinese medicine doctors use Acupuncture and Herbs to treat colds and flu.  Over the course of 2000 years Chinese medicine has developed effective herbal formulas and acupuncture protocols to prevent and treat the common cold.  Moxibustion and Cupping are also used to treat and prevent colds and flu’s. Natural herbal medicines can greatly reduce the severity and length of a cold or flu and have very few side effects.  There are several excellent herbal formulas that can be taken during cold season to boost immunity and prevent colds.  Regular acupuncture “tune-ups” also strengthen natural resistance to colds and flu.


What are the types of colds and flu?


Chinese Medicine classifies colds based on symptoms.  The two primary types of colds are “Wind-Cold” and “Wind-Heat.”   Wind-Heat colds are the most common type of cold and the symptoms include


  • Fever
  • Sore inflamed throat
  • Headache
  • Light sweating
  • Nasal congestion with thick yellow phlegm
  • Reddish tongue with yellow coating
  • Cough


Wind-Cold symptoms include:


  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose with clear phlegm
  • Neck and shoulder aches
  • Body aches and pains
  • Aversion to cold
  • White tongue coating


Chinese medicine practitioners will use different types of herbs, acupuncture and massage techniques to treat the specific type of cold pattern.  Western medicine rarely distinguishes the type of cold in its treatment.


Treating colds and the flu with acupuncture.


Acupuncture is used to boost the immune system and help the body fight the cold virus.  Cupping, Moxibustion (heat), gua sha (scraping with a metal instrument), compresses, and Tui na Massage are commonly used adjunctive treatments that can also help.  When the immune system is strong enough most people will not get sick when exposed to a virus.  Stress, poor diet, and a lack of exercise all contribute to a weak immune system.  Strengthening the immune system with acupuncture is a very effective way to avoid and defeat a cold virus.  There are different acupuncture points that are very effective at relieving the specific symptoms of a cold such as coughing, headaches, body aches, sore throat, lung congestion, fever and excess phlegm.  Certain acupuncture points offer almost immediate relief from symptoms like coughing.  If a patient gets an acupuncture treatment early enough they can often avoid the cold or flu completely.


Acupuncture Points:


  • You can use acupressure on these points to help avoid a cold.
  • Large Intestine 4  & Lung 7
  • Liver 3 & Stomach 36
  • Gall Bladder 20 & Governing Vessel 16


For information on how to find these points and the specific treatment protocols please visit Yin Yang House –Acupuncture for the Common Cold – Treatment Protocols


Treating colds and flu with herbal medicine


Chinese herbal formulas contain herbal ingredients that are very effective at treating the common cold and its associated symptoms.  There are many formulas that have been used for over a thousand years.  Formulas like Dispel Invasion, Bi Yan Pian, and Gan Mao Ling are highly effective.  There are formulas for every stage of a cold.  The most effective way to use herbal medicine is to begin taking the herbs at the first sign of any symptoms.  It is helpful to have these formulas in your medicine cupboard or at work so you can take them proactively.  The sooner you can stop the cold, the shorter the duration and severity of the symptoms.  Your Chinese medicine practitioner can provide you with these formulated herb combinations.


To schedule an acupuncture appointment or buy herbal remedies please contact us at 703-312-7000 or email us through our website at Kathleen@whitelotusoinline.com.










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