Flu and Common Cold
Did you know that Traditional Chinese Medicine has had cures for the common cold & the flu for thousands of years?
Flu and Common Cold – Cure
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy are second to none in their effectiveness at treating the common cold and the flu. Chinese Medicine makes a major impact in altering the extreme symptoms that accompany both the flu and the common cold.
Common Cold is Numero Uno
The common cold is the most prevalent medical condition in North America, followed by low back pain. If Americans knew Chinese Medicine had a cure for the common cold my office would be full treating just that one problem, from fall to spring.
Flu and Common Cold Cure
So much do the Chinese take for granted the cure for the common cold, that a group of esteemed scientists from China invited to the USA to collaborate on a number of issues vital to the health and welfare of the world ranging from nuclear physics to aerospace, medical research and treatment approaches had this to say when asked an impromptu question at a Princeton banquet in their honor. They were asked what the most notable thing about the USA was in their 2 months of visiting every research facility in the nation. "The number one thing that has impressed me the most about America is the common belief by the common person that there is no cure for the common cold."
Flu and Common Cold Treatment - ASAP
Prompt treatment brings the most effective results when treating any form of cold or flu, and at any stage of the infection. Whether it be chills and fever, headache, sore throat, cough, congestion or once travelled to the lungs. The longer one waits to treat an infectious disease, the longer it takes to clear the pathogen. When treating cold or flu symptoms due to wind heat, the results are always more dramatic if the treatment begins at the earliest possible stage of the illness.
Flu and Common Cold - Defense System
Our body is protected by our Immune System which stands guard keeping the pores of our skin closed and prevents pathogens from entering. This is our body's first line of defense. When we are not strong and healthy, however, from over-work, stress, burning the candle at both ends, eat poorly or are simply inappropriately dressed for certain weather conditions, our Immune System becomes compromised, our pores open and pathogens enter the body.
Flu and Common Cold Chinese Herbs
In Chinese Medical school we had to study a classic called the Shan Han Lun, which had 400 pages just on the common cold at its various stages. Chinese Medicine takes the common cold seriously! The sophistication of Chinese Medicine is mandated by our 2000 year old classic, The Shan Han Lun, which indicates a clearly defined treatment protocol for colds and flu at every single stage of manifestation, from the extreme fever and chills at the initial stage, to the low grade sniffles that linger for months.
Common Cold and Flu Chinese Medicine
Chinese antiviral and antibacterial herbs are used in much the same way as antibiotics prescribed by your regular doctor are, and they also have a diaphoretic action which repels flu bug and the virus out of the body. Chinese herbal therapy is used very effectively to combat the infection and inflammation produced by the bug. There are also different herbal formulas for the different type of bug and symptoms you have, which would be treated with two very different sets of herbs and acupuncture techniques
Common Cold Chinese Medicine
This distinction between building long-term immunity and fighting off an acute illness is an important contribution of traditional Chinese medicine. While tonic herbs can be taken long-term, it is important to discontinue their use during a cold or flu. Then, after the pathogen has been expelled from the body, tonic herbs can be taken again to build up strength and vitality over the long-term.
Ginseng – Do not use With Flu or Common Cold
The same is true for nourishing herbs like ginseng. Often people make the mistake of taking ginseng when they feel a cold coming on since they have heard that ginseng is good for the immune system. Using ginseng in this case is a serious error since ginseng will powerfully feed the pathogen causing the illness, making the person feel much worse. This is traditionally known as "trapping the burglar." If a person suspects a burglar is in the house, the worst method to take is to lock all the windows and doors, as the burglar will do more damage trying to get out. A powerful tonic herb, ginseng acts to "lock down" the exterior of the body while releasing energy in the interior. If a pathogen is already inside the body, ginseng and other stimulating tonics lock it in while simultaneously feeding it. The proper herbal treatment plan is to open the pores and push out the pathogen. There are numerous herbal formulas that "open the pores and then push the pathogen out through the pores.
Using Acupuncture to Treat the Flu and Common Cold
Acupuncture and moxibustion can provide immediate relief from cold symptoms and help the body expel the pathogen much faster. Needles are typically inserted into points along the lung and large intestine meridians, which have demonstrated the ability to activate immune function and also points that suppress pain and relieve colds and flu. Patients frequently experience quick relief when the point is needled.
Common Cold and Flu - Turn Around Time
Typically, 1or 2 acupuncture treatments and a week's course of herbal medicine are all that are required for colds. If the symptoms are recognized and treated early, it is possible to fight off a cold in a day or two with acupuncture treatment and herbs.
Acupuncture Relieves Common Cold and Flu?
Acupuncture accelerates the healing process by boosting the body’s natural defenses (immune system). It also alleviates symptoms – often immediately – but requires herbal and dietary support to achieve fast & lasting results. Herbal formulas destroy both viruses and bacteria, alleviate symptoms, and push the pathogen out of the body while strengthening our immune system.
In the event of a viral outbreak (flu), you will see best results when you begin taking herbs at the first signs of symptoms. The earlier the response, the quicker the recovery.
Flu Shot – Chinese Medicine Flu Prevention
Beginning a regimen of immune-enhancing herbs now can prevent illness down the road. As in many areas of our life, the best defense is a strong offense.
Chinese Medicine Success vs Modern Medicine Fail
The reason that Chinese Medicine experiences much greater success treating the common cold, flu, and similar conditions has to do with the nature of the medicine itself. Western medicine concerns itself primarily with killing germs and controlling symptoms, but antibiotics do not work on viruses. Chinese Medicine's primary concern is maintaining a state of balance within the human organism and in relationship to the outside environment. Once you have achieved this, your resistance to illness will be sufficient to keep you from contracting a cold or flu. We are all exposed to viruses all the time, and mostly the people who get sick have been under a lot of stress, are over-fatigued, have allergies, or are out of balance.
Common Colds - Immune System
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective for prevention and treatment of colds and flu because they adjust this energetic balance, strengthening your immune system. People that receive regular acupuncture treatments get sick less often. If you have a cold or flu, acupuncture and Chinese medicine will help you recover more quickly.
Flu Shot the Natural Way – No Chemicals
We hear about so many people catching the flu - but in reality it is only a portion of those exposed to a virus that get sick. Why? According to Chinese medicine's teachings, our bodies get sick when we are in a weakened state. It is only when our immune systems are weakened and our bodies are out of balance that we are vulnerable to sickness. So why not increase your resistance to getting ill naturally?
5 Tips for Avoiding Flu and Common Cold:
1. Exercise. Exercise moves the lymphatic system, detoxifying poisons in your body.
2. Keep warm. Protect your neck and chest from the wind, drafts and cold. Wear scarves, turtle necks and sweaters. The neck is vulnerable to pathogens that cause colds and flu. The Chinese medical perspective is ‘Offense is the best defense’. Always keep your feet warm and dry.
3. Sleep and relax or your body will be vulnerable to stress Do deep breathing exercises to help relax and unwind. De-stress with Qi Gong, yoga or meditation.
4. Eat smart. Substitute soups and fresh juices for refined sugars, processed food, baked goods, white sugar, white bread, caffeinated beverages and alcohol. The latter raise the body's ph and allows bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi to thrive. These foods monopolize the nutrition your body needs to detoxify, nourish and build new cells and antibodies which makes you MORE susceptible to illness. Sweets and stimulants cause a rapid progression in the severity of the illness since they tend to feed the pathogen. Eat more fresh, organic foods and less processed food. Living food has more life energy and vitality in it.
5. Get Acupuncture. Your immune system is boosted when you get regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture strengthens the protective energy that safeguards us against colds and flu. Talk to me about a preventive protocol that I offer to help keep you well this fall and winter.
Common Cold - Early Stage Symptoms
Your cold is in the beginning stages and there are not many heat symptoms. The 'bug' at this time is on the surface of your skin ‘testing the water’ so to speak, seeing whether you are an easy target or not.
• Hyper-sensitive to cold or drafts
• Nose Running with clear or white-watery mucus
• No fever or slight fever
• Body aches
• Stiff neck
• Not sweating
• Not thirsty
Common Cold Remedy at Early Stage
• Load up on vitamin C
• Rest and hydrate
• Drink lots of room temperature water - No cold beverages
• Drink miso soup with tofu and scallions
• Take a hot bath and immediately cover up to 'sweat out' the pathogen
• Change clothes if sweating dampens them and keep covered up.
• This is the optimum time to get acupuncture to strengthen the immune system and start on medicinal herbal formulas to ward off the cold.
• At the slightest hint of a sore throat or swollen throat glands, get acupuncture and herbs immediately as the pathogen has gone deeper and will be harder to get rid of.
Flu and Common Cold Bug Goes Deeper
This virus invaded the body quickly and its defensive response is to increase the body temperature in order to literally kill off the bugs.
• Hyper-sensitive to drafts
• Fever (Check your forehead)
• Sore throat
• Swollen tonsils
• Slight body aches
• Running nose with yellow or green mucus
Common Cold Remedy at this advanced stage
• Rest and hydrate.
• Cover Your head and neck.
• You need Acupuncture and herbs not antibiotics
What if I have already had a cold for a week?
You need Acupuncture and Chinese herbs to prevent it from going into your lungs and consuming your vital force.
What if I havent shaken last month's cold?
You need Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for lingering pathogens or pathogens caught half inside and half outside to prevent it from going into your lungs and consuming your vital force.
Flu and Common Cold Preventative Medicine
As a form of preventative medicine, get regular acupuncture treatments during the flu season, or the changing of the seasons. Prevention is the key. If you catch colds easily, know that studies have shown that acupuncture increases white blood cell count resulting in a boost to your Immune System. Finally, if you feel just the slightest indication of a cold invasion such as slight body aches or a scratchy throat, or if everyone around you is coming down with something, or if you have been on an aircraft, get Acupuncture and Chinese herbs immediately.
Flu Chinese Medicine
Since most colds or flu present with a number of symptoms, a combination of 2-3 formulas may be required, depending on what stage you are at and what bug is invading. Your Acupuncturist will diagnose the appropriate imbalance first and then begin immediate herbal treatment for a days and or a couple weeks, depending on the severity of the symptoms. 1-3 acupuncture treatments are usually necessary.
Medications bought over-the-counter may alleviate some of the symptoms, but they are unable to address the underlying viral or bacterial pathogens that create the symptoms. Antibiotics are helpful against bacteria, but not viruses. Herbal formulas are more effective, but only when the appropriate formulas are taken properly; Its imperative that you get a proper diagnosis by a licensed Acupuncturist
Antibiotics Can NOT Kill the Common Cold
Antibiotics work to kill bacteria. Antibiotics do not work on viruses because viruses are not alive. A bacterium is living. A virus is just a piece of DNA (or RNA). With a virus there is nothing to "kill," so antibiotics don't work on it. People with the common cold have a viral infection of the upper respiratory system. Many people still think that bacteria causes the common cold and this is probably the reason that people still visit the doctor asking for antibiotics. The belief that bacteria causes the common cold may stem from the fact that people with the common cold have symptoms that are similar to the symptoms experienced by a person with a sinus infection. Pain in the face, forehead or teeth will typically accompany a sinus infection, but not a cold. Antibiotics are effective for treating sinus infection, but not viral infections, like the common cold.
Antibiotics Can NOT Kill the Flu
The flu is caused by a virus (influenza virus). The influenza virus is generally passed from person to person by airborne transmission (i.e., sneezing or coughing). But, the virus can also live for a short time on objects such as doorknobs, pens, pencils, keyboards, telephone receivers, and eating or drinking utensils. Therefore, it may also be spread by touching something that has been handled by someone infected with the virus and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes Influenza virus is spread by inhaling droplets that have been coughed or sneezed out by an infected person or by having direct contact with an infected person's secretions. Handling household articles that have been in contact with an infected person or an infected person's secretions may sometimes spread the disease.
Myths - Bacteria causes the Common Cold
Myths like "bacteria causes the common cold" lead to improper self-diagnosis and self-treatment. Even prevention is threatened by belief in these myths. For example, anti-bacterial hand soaps are relied upon by some people to prevent the spread of viruses. While the act of hand washing and rinsing with warm water removes viruses from the skin, the anti-bacterial products have no effect on them. In addition, doctors may be inclined to give patients with the common cold a prescription for antibiotics, just because the patient thinks it will help.
Antibacterial Soaps do NOT kill Common Cold or Flu
Washing your hands frequently with regular soap and water is important to help prevent the spread of germs. Normal, boring soap will kill about 99.4% of the bacteria on your skin. Antibacterial soaps increase it to only about 99.6%. But while antibacterial products may seem like a stronger cleaning option, they are no more effective in cleaning your hands than regular soap and water. In fact, the routine use of antibacterial cleaning products has been seriously questioned by scientists and studies have shown that triclosan, the active ingredient in many antibacterial products, may make matters worse by creating harmful drug-resistant bacteria.
You have some good bacteria living on you, too. Some of the bacteria on your skin actually help you out by fighting off other bad bacteria. But these antibacterial chemicals kill them all. By killing the good bacteria on your skin, it can actually make it easier for bad bacteria to make you sick.
The other reason not to use antibacterial soaps is something called ’bacterial resistance’. This happens because of the 0.4% of bacteria that the soap doesn’t kill. The first time you wash your hands with an antibacterial soap, you kill off the weakest 99.6% of the bacteria, leaving your whole body free for the strongest 0.4%, which spread out to take up the extra room. The next time you do it, you’ll kill off the weakest of those bacteria, giving the strongest ones room to spread out. The cycle repeats until you’ve got a whole bunch of bacteria that can’t be killed by the chemical you’re using.
Stick with simple soap and water and if you can't wash your hands, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
Offense is the best defense.
Talk to me about a preventive protocol that I offer to help keep you healthy and full of energy this fall and winter.