With cold and flu season upon us and a new strain of COVID perpetually upon us, it’s time to focus on prevention. Aside from inoculations, the best way to prepare for these pathogens is through bolstering your immune system. That is where Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) comes in. In this article, you’ll learn how acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine help build your body’s resistance to the seasonal pathogens that result in colds, flu and coronavirus. You’ll also learn how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help alleviate the common symptoms of cold, flu, and coronavirus.
Prevention – with a 3000-year-old Approach
When it comes to viruses, Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on the body’s immune system and its unique response to common pathogens rather than the specific virus. Through acupuncture and Chinese herbs, licensed TCM practitioners shore up your defensive Qi (chi), which is your body’s immune system, through acupuncture and specially formulated Chinese herbs. With acupuncture, your defensive Qi is freed of any blocks or stagnation, which could hamper your body’s ability to fight off illness. With the assistance of acupuncture, your defensive Qi can help ensure you remain healthy throughout the cold and flu season, even when exposed to harmful pathogens.
To complement your acupuncture treatments, and help your immune system stay healthy, there are many ways you can boost your immune system at home with healthy practices. These might include:
- Qi Gong or Tai Qi
- Proper Sleep and Rest
- Stress Management (meditation, walking in nature, dancing, time with friends, etc.)
How TCM can Relieve Symptoms
If you haven’t made time to get to the acupuncture clinic, and have developed cold, flu, or COVID symptoms, it’s important to first contact your doctor and take a test to rule out COVID. If you are, or think you may be, positive for COVID, you will have to wait until you’re no longer contagious to return to the clinic (see Red Cross guidelines or ask your doctor for guidance to no when this is).
There are, however, Chinese herbal formulas that our trained TCM professionals can prescribe to help with your symptoms. Your acupuncturist will ask you some questions about your symptoms, medications you’re taking, and your overall health before prescribing a formula specific to you and your needs.
Not everyone responds in the same way to the same virus. Most of us have weak areas of our bodies, which will differ from person to person. Viruses are opportunists that seek out these vulnerable systems. When you come into the clinic with symptoms, first of all, you must wear a mask. Our TCM practitioners will tailor your treatment accordingly. If, for example, you are prone to coughing, chest congestion, asthma, and/or shortness of breath with colds and flu, the TCM practitioner will focus on your lung meridian to bolster your respiratory system. They may also prescribe herbs that will complement this treatment.
At Santa Rosa Community Acupuncture Clinic, we only use herbal products that meet or exceed FDA standards. Our wild-crafted herbs and herbal formulas from Botanical Biohacking are sustainably grown in China and Tibet.
To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s best to take your prescribed herbal formula as directed and for as long as directed and space your acupuncture treatments at prescribed intervals. Also, your acupuncturist can suggest common herbal teas and foods that can help reduce your symptoms.
For instance, at SRCA we are now offering our Cold Kits for purchase (when prescribed by your practitioner). These handy kits include our Wind Tea, Cold Quell formula, and the herbal cough drops so many of our clients know and love.
Self Care at Home between Treatments
In addition to following your practitioner’s advice, there are things you can do at home to address common cold/flu/COVID symptoms.
The old adage “feed a fever, starve a cold” has some truth in it. The fever is helping your body fight off your virus. If your fever is not present or mild, you can bring up your core temperature with warming teas to help you sweat out the pathogens. Look for teas made with ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon. Ask your acupuncturist for recommendations for home remedies before you start pulling from items in your kitchen cupboards.
Drinking plenty of fluids can also help your body in its fight and thin out the mucous that can cause so much discomfort.
Most important of all, get adequate amounts of rest so that your body can focus on the work of healing you. Your immune system will have a much harder time fighting off pathogens, if it is trying to keep up your normal amount of energy.
Treat Your Stress and Boost Your Immune System
You have heard that stress can aggravate existing conditions. Stress can also bring about an imbalance in your qi. This imbalance can leave your immune system vulnerable to cold, flu, and COVID. The good news is that even stress can be reduced through acupuncture. At Santa Rosa Community Acupuncture, you’ll find licensed practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine who can boost your immune system and provide the support your body needs to heal itself of most conditions.
The sooner you book your appointment, the sooner you’ll be experiencing greater health. Book yours today!