Treating the Common Cold
By: Nena Watkins, LAC, Oak Cliff Acupunture
It’s Flu season!… We hear this every year, but what can we do about it? Many people choose to get a flu vaccine, which can minimize the risk in some people. In others, it can cause the flu. Even if people avoid the flu, we can all find ourselves battling the common cold during this time of year. The best thing for beating a cold is rest, rest, rest!
Another great option is Chinese medicine. Both Chinese herbs and acupuncture can help kick a cold. Chinese herbs to release the cold from the body, are antiviral and antibacterial. Acupuncture is great for boosting your immune system, which helps you get over the cold much quicker than without it. The benefits of using both is doubly helpful.
It is the belief in Chinese medicine that a cold will attack your head first and then, if not eliminated from the body, it will work its way down and inward to the lungs. People often will get a variation on one of two different types of colds. A heat cold, with fever, sore throat, etc; or a cold cold, with chills, runny nose, headache, etc. There are others as well, but these are the most common. A cold should not last more than a week. If it does, then the cold is probably winning over your immune system. Often people experience the symptoms shift for several days, as the cold lodges in their body. No worries, though. A lingering cough, or sinus infection, after a cold, can easily be treated with Chinese herbs.
A Chinese medical practitioner will give you the best herbs for your symptoms. Herbal formulas can be modified to address a person’s specific symptoms. For instance, if someone has an extreme sore throat, the practitioner will add herbs for the throat, often with antibacterial properties. Or if someone is experiencing an additional sinus infection with their cold, the practitioner will add herbs to open the sinus passages; these too have antibacterial properties.
Acupuncture can be very helpful, as well, for treating a cold. The idea is that the acupuncture treatment helps your body release the virus (We hold onto so much, don’t we? …. Sometimes we need help letting go). It also helps to boost your immune system. This allows your body to function better from the inside out. Often this is enough to get someone over their cold. However, your acupuncturist will do even more and treat your sinus pressure or cough specifically, in addition to giving your body the energy it needs to beat the cold from within.
It is a good idea to consult a Licensed Acupuncturist as soon as you think you are getting a cold, even if you are not sure. We have herbs for that! It is also a good idea to consult your acupuncturist if you have been sick for a couple of days. We have herbs for that! Also, consult your acupuncturist if you have been sick for a couple of weeks. We have herbs for that! We have treatments for all stages of a cold, and we are here to help!
Nena Watkins is a licensed acupuncturist and owner of Oak Cliff Acupuncture located at 208 South Madison Avenue, Bishop Arts District of Dallas. 214-840-3445.