Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Acupuncture for Common Cold and Flu

Chinese Medicine is a Holistic medicine, in that it treats the whole body, mind and spirit. It is primarily a preventative type medicine, in that in old days in China, if you got sick, then your acupuncturist wasn't very good. Following Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, which include acupuncture, herbal therapy, food therapy, meditation therapy (Qi Gong) and movement therapy (Tai Chi),  a person would have strong wei qi (protective qi) and zheng qi (righteous/healthy qi) and therefore, be able to fight off evil qi (Xie qi).   The daily stresses of life, including work, diet, emotional/relationship challenges, lack of or too much exercise, all contribute to weakening your righteous and protective qi. When Evil qi is stronger than healthy qi, you get sick.

Regular acupuncture to balance and strengthen your healthy and protective qi will help prevent frequent colds and perhaps lessen the severity of the flu. In addition, there are Chinese herbal formulas that, if taken early in the first day or two of a cold or flu, will stop the progression of the cold, or minimize the symptoms and duration of the sickness.

A common cold is considered Wind Cold, and includes the symptoms of chills, muscle aches, scratchy throat, runny nose, low grade fever. Wind Cold can transform into Wind Heat. Wind Heat symptoms include fever, some chills, significant sore throat, and general malaise and fatigue.

Chinese herbal formulas are different than medications in that they use whole plant parts,  leaves, twigs, berries, etc. Pharmaceuticals, in general, look for the active ingredient in a plant, and then isolate and concentrate it. With herbal therapy, it is believed that by using the entire plant part with it’s multiple actions, and combining it with other plant parts, to enhance some actions and minimize others, you get a safer, more gentle and even more effective result. The herbal formulas for Wind Cold and Wind Heat that I have available are made in China under ‘Best Manufacturing Practices’ and then packaged in the United States. I take herbs on a regular basis, and have found that the formulas for cold, sore throat and flu are very effective. If you’d like to purchase some of these herbs to have on hand and ready in the event you feel a cold coming on, contact me at 801-783-2094.  You can also be treated with acupuncture during a cold or sore throat, to aid you in fighting off the evil qi.  The nurse in me can’t emphasize enough the importance of washing hands, sneezing and coughing in your elbow, and staying home and resting when you are sick.

Shan Yao Mountain Medicine Acupuncture Clinic continues to offer acupuncture via the ‘community acupuncture’ model the first and third Saturdays of the month, from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m.   The community acupuncture model is where multiple (up to 4) clients can be treated simultaneously, thereby sharing the cost. No appointments are needed, and there does not have to be three other people in the room for the lower cost. ($20 per session).  After having signed initial paperwork that includes informed consent and a brief history, clients choose an available lounge chair or the treatment table.  Points are selected primarily in arms and legs from the elbow and knee down. Some shoulder and back points may be selected if they can be accessed without removing clothing.  Once in the treatment area, clients relax to meditative music. Conversation is kept to a minimum, as clients experience an inward healing quietness. Acupuncture needles are retained usually for 30 to 60 minutes, or until the client indicates when they’re ready for the needles to be removed.

Shan Yao Mountain Medicine is located in the Old Town Eden building, behind Carlos and Harleys Cantina, in the back of Bay C (past the cardio-equipment of High Altitude Fitness)  In addition to the community acupuncture model, individual appointments can be made for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. on non-community acupuncture days, and from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m. after community acupuncture.
Beth Kristenson L.Ac.

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