Whether you have the sniffles or are laid out in bed shaking from viral pain, you may have used or considered a physician’s intervention. However, as conventional medicine scrambles to make up for the mis-predicted flu strain this winter as well as attempts to quell hundreds of cold viruses out there, another approach may be more feasible.

Acupuncture for cold and flu prevention and management may increase your body’s ability to rise beyond synthetic fixes that may do more harm than good. This is particularly seen when utilized before or at the beginning of a cold or flu outbreak yet has been effective even during acute symptoms. The mechanism of this 5,000+ year old practice continues to baffle science yet it is now a valid consideration given the huge cannon of healing records through its impressive ancient track record.

The Working Parts

As researchers continue to investigate the inner workings of acupuncture, many significant results have emerged. For cold and flu season, using acupuncture on any level could be essential.

A study published in ‘Complimentary Therapies in Medicine’ by researchers at the

Japan Acupuncture and Moxibustion Center concluded that,

“This is the first report of a multi-centre randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for symptoms of the common cold. A significantly positive effect of acupuncture was demonstrated in the summed questionnaire data, although a highly significant inter-centre difference was observed. Needling on the neck using the Japanese fine needle manipulating technique was shown to be effective and safe. The use of acupuncture for symptoms of the common cold symptoms should be considered,”

During an acupuncture treatment the intention is to move energy out of stuck areas and keep it flowing throughout the system. It is believed by western science that as the body is exposed to safe, mostly painless, thin needling, immune boosting hormones are released. These hormones include serotonin, dopamine and endorphins all playing a role in advancing the body toward optimal health.

Addressing Inflammation and Pain

A study published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine looked into the anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture. Internal, cellular inflammation has been linked to a variety of cold and flu health challenges and by clearing this symptom it is believed that pathological manifestations may be quelled before they increase in strength.

This study stated that,

“As inflammation is the coherent pathophysiologic progress in many kinds of diseases, immune system and response of the human body are influenced in diseases such as cancer; the anti-inflammation effect of acupuncture may be a very important underlying mechanism of acupuncture in treating diseases.”

In addition to addressing inflammation, cold and flu symptoms are also associated with varying degrees of pain. Whether it presents as a raw throat, inflamed sinuses, body aches or gastrointestinal upheaval, acupuncture has been applied to the full spectrum with successful results.

GI disorders are most prominent symptoms when suffering with the flu and receiving acupuncture may help relieve this highly uncomfortable symptom.

Citing specific acupuncture points, a study by researchers at the Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC which was published in the Journal of Gastroenterology  looked at ‘Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders’.

Associated points include:

  • ST 36 – Below the knee on the outside (lateral) point between the tibia and fibula. The study states, “The stimulatory effects of acupuncture at ST-36 on GI motility may be beneficial to patients,”
  • CV12 – About four fingers above the belly button (umbilicus). The study describes that, “the inhibitory effects of acupuncture at CV-12 on GI motility may be beneficial to patients with diarrhea and may inhibit gastric acid secretion.”
  • PC6 – Just above the inner mid wrist this point is linked to alleviating dyspepsia [digestion difficulty] and gastroesophageal reflux, possibly tamping down nausea as well.

Keeping the Furnace Aflame

Overall, acupuncture is capable of honing in on specific symptoms associated with cold and flu outbreaks. Sometimes it correlates with a conventional medical protocol while other times it may be effective all on its own.

For prevention, this specific needling is now considered a valid approach to boosting the immune system. This is essential when going into cold and flu season as a strong immune system may be able to defend against incoming pathogens that would otherwise easily take over your system.

University Hospitals report that,

“Studies have shown that patients receiving acupuncture have elevated immune-enhancing hormones and blood counts for up to three days after treatment.”

An acupuncture session may be once or twice per week but the effects on the immune system could be long lasting. In a study by researchers at the Department of Physiology (Animal Physiology II), Faculty of Biological Science, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain which was published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, it was found that,

“The results showed that the most favorable effects of acupuncture on the immune functions appear 72 hours after the single session and persist one month after the end of the complete treatment. Impaired immune functions in anxious women (chemotaxis, phagocytosis, lymphoproliferation and NK activity) were significantly improved by acupuncture, and augmented immune parameters (superoxide anion levels and lymphoproliferation of the patient subgroup whose values had been too high) were significantly diminished. Acupuncture brought the above mentioned parameters to values closer to those of healthy controls, exerting a modulatory effect on the immune system.”

Utilizing acupuncture for cold and flu prevention and management has been proven to offer exceptional results. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or Click Here to schedule an online appointment. Please also click here to learn more about acupuncture and additional services provided at our Westcheter, NY office.

*Please Click Here to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email info@intmedsolutions.com to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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