Not Every Cold & Flu is the same. Learn how Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine view the variations.

By Alysia Anderson, L.Ac, M.Ac.OM

Colds and flus are viral infections. In Chinese Medicine the predominant patterns seen are Wind-Heat, Wind-Cold, and Deficiency Type infections.  Acupuncture points and Chinese Herbal Formulas are chosen based on the type of patterns presenting.  Below is a brief symptom list:

Wind Heat- fever, aversion to heat, headache, sore throat, yellow phlegm or mucous with runny nose, thirst, yellow tongue coating and a floating, rapid pulse.

Wind-Cold Pattern- aversion to cold; mild fever; absence of sweat; chest congestion; sneezing; running nose with clear mucus; itching throat, or a cough with clear mucus; a thin, white tongue coating; and a tight pulse.

Deficiency Pattern:  Most people suffering from chronic illness, or with weak, and not fully developed immune systems such as children, elderly, or those with immuno-compromised disorders tend to catch colds/flus more frequently and  are usually hit the hardest.  Their energy is low, and they have trouble recovering from prolonged illness.  In these cases, during the attack of cold or flu, the symptoms are cleared with either Wind Heat or Wind Cold Herbs and Acupuncture.  Once the cold and flu symptoms are gone, then immune and Qi(energy) boosting herbs/food recommendations are given to strengthen the bodies defenses. 

Although Chinese Medicine is beneficial for any level of a pathogens expression, it makes sense to take preventative measures by keeping the bodies Wei Qi/immune system strong with regular Acupuncture/Herbal treatments.  And, at the first sign of cold or flu, Acupuncture and Herbs can help kick out, and/or support the bodies natural energy needed to help fight it off the pathogen.  Lastly, stay in touch.  It’s important for any Acupuncturist to be in tune with their patients presenting signs and symptoms, because like the seasons, pathogens change too, which means different Acupuncture points and different herbal formulas for successful treatment. 

Alysia Anderson,  L.Ac. M.Ac.OM

An Sen Acupuncture & Massage Clinic

107 SE Washington St. Suite #134

Portland Oregon 97214


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