• Erin Dietz, L.Ac.

The Effects of Acupuncture On The Common Cold

Background On The Common Cold

Given the nature of the common cold and that it’s primarily caused by a viral infection, no antibiotic or western medicine has yet been able to cure it. Therefore, it’s a cold that we must suffer through until our bodies have healed itself and the symptoms have subsided and usually take 7-10 days to do so.

Nearly 30-50% of all common colds are caused by the rhinovirus followed by a slough of other viruses that may also hinder our health.

Taking special precautionary steps, such as washing your hands, taking vitamins and even receiving frequent exercise are all ways that you can prevent the onset of such an illness. The process of using Acupuncture treatment to fight the effects of, or even treat the common cold has been studied several times. Below, we will briefly look at one of those studies and their findings.

The Purpose Of Research

A team of Acupuncture students and staff members across five different Japanese Acupuncture schools chose 326 patients to be a part of the research group. A specific needling (the “Y Point”) was used bilaterally on the neck in order to determine the preventative and curative effects of manual acupuncture in relation to symptoms of the common cold.

The Results

Of the 326 students and staff to originally partake in the study, five had dropped out meaning that 321 total individuals finished the 2-week, 4 treatment studies. What they found was that statistically “significantly fewer [common cold] symptoms were reported in the questionnaire group than the control group.”

Each person’s body is different and so are their symptoms. Those that were involved in this study made mentioned that additional research should be done before any claims are made under this topic.

How does Acupuncture Affect the Body In This Study?

The point of the study was to see if acupuncture could decrease the symptoms of the common cold that were seen and felt by those being studied. Certain acupuncture points can help boost the immune system which is what this study was trying to induce.

If you find yourself unable to see an acupuncture specialist, you may be able to try acupressure at home! The following pressure points may aid if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms:

Lung 7 - Broken Sequence - This location is found just proximal (closer to the torso) to the styloid process of the radius bone (the bone in your forearm which ends closest to your thumb). A simple way to find it is by joining your opposite hand between the thumb and forefinger - your index finger will fall over Lu 7.

  • Relieves Chills, Fever & Cough

  • Soothes Sore Throat

  • Releases exterior wind-heat and wind-cold

  • Relieves Headaches

Large Intestine 4 - Union Valley - located in the fleshy area between thumb and first finger.

  • Relieves Headaches

  • Clears Congestions

  • Clears Lung Heat

Other Ways To Stay Healthy

Acupuncture can be a great way to get your immune system flowing as it should be. Other ways to stay healthy and keep your immune system in tip-top shape is to take Vitamin C, get plenty of sleep each night, avoid alcohol and other hindering depressants.

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