Respiratory Problems and Chinese Medicine
Updated: Aug 23
There is a myriad of differing respiratory issues around, starting from the common cold, flu, and, unfortunately recently Covid, to asthma (with or without allergies), sinus infections (acute and chronic); smoking-related illnesses and bronchitis or even pneumonia, a sheer endless list of possible combinations of symptoms
So where can Chinese medicine (CM) help?
CM doesn’t ‘treat’ any Western disease. It looks at the symptoms of any person to draw a specific individual picture and work on re-balancing whatever has gone so out of shape. Especially in the case of respiration, it makes sense already on an intuitive level:
If you have a common cold where you have to cough all the time, keep shivering regardless of how many covers you use and just feel miserable it warrants different measures than a common cold with a throbbing headache, an inflamed and painful throat, feel hot and irritated. Though both can be called ‘common cold’, the first case will need Phlegm-removing and warming herbs and acupuncture points, while in the second one, there is a need for cooling and calming.
The leading questions will be: are your symptoms acute or chronic? Do you cough a lot (colour, quantity of sputum) or is it more wheezing? Do you feel hot or cold/clammy? Is the nose involved as well? Is it worse in the morning and then you kind of ‘work it off’ or the day starts well and then you seem to deteriorate towards the evening? Does it get better or worse with mild exercise? How is your sleep?
All these differing symptoms indicate if you have an Excess or a Deficiency condition, if there is Heat, Cold, Phlegm or Dryness present. If you suffer from a chronic condition, the rule of the thumb suggests that during an acute event, treatment will focus on the acute presentation and in between attacks you should focus on the underlying condition that facilitates these attacks.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine herbs can give you a good boost to work on these conditions and help you to bring your body back to a more balanced state.
If you want to discuss your specific signs and symptoms and see what CM can do for you or want to make an appointment: