Follow NHC: RSS Feed
Search the NHC Site
Contact and Clinic Hours

Appointments are available on the following days each week. Please call the landline at 773.506.8971 or email at tcmman1@gmail.com to schedule.

Sunday: 2 – 7PM
Monday: 2 – 8PM
Tuesday: 2 – 8PM
Wednesday: 12 - 6PM
Thursday: 2 – 8PM

Some Health Issues We Treat

Entries in Upper respiratory infection (2)

Thursday
Apr302009

Immune Strengthening through Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

As a result of the swine flu concerns in the Chicagoland area, I have been seeing an unusual large number of clients coming in this week for immune tonification. Chinese medicine is quite adept at strengthening the immune system, both in a specific way (a particular region of the body such as the lungs or the skin) or more generally. We typically see a large number of people come in during the Fall and Winter months to build up their resistance to cold and flu pathogens that the person expects to have to confront over the Winter. This works quite well for reducing the number and intensity of upper respiratory ailments that the person is likely to be exposed to. However we generally see far fewer of these clients in the Spring. Until now. Until the Swine Flu entered into the equation.

Over the last week I have seen a surge in the number of clients seeking such immune strengthening. In particular we have been seeing teachers and retail workers - those folks who work with large groups of people and have the greatest concerns for exposure and thus wish to minimize their risk of contracting disease.  However people with other health concerns also seek out prophylactic care from their acupuncturists. In particular, my clients who are going through chemo- or radiation therapy and are more vulnerable to all pathogens, as well  as clients for whom being sick could accelerate the course of preexisting diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and HIV.

 

 

Monday
Apr272009

Flu {Swine, Avian and Other} and Chinese Medicine

 

With the last year's concern over the potential for a Swine Flu pandemic, clients and practitioners have been contacting the Northside Holistic Center with questions over the role of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the treatment of influenza. This is a bit of a repeat of what happened when Avian Flu and SARS were in the news and most of my responses remain the same and bear repeating during this more recent viral season. At the Northside Holistic Center, we treat colds and flus throughout the year with tremendous success.

Historically in Asia, the flu has been treated effectively by acupuncture and herbal medicine and there is little reason to doubt that this would not be so in many cases of this particular genetic variation of Swine Flu. While I would recommend seeking Western biomedical assessment before a client came to see me for flu-like symptoms, as recommended by the CDC, I would not hesitate to use the tools of Chinese medicine to treat such a manifestation. All evidence to date suggests that we can dramatically shorten the course of most respiratory disorders and research supports the notion that acupuncture can be immune supportive and herbal formula, when correctly tailored to the patient, can be extremely useful in targeting the virus itself.

 

Studies, Articles and Links:

A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a Chinese herbal formula was comparable to Tamiflu in successfully treating the flu. You can read about it here.

Significant reductions in the time to fever resolution, compared with the control group were seen with oseltamivir (34%), maxingshigan-yinqiaosan (37%), and oseltamivir plus maxingshigan-yinqiaosan (47%). Time to fever resolution was reduced by 19% with oseltamivir plus maxingshigan-yinqiaosan compared with oseltamivir. 

I would add that in most clinicians' experience, adding acupuncture into the mix, in order to boost the immune system further and to address specific symptoms of the flu yields even better results.

 

A link to a study showing the effectivenss of Chinese medicine for treatment of the H1N1 virus. According to a spokesman for the study group, "From our clinical tests and observation, the traditional method of treatment left no after effects and it is safe, more over the recovery period was shorter and the cost relatively lower as compared to Tamiflu treatment," said Wang Yuguang, spokesman of Ditan Hospital at a special briefing for the media at Ditan Hospital Wednesday afternoon.

 

From a September 2009 New York Times article: good information for parents about Swine Flu.

 

The link below discusses treatment of flu from a TCM perspective. It was written by the Institute for Traditional Medicine (ITM) in response to Avian Flu concerns in 2006 but remains relevant in the face of this current health concern.

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/flu.htm

 

This link was written by ITM in 2003 when the world was in a panic over the potential SARS epidemic.

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/sars.htm

 

Here is a link to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) with up-to-the-minute updates on the movement of the Swine Flu, as well as prevention methods outlined, including the perennially-good idea: frequent hand washing.

http://cdc.gov/SwineFlu/

 

And finally, a link to an abstract from a research study into using acupuncture for upper respiratory infections and fever.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1291818?ordinalpos=5&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum