NHC has been serving Chicagoland for over 20 years.

Articles About Disorders

We treat many conditions here at NHC and I do my best to write about some of them below. Feel free to search for conditions you are interested in learning more about, as well as to suggest topics you would like me to write more about.

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.



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



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.



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