Non-medicinal Alternatives for Cough

When it comes to cough, the doctor is the best person qualified to address it. Coughing can be caused by a lot of different things and if you have a cough that persists for weeks or becomes too severe that it affects your day to day life, you should seek medical help.

TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) practitioners do not use western medical methods to classify a condition; they instead try to identify a set or pattern of symptoms and signs in order to come up with a plan of treatment. The treatment is customized to address the manifested internal imbalance of the patient’s body fluids, blood, qi (vital energy) and yin and yang. They come up with treatments that regulate the organ system functions of the body to restore balance to it.

Acupuncture helps normalize the secretion and contraction of the respiratory tract and it can modify respiratory activities, as well. Based on TCM theory, coughing is viewed as an abnormal flow of the qi of the lung system that may be caused by either internal or external factors. Internal factors include coughing due to organ malfunctions while external factors may include pathogenic infiltrations. When formulating treatment for a cough, the practitioner will aim to:

Restore the normal functioning of the affected organ system and repair damaged tissue
Boost the ability of the body to clear out the infiltrating pathogens

Moxibustion and acupuncture are effective TCM modalities for treating cough. During the early phases of a cough, these treatments are quite effective and they can also be used with other forms of treatment for stubborn cough. With the right stimulating procedures and correct point selection, moxibustion and acupuncture can restore the normal movement of lung qi and stop the cough. Listed below are various protocols for killing cough:

Primary acupuncture points
Bl 13 – the back conveyance acupoint of the lung meridian. The needling of this point restores normal lung qi flow and removes accumulated pathogens.
Cv 22 – this acupoint is situated in the throat area and is a conception vessel meridian. When needled, it stimulates the local area or the affected organs and tissues nearby.

Secondary acupuncture points that are used based on certain patterns of disharmony.

Lung-deficient cough
(Symptoms: Sweating, fatigue, poor appetite, wheezing, shortness of breath, weak coughing that produces white and thing phlegm)
Lu 7 – the lung meridian’s connecting point.
Lu 9 – the stream and source point of the lung meridian. Lu 9 treats shortness of breath and cough and normalizes lung qi.
St 36 – the acupoint of the stomach meridian known as the sea point. This point boosts the function of the stomach and spleen systems to provide more qi to the lungs.
Cv 6: belonging to the conception vessel meridian, the Cv 6 acupoint improves the general health of qi in the body.

All these points are also recommended for moxibustion.

Phlegm-dampness cough

(Symptoms: A thick coating in the tongue, stuffiness in the abdomen and chest, fatigue, and cough that produces abundant phlegm that is sticky and white.)
Bl 20 – the spleen meridian’s back transport acupoint. The Bl 20 point clears dampness and helps expel phlegm. Also called the pi shu acupoint
St 40 – the stomach meridian’s connecting point. This point, also known as feng long, helps relieve productive cough.
Sp 3 – the spleen meridian’s source acupoint. Also known as tai bai, this point along with the feng long point improves the efficacy of spleen functioning.
Lu 9 – the lung meridian’s stream and source point. Also called, the tai yuan point, Lu 9 helps relieve shortness of breath, and cough and normalizes lung qi flow.

All these acupoints points can be treated with moxibustion.

Wind-cold cough

(Symptoms: fever, chills, headache, nasal congestion and coughing producing white and thing phlegm.
Lu 7 – this point, also called lie que by the Chinese, is the lung meridian’s connecting point.
Li 4 – this is the intestine meridian’s source point. The tai yuan point along with the lie que point helps improve the efficacy of lung functioning.
Gv 14 – also called da zhui, this acupoint is the crossing point of the governor vessel meridian with the yang meridians and aids the body in relieving fever and removing pathogens.
Gb 20 – this acupoint, also called feng chi, helps relieve eye soreness, runny nose, headache, congestion and other cold symptoms of the body.
Bl 12 – this point, also called feng men, helps relieve symptoms such as neck stiffness, headache, fever, and cough.

The da zhui and fei shu acupoints can be treated with moxibustion.

Wind-heat coughs

(Symptoms: headache, fever, thirst, soreness of the throat and coughing with thick and yellow phlegm)

Li 11 – the sea acupoint of the large intestine meridian. It’s also called qu chi.
Lu 5 – this is the lung meridian’s sea point. Also termed chi ze, this point along with qu chi helps bring back qi flow of the lungs to cure coughing.
Lu 11 – this acupoint, also known as shao shang, corresponds to the lung meridian’s well point and when needled, can help relieve cough, fever and sore throat.
GV 14 or da zhui – this is the acupoint where the governor vessel meridian crosses the yang meridians. The GV 14 helps the body relieve fever and disperse pathogens.

Da zhui and Fei shu are recommended for blood-letting.

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St # 101
Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: (360) 715-1824
www.bellinghamacupuncturecenter.com

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