richmond osteopaths horizontal logo close crop white bkgd

Common Cold and Flu (TCM)

What is a cold and flu?

A cold is a mild infection of your nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It’s very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two. If you have a cold, you may experience a sore throat, blocked or runny nose, sneezing or a cough. More severe symptoms, including fever, headache and aching muscles can occur, which are more associated with flu.

Common cold and flu in TCM perspective

The symptoms of the common cold and flu come as a result of the battle between the Protective Qi (which has a similar concept to immunity) of the body and the external pathogens. There are six general groups of external pathogens, namely Wind, Heat, Dampness, Fire, Dryness and Cold. Depending on the seasonal changes, these pathogens may occur together that may have unfavourable influences on your body. When the Protective Qi in your body is weak, you are more vulnerable to pathogen attacks, thus falling ill.

How we treat common cold and flu at Richmond Osteopaths

Immunity is controlled by the lymphatic and circulatory system, and at Richmond Osteopaths, we use techniques to improve your circulation and lymphatic drainage, such as shoulder pumping or foot pumping. Acupuncture focuses on restoring your protective Qi’s balance to optimise your body’s natural resistance and healing ability.

Our advice – five tips to prevent cold and flu

  1. Strengthen your Immune system – stronger immune system means your body’s natural resistance against diseases and healing ability are at their optimum.
  2. Rest – well balanced work-rest lifestyle is crucial for your body to recharge and maintain internal harmony.
  3. Healthy diet – eating too much greasy, sweet, chilled or raw food can lead to stagnation of Qi, which will in turn cause diseases, pain or other imbalances. Altering dietary habits will promote healthy digestion.
  4. De-stress – stress can cause many physical, mental or emotional tension, which can hinder your immune function. Adequate physical exercise, rest, diet, osteopathy or acupuncture can all play a part to relieve stress.
  5. Exercise – moderate exercise help circulation, which in turn can improve your immunity, and also the release of endorphins help with de-stressing.

The “sciency” part

Acupuncture is known to reduce inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors. Increasing local microcirculation also aids dispersal of swelling. Also acupuncture has shown to enhance natural killer cell activities and modulating the number and ratio of immune cell types, enhancing immunity.