Scottsdale Acupuncture


Can Acupuncture Treat Colds & The Flu?

Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 by

cold. flu, acupuncture

Common colds and the flu are more than a minor annoyance. The flu and colds are very contagious and prohibitive to functioning at full capacity, and if left untreated, they can lead to further complications, including death.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colds are the most common cause for students missing school and adults missing work.  They go on to state that adults average two to three colds a year while children average more.  The flu affects every 1.2 people per 100,000, and there were 3,697 deaths in the United States from the flu last year.  Both can last seven to ten days, and symptoms can range from a stuffy nose and tiredness to infections and being bedridden.  This not only affects the person with the cold or flu but others as well.

As reported by Web MD, the common cold costs the US economy $40 billion a year.  That includes missed time from work, loss of productivity, and the cost of treatments.  One study mentioned on Web MD stated that Americans spend over $2.9 billion a year on over-the-counter drugs and another $400 million on drugs that relieve symptoms.  Moreover, they are said to spend $1.1 billion on antibiotics even though antibiotics have no impact on viruses, which is what a cold is.  And these are only costs related to the common cold.  The flu adds on to these costs.  According to the CDC, $10.4 billion is the estimated amount spent on hospitalization and outpatient care for the flu each year.  With five to twenty percent of the US getting the flu each year, it adds up to $16.3 billion in lost earnings annually.  With so much at stake, getting the right treatment when flu or cold symptoms first show up is imperative to saving money, time, and potential lost earnings for your employer.

The symptoms of the common cold and the flu can be similar.  It is important to know the difference because while a cold can certainly leave you feeling miserable, the flu can lead to hospitalization or pneumonia.  A cold usually starts with a sore throat, and the symptoms progress slowly.  You can develop a runny and stuffy nose, headache, and possibly a slight fever.  Flu symptoms come on fast and can include high fever, cough, headache, congestion, and sore throat. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur with certain kinds of flu strains.  They also include muscle weakness and feeling very ill for days or weeks.  Once you are aware of the cost of the flu and the common cold, you must be aware of different treatments.

While over-the-counter medications are nice to help with symptoms, they do nothing to shorten or cure the flu or cold.  To date, the common cold has no cure and must run its course.  On the other hand, getting a flu shot is key to preventing the flu.  Flu shots do not guarantee that you will not get the flu, but they can reduce the possibility of getting the flu by up to fifty or sixty percent, according to the CDC.  Getting past the flu also involves lots of rest and fluids.  Depending on the type of flu or symptoms you experience, other methods may be used to fight it, such as anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics if it is caused by a bacteria.  However, there is one treatment that is often overlooked and that is acupuncture.

Acupuncture can be effective in helping to prevent a cold or the flu as well as treating its symptoms.  According to, studies show that this form of treatment helps patients by elevating immune-enhancing hormones and blood count up to three days after treatment.  This means that acupuncture can help improve the immune system, which plays a key role in fighting off colds and the flu.  Acupuncture can also help with symptoms by reducing chills, fever, body aches, sore throat, and cough by helping the body expel the virus more quickly.

Acupuncture for colds and the flu targets certain pressure points in the body to help improve immunity and reduce symptoms.  For example, certain points where the nose meets the eye socket can be targeted to help reduce congestion, headaches, and tired eyes.  Another location at the outer end of the elbow crease can improve immunity.  There are many different points that can be targeted with an acupuncture needle to help with systems and prevention.  Some can even be done at home.  Moreover, acupuncture is a much more effective way to personalize a cold or flu treatment.  Because each person is different, and has different symptoms and levels of immunity, an acupuncturist can tailor a regimen to any individual’s needs.  This is more enticing, as opposed to taking a pill formulated and advertised as a catchall.

If you want to strengthen your immune system before the cold and flu season sets in, contact an acupuncturist today.  Likewise, if you feel a cold or flu coming on, seek out an acupuncture specialist to relieve your symptoms and expel the virus quicker.  In addition, speak to your practitioner about other possible Chinese medicinal herbs and drinks that can help with a cold or flu.  The combination of both can help provide the protection and relief you have been looking for.  As always, if symptoms persist or get worse, see your doctor without hesitation.  Over the course of a lifetime, acupuncture treatment for the cold and flu can save you money on medications that may not work and time missed from work and life, and it can help foster a healthier and happier you.

Schedule an appointment online »