My Cold & Flu Medicine Cabinet

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* photo credit: Amanda Sengbusch

Who knows at least one person who has been sick already this year!? It seems like each year more and more people are getting sick and the symptoms are lasting longer and longer! I’m so thankful for all the categories of medicine, but I do have a very special place in my heart for more natural remedies.
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EXTERNAL PATHOGENIC INVADER
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), external pathogenic invaders (EPI) are what we refer to as cold and flu viruses/ bugs/ illnesses. In any given season there are EPIs floating about in the world. The health of your internal defense system, also known as wei qi “way chee,” will determine if you develop symptoms and become sick or if you’re able to fight off the infection and remain symptom free.
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-> If the EPI is strong and your wei qi is also strong, you may develop some symptoms but your body is most likely able to fight off the EPI.
-> If the EPI is strong but your wei qi is weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak and your wei qi is also weak, you will get sick.
-> If the EPI is weak but your wei qi is strong, you most likely won’t get sick.
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This gives some reasoning behind why a variety of people can come in contact with a person with an EPI but only a select few develop symptoms and get sick. Luckily there are a whole host of things one may do to enhance their wei qi (future post to come).
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COLD & FLU MEDICINE CABINET
We all have our own ways of handling colds and flus. Whether you’re one who continues to work through it and just hopes to get better, or you take the very important time to rest while implementing the whole kit and kuboodle… here are my items I’m sure to give a try to battle the EPI:
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Herbs are individual to each presentation and require a diagnosis from a licensed acupuncturist/ herbalist:
– Gan Mao Ling
– Herbal ABX
– Minor Bupleurum
– Yin Qiao
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Supplements & Oils:
– C grams (vitamin C) from Advocare – or Vitamin C from your local drugstore
– Congaplex from Standard Process – a whole food supplement
– Essential Oils: eucalyptus, frankincense, immupower, lemon, peppermint, thieves
– Gypsy Cold Care Tea from Traditional Medicinals – most grocery/ health stores
– Immuno Guard from Advocare – a supplement with the health benefits of mushrooms
– Oscillococcinum from your local drugstore and Amazon – a homeopathic remedy
– Sambucol – from your local drugstore – the healing properties of black elderberry
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I’ve been using these products for years for all of my cold and flu like symptoms. Usually after using and alternating the products above, I’m able to keep the cold/flu symptoms in check. Some of these products are able to be purchased at your local drugstore at your convenience but remember it’s best to check with your licensed acupuncturist for which herbs to use along with your medical physician to determine the best products for you.
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What do you like to use to help get feeling your best during the cold and flu season!?
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Always feel free to stop into your local, favorite acupuncturist to help keep you healthy and talk about alternative ways to beat the colds and flus circulating this year. I’m sure they would love to share some of their favorite tips and tricks with you as well!
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**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Terms

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) encompasses a variety of modalities including acupuncture, cupping, tui na, gua sha, moxa, herbal therapy, and food therapy.

Acupuncture has been practiced for 3000-5000 years. It is defined as the insertion of sterile, disposable, single-use needles into acupuncture points throughout the entire body. The points are located on meridians that course throughout the body. Through the use of acupuncture points, a particular effect may be obtained because each point has specific functions. There are as many as 2,000 points.

Cupping is the use of glass cups to create a suction of the skin. The most common place to cup is the back, legs, hips and shoulders. Cupping is the therapeutic use of suction to increase blood and oxygen flow to the area. This helps relax the muscles, stimulate acupuncture points and decrease pain. Cupping helps with conditions of coughing, pain, poor sleep and more. Bruises are a common side effect of cupping, depending on the patient’s condition and constitution; the bruises should only last 3-7 days.

Electrical Stimulation Acupuncture (E-Stim) is the use of a tens unit along with the acupuncture points to provide constant and measurable stimulation to the desired points. E-stim is effective with increasing the results of post-stroke symptoms and reducing pain.

Gua sha, meaning “scraping sha – bruising” is the use of a spoon, jade or other utensil that scrapes the skin to produce light bruising. This releases unhealthy elements and increases blood flow and healing.

Herbal therapy has been around for thousands of years. It is a useful complement to acupuncture treatments because while a person may only get acupuncture treatments weekly, monthly or as needed, a person may take herbs daily to address certain symptoms and support their constitution. Herbs are great for balancing the body and for addressing: digestion, emotions, sleep, women’s issues, common colds and flu.

Moxibustion (moxa) is the use of the herb, mugwort, topically to increase energy, reduce pain and benefit the overall constitution.

Tui na “twee- nah” is a combination of massage and acupressure that uses the meridians and acupuncture points to increase the movement of qi and reduce pain.