Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Acupuncture for Sore Throats

Tip: Washing your hands under warm water multiple times a day can stimulate points that can reduce sore throat, cold and flu symptoms.

    A sore throat isn't a common complaint people go see an acupuncturist for, but it sometimes happens to tag along with a patients main complaint especially during the fall or winter months. A sore throat can be annoying, irritating, itchy and just uncomfortable. In chinese medicine a sore throat is usually seen as a form of heat or a pathogenic factor trying to invade the body and with out treatment it could go deeper turning into a cold or a flu.

So the point of acupuncture is to release that pathogenic factor and reinforce the body's defense system to push it out. Depending on the perspective of the acupuncturist there are multiple ways to release this foreign invader from the throat. For the most part, points that are considered to be able to open the exterior or the pores of the skin are the way to go, and those are typically found on the hands, arms, face, back and neck.

The points on the hands are the most easily accessible and can even be manipulated by pressure and heat,  the points used lie on the outside of the hands. They are connected internally to the lung channel system and anything related to it including the throat, sinus, nasal cavites and the pores of the skin.

The most commonly used points and their locations are:

(Please consult the above picture with the locations described here)
  1. Lung 7 - Radial side of the forearm, in a depression between two tendons, behind the bony bump of the styloid process under the thumb.
  2. Lung 10- The center of the first metacarpal bone of the thumb in the soft tissue of the thenar eminence.
  3. Large Intestine 4- Between the first and second metacarpal bones and just off of the center of the second metacarpal bone.
The large intestine 4 area also can encompass two other points, which are called Lin gu and Da bai all 3 of those points can be manipulated at the same time by rubbing them with the thumb of the opposite hand, as can the other two points listed above.

 Massaging these points on both hands for a few minutes a day, multiple times a day can help reduce sore throat symptoms and help prevent a full blown cold or flu to occur.  Gently rubbing the points till the skin is red is a good indication that a therapeutic change was made.

I hope this has been a helpful article and remember to please visit your local acupuncturist to boost your immune system or to over come that cold a bit faster this fall and winter season. Thank you for visiting Acuthink

George Koromilas Lic. Ac.
Pan Soma Acupuncture in Manchester, NH

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