Acupuncture for the Common Cold
The common cold is a viral infection that we’re all familiar with. It’s usually harmless, but presents symptoms that can impact on our daily lives, including coughs, sneezing, a congested or runny nose, sore throat, and headache.
Statistics at CDC highlighted that there are millions of cases of common cold across the US each year, with most adults having 2 to 3 colds during this period. However, some people are more prone to colds than others, and can experience them far more frequently. According to research at NPR, the more exposed a person has been to the many viruses that cause a cold, the more immunity they’ll have against those particular viruses. People with a weakened immune system, or less past exposure to common viral colds, are more likely to frequently fall ill.
For people who experience more than the average number of colds a year, preventing the onset of a cold is the best way to avoid getting sick. Rather than treating a cold with over-the-counter medication, many people are turning to acupuncture as a holistic approach to dealing with cold symptoms and encouraging immunity to viral infections.
How Acupuncture for Colds Works
During an acupuncture session for treating colds, a therapist will insert needles into various pressure points, including the space between the eyebrows, the spots on either side of the nostrils, the skin between the thumb and forefinger, and the spots behind the earlobes. Focusing on these pressure points can help relieve blocked stuffy nose, headaches and dizziness caused by colds.
It’s thought that acupuncture can help to reduce cold symptoms by stimulating cells in the immune system to kill harmful pathogens, clearing a cold from the body at a quicker rate. Acupuncture can also increase the ratio of immune cells, helping to prevent the onset of future viral infections.
Additionally, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system and results in the production of natural painkillers and endorphins, which help treat the physical symptoms of the cold, like headache and sore throat. Finally, through decreasing inflammation in the body, acupuncture can reduce swelling in the throat and nose, reducing pain and clearing nasal passages.
Proven Benefits of Acupuncture for Colds
Acupuncture is particularly beneficial in treating colds thanks to its pain-relieving properties. A number of studies have proven the effects of acupuncture for colds, including one 2018 study, which found that acupuncture could promote metabolism circulation, improve immunity, and harmonize qi and blood. The study results concluded that a “significantly positive benefit” is achieved from acupuncture therapy for the common cold.
Another study looking at the effects of acupuncture on the common cold found that of the participants involved, statistically significantly fewer cold symptoms were reported in those who received the acupuncture treatment than those that did not.
The Future of Acupuncture for Colds
There’s still a lot for science to uncover about acupuncture for the common cold, but there’s no denying that the therapy has its benefits. It will be fascinating to learn of new evidence that is uncovered about the workings of acupuncture on cold symptoms in the future.