Treating chronic cough with acupuncture and Chinese herbs has a long tradition in China, as well as elsewhere in Korea, Japan, and the countries of Southeast Asia. In recent years, treating chronic cough with the traditional Chinese medicine has slowly begun to gain acceptance in the West.
When Cough Doesn’t Go Away
It began with a simple sore throat many weeks ago. It quickly progressed to coughing that would sometimes keep you up at night. Your incessant coughing and hawking to clear your throat would sometimes distract your colleagues while you are working in a quiet office.
To your embarrassment, fits of coughing would sometimes come up when you’re in the middle of a presentation or an evaluation with your boss. You have consumed many glasses of warm lemon juice with honey, as well as cough medication prescribed by your doctor. Your cough, however, simply would not go away.
If you have been coughing incessantly for eight weeks or more and it wouldn’t budge no matter how much water or cough medicine you take, then you might have a chronic cough.
A chronic cough can be caused by some health conditions such as postnasal drip, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and pertussis. It can also be caused by smoking and the consumption of medication known as ACE inhibitors (captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, etc.). But it can also be a sign of a more serious illness that can turn life-threatening if ignored.
If you’re suffering from a chronic cough and you find that mainstream medicine has not been very effective in treating your condition, then it’s time to explore an alternative yet effective treatment.
Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard about traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and Chinese or you’ve heard it from long ago, but you’re still on the fence about it. Today we’ll explore how traditional Chinese medicine can help relieve your chronic cough.
Chronic Cough and Chinese Herbs
If you have been to a specialist because of chronic cough and you’ve taken a lot of medication but your doctor still can’t find the source of your cough, then it’s time to consult with a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner like Baolin Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. Unlike mainstream doctors who examine the symptoms to target the affected organ and produce a diagnosis, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner will conduct a more holistic examination to come up with a diagnosis.
When diagnosing the cause of chronic cough and to be able to provide a proper prescription, a herbalist will conduct a thorough examination to find out which of the 12 primary organs are imbalanced and whether the yin and yang energies are in tune with each other. They will also check if there are bacteria, fungi, and viruses need to be removed from the system. The examination will usually take an hour or more.
After diagnosing the patient, the herbalist will then prescribe a list of herbs that the patient needs to take to relieve a chronic cough. Many herbalists also have the herbs stocked in their facility, so the patients do not need to a separate herbalist to buy their medicine. Some of the herbs that are effective in treating chronic cough include:
* Codonopsis root or dang shen
* Cordyceps carcass with fungus
* Chinese yam or shan yao
* Mume fruit or wu mei
* Aster or zi wan.
Other Chinese herbs that are effective in relieving other types of cough include:
* Stemona root
* Lily bulb
* Thunberg fritillaria bulb
* Red tangerine peel
* Reed rhizome
* Perilla fruit
* Apricot seeds
* Ginkgo leaves
* Tangerine peel
Patients will need to come back to the herbalist’s office at least once a month for their next consultation. Each case is unique so the length of treatment may vary from one person to another depending on the severity of the case.
Some patients experience relief from their symptoms after several weeks, while others may need to take Chinese herbs for several months or more.
Chronic Cough and Acupuncture
Acupuncture can be used along with Chinese herbs to treat chronic cough. Treatment of chronic cough also begins with an extensive diagnosis by the traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.
But instead of prescribing herbs, the acupuncturist will target the organ that is the root of the problem by inserting very fine stainless needles into various points in the body. The number of needles the acupuncturist will use depends on the patient’s age and sensitivity, as well as the types of illness the patient is suffering from.
The length of treatment also varies from one patient to another, depending on the severity of the case. Those who have chronic condition will need to come back to the acupuncturist’s office for several weeks before the symptoms finally clear up.
Some will have to go to the office for weekly treatment, while others only visit the acupuncturist every two weeks or so. After the treatment, patients should come back to the acupuncturist’s office for seasonal treatment.