Recently I received a phone call from one of my patients. She said: “I don’t know how you know these things, but you were RIGHT—I was coming down with a cold and I didn’t even know it! The good news is that my cold only lasted one day, and usually I am sick for 3 to 4 days. Can I book an appointment for my husband to keep him healthy also?”
This is the time of year that everyone is hoping that they don’t get run over by the ‘Flu Truck.’ How did I know that my patient was coming down with something? NO–it wasn’t because I looked into my “crystal ball” to see the future of her health. I simply graphed her and found multiple indications that this may be the case. This led to me asking her if she felt like she was coming down with something. Her answer was: “No, but I have been a little tired lately.”
Her graph indicated to me that she was more susceptible to catching a cold…
Some indications that made me think she was in danger of getting a cold were as follows:
#1: My experience has shown that those with deficiency or splits in the Lung channel are more susceptible to getting sick during flu season.
#2: The Lung and Large Intestine are paired organs which tend to be out of balance when someone has low immunity. The Lung was deficient and the Large Intestine was split…
#3: She hadn’t been eating well, which also adds to someone being more susceptible to a virus. She didn’t come right out and tell me that she wasn’t eating well, but I could tell by the graph. The Spleen was split and the Stomach was excess. When I asked her about this she confirmed that she had been to several holiday parties over the last week.
This is a great time of year to let your patients know that acupuncture can help them boost their immunity. Here is a little bit of ADVANCED AcuGraph Training—from a TCM perspective which includes classic points to remember and herbs to have on hand for your patients.
Split or Deficiency in the Lung channel:
- Lung 7 is the Luo for this channel so it is perfect for balancing splits.
- Lung 7 combined with LI 4 create the perfect pair for promoting immunity.
- I also like to add SP 6 and ST 36 to this combination when I am trying to strengthen someone’s immune system.
Excess in the Lung Channel:
- Often phlegm is the culprit for excess in the Lung channel.
- To get rid of phlegm you want to support the Spleen and Stomach by adding SP 6 and ST 36.
- And then I ALWAYS add ST 40. Peter Deadman says that “ST 40 is the single most important acupuncture point to transform phlegm in the body.” It transforms damp, benefits the chest, and alleviates cough and wheezing.
Phlegm changes as a sickness progresses. Here are two herbal formulas which may be indicated when your patient presents with phlegm. It is good to keep both on hand because the type of phlegm they present with will indicate which formula they need.
Bai He Gu Jin Pian (302 LU)
- Symptoms: Very dry cough, extreme thirst, a sore throat, and dry yellow/green phlegm that is hard to cough up—sometimes there may be blood. Usually they would also complain of night sweats and the feeling of being hot.
- TCM: Lung heat
Er Chen Pian (204 SP)
- Symptoms: Cough, with a lot of whitish phlegm that is easy to cough up, with nausea and possible vomiting, with a tendency toward feeling chilled.
- TCM: Phlegm damp in the middle jiao
Note: As always—check for any contraindications that may be indicated for these particular formulas. This information can be found in your AcuHerb manual.
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst