It is well known to the public that acupuncture is used for treating back pain and many other injuries. It is not so well known that acupuncture can also be used to treat many other internal conditions involving all the organs and body systems.
The lungs are no exception. There are many diseases and symptoms associated with lung disorders that acupuncture is used for including cough, wheezing, asthma, shortness of breath and phlegm problems.
Andrew Fraser, an Acupuncture NZ member who specializes in Classical Japanese Acupuncture and practices in Auckland and Hamilton says “Even though I am an accredited ACC treatment provider I see a lot of patients with internal based based conditions and not just injury related problems. In particular asthma and wheezing are probably the most common lung problems that I encounter in clinic“.
Many other people just put up with symptoms like phlegm especially after having tried decongestants, who then just resort to the constant discomfort of having the problem. Traditional acupuncture looks at all the different aspects of phlegm, whether it it is thick or thin, easy to expectorate or difficult and sticky, yellow or white, worse in the day or evening. All these different signs point to a specific diagnosis and hence treatment tailored to that imbalance.
Sometimes lung symptoms can come from another organ. Andrew Fraser says “The kidneys are important to consider in some lung symptoms as the traditional view point states that the kidneys grab the lung energy, so if the kidneys are weak the lung energy rebels and could cause a cough“.
The lungs can also be deficient or excess which needs to be ascertained in the diagnosis. There are many other accompanying signs that need to be considered when establishing if the root diagnosis is deficient or excess. A deficient lung case for example could have a dry, weak and chronic cough with tiredness and a weak voice.
Some people complain that their lungs are sensitive to drafts and cold air conditioning which causes them to cough or wheeze. This can be dues to a number of reasons, one of them being being what is called in traditional medicine, weak wei qi. Wei Qi translates as protective energy and is best understand by visualizing a thin force field just on the surface of the skin. When this force field is weak there is a lack of protection from wind and cold penetrating into the body and can make people more susceptible to catching cold.
There are over 700 acupuncturists through out the country who are members of Acupuncture New Zealand who are trained to treat both injuries and internal health complaints.