February 10, 2017

By  Steve Hoffman

OK, everyone has their kids back to school and the routine has set in giving everyone a breather before the holiday season. You know what else is back? Colds! Sniffling, sneezing, stuffy noses, headaches, these things are starting to walk through my door with people attached to them! Did you know that the cold and flu viruses are always around it’s just that in the winter we are in close proximity to many people, with the windows closed, breathing recirculated air? This sets our kids and us up for the cold and flu season. 

Now is the time to pay attention to and strengthen your immune system. How? Make sure you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated, get fresh air, even when it gets colder, exercise and get a few acupuncture treatments along with a customized herbal formula! You can also boost your immune system by massaging the group acupuncture points that I list below. 

Immune Points

li-10These points are located in the area of Large Intestine 10 and 11. If you bend your elbow at about ninety degrees and find the outside of the line that is the crease of your elbow, Large Intestine 11 is located here. If you slide down towards your hand, Large Intestine 10 is located two to three finger widths down. Using two fingers, one on each point, if you slide your fingers about a quarter of an inch towards your elbow, you will find some tender spots especially, if your immune system is run down or you are getting sick. Daily stimulation of these spots will give your immune system a good boost. 

Gallbladder 20 (GB20)

GB 20Named Feng Chi or Wind Pool is located at the back of the neck. If you locate the base of your skull in the middle of the back of your neck and run your finger over the muscles immediately to the sides of the spine, your fingers will drop in to a depression and the point is located there. Among other things, this point is good for the flu, common cold and stuffy nose. If you read my blog The Top Five Acupuncture Points For Headaches you also know that it is good for headaches. Diseases were thought to enter the body through the exposed back of the neck and stimulating these points can not only help when you get a cold but it can help prevent you from catching one (and wear a scarf as well!!). 

Governing Vessel 14 (GV14)

gv-14Named Da Zhui or “Great Hammer”, this point is located along the spine, in the space between two vertebrae. If you start from the base of your skull and run your fingers straight down, typically the first bone that you feel in your seventh cervical vertebra, the point is located just below this vertebra. This point is indicated for the flu, common cold, cough and asthma. In fact, if you move out, about a fingers breadth from GV14, there are two points named Ding Chuan or “Stop Asthma” that are good for coughs, so massaging this whole line is great for stopping coughs and building immunity. 

Lung 7 (LU7)

lu7Lie Que or “Broken Sequence” is located just above the wrist, on the side of your forearm. With your wrists facing up, it is on the outside of your arm, about three fingers above the wrist crease. The point is indicated for headaches, cough, asthma, and sore throat among other things. It is also a “command point” for the head and neck, areas that are commonly involved in most colds/flus. 

SCM Points

stomach-meridianOK, so this is not one point but a collection of points along the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles in your neck. If you go right behind your earlobes, there is a bone that is part of your skull that protrudes down. This is where your neck muscles attach. If you follow those muscles down and around to the front of your neck, they attach to the right and left of midline. Three different meridians run through this area with many points located in the region. By massaging these muscles in a downward direction, you will stimulate these points which will help build immunity. The action enhances lymph drainage and will help clear you out if you do have a cold. Alternating heat and massage is a great way to get the most out of it. 

Eating right, staying healthy and coming in for maintenance treatments will help keep your immune system in great shape for the coming months and if you do catch something acupuncture has been shown to dramatically reduce the severity and duration of cold and flus!

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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