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Acu in Practice: Spring Symptoms

Welcome to acu in practice! Did you know that acupuncture is the all-natural “night-time, itchy, sneezy, so you-can-get-your-rest medicine?!” TCM places great importance on maintaining harmony with the external environment. Sudden changes in weather and season change can disrupt this harmony, leading to clinical syndromes such as allergies, asthma, and susceptibility to upper respiratory infections. We are in the peak of Spring which is the season of Wind. Common observations show us that weather is less predictable, with more shifting in the Spring. These factors make Spring a difficult time for the body to stay in harmony with the environment.

Wind typically invades the body through the skin or the nose. Not surprisingly, many of the syndromes we see in people and pets during this time show up with sneezing, nasal or sinus congestion and itching. The nose in TCM is the opening to the Lung, making coughing, bronchitis and asthma symptoms more prevalent as well. Wind also attacks the body causing disruption of the pores. In TCM pores are directly related to the integrity of our Wei Qi or initial immune defense. The Lung also plays a role in distributing Wei Qi. Thus, upper respiratory “infections” or the common cold are able to invade more easily. For patients who have presented annually for seasonal allergies, it is best to fortify their Wei Qi using herbs, food therapy and acupuncture prior to the season change and during Spring. However, much can be done to alleviate symptoms once they occur using TCM and acupuncture alone or in combination with Western treatments.

Acupuncture points for Clearing External Wind, nasal congestion, and cough:

LI 4 – Clears wind, especially from the face and nose, plus regulates Wei Qi

LI 20 – nasal congestion, sneezing

LU 1 – cough, immune regulation

LU 5 – cough, hives

LU 7 – eliminate External Wind, sinusitis, rhinitis, acute cough, regulates Wei Qi

GV 14 – clears Wind, itching

GB 20 – clears Wind, good for itchy ears (internal or external)

Yin Tang – sinus congestion, sneezing

BL 2 – expels Wind and Heat from the eye

GB 1 – clears Wind and Heat from the head and five sense organs, pruritis

Applying acupoints and herbs specific to the patient’s TCM pattern and history will result in more comfort and better rest for the pets and their people too, so everyone can have a good night. Buona notte!

This post was created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.


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