Respiratory problems are another area where Chinese herbs can sometimes obtain excellent results [see research on Chinese medicine and COPD and research on Chinese medicine and cough] (although, as in all health conditions, the longer the problem has persisted, the longer treatment may take). Records of successful treatment methods for symptoms such as sensations of tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, cough, shortness of breath and sinus problems stretch back to 210AD, starting with the first clinical handbook of Chinese medicine, the Shang Han Lun (Discussion of Cold Disorders — learn more). Of its 113 formulas, we still use over 100 in daily practice.
Sinus and hayfever [see research on Chinese medicine and nasal allergies] may seem minor, but can often be quite debilitating. Herbs to inhale are used to clear the head, then sipped to break up the phlegm. Acupuncture too is very effective, as the research linked above shows.
Common cold and ’flu [see research on Chinese medicine and colds and ‘flu] are both preventable and treatable with herbs (again the earlier the better).
If you can’t afford to be sick, get it treated – don’t just suffer at home. Prevention is easier – ask your practitioner for advice about what to do when you have that very first inkling that you have “caught something.”
If you find yourself “catching something” very often, the first thing to do is stop going out in the morning with wet hair. A long-standing observation in Chinese medicine has been that evaporation from the nape of the neck leads to a physically localised drop in temperature, and this temperature differential invokes a series of responses that result in a lowered immunity to local pathogens. We can also give some specific herbs to help, and teach a Chinese point percussion technique that one can use with daily stretching and exercise.