Coughing and Acupuncture
A cough can be a conscious, voluntary act or an uncontrollable, involuntary reflex. In the latter case, stimulation of nerves in the larynx (“voice box”) and respiratory tract initiates the entire process. These nerves can be irritated by infections, allergies, cold air, tumors, chemical agents such as smoke, mechanical factors such as dust particles, or by normal body fluids such as nasal mucus or stomach acid. It’s no wonder, then, that so many different things can trigger a cough.
Everyone coughs, and nobody worries about an occasional cough. Many acute illnesses — ranging from hay fever and the common cold to bronchitis and pneumonia — produce recurrent coughs. In contrast, a chronic cough is variously defined as one that lingers for more than three to eight weeks, sometimes lasting for months or even years. Chronic coughing is common, so frequent that it rates as one of the most common reasons for seeing a doctor. In addition to worry about the cause of the cough, patients experience frustration and anxiety, especially if diagnosis and treatment stretches out over weeks, which is often the case. Coughing interrupts sleep, producing fatigue and impairing concentration and work performance
Smoking is a leading cause. Sooner or later, most cigarette smokers develop a chronic “smoker’s cough.” Chemical irritation is responsible — but the same noxious chemicals that cause the simple smoker’s cough can lead to far more serious conditions, such as bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, and lung cancer. The chronic cough is always a cause of concern for smokers. A lingering cough is also a worry for nonsmokers. Fortunately, benign problems are responsible for most chronic coughs in nonsmokers. Benign or not, persistent coughing can cause worry, embarrassment, exhaustion, and more. That’s why chronic coughs should be diagnosed and treated before they linger too long. Dozens of conditions can cause a recurrent, lingering cough, but the lion’s share are caused by just five: postnasal drip, asthma, Gastroesophygeal reflux disease (GERD), chronic bronchitis, and treatment with ACE inhibitors, used for high blood pressure.
|Many cough remedies contain expectorants; compounds intended to loosen sputum, making it easier to clear. Within my years of practice acupuncture treatments are incredibly effective in helping relief lung deficiencies and congestion. The treatments approach acupuncturists utilize are ones that help to facilitate movement and release of sputum and pressure from the pulmonary region. Main points used are along the lung, Urinary bladder, kidney, and spleen meridians. At AOSMI we also utilize the expertise of our PT’s to analyze and figure out how posture and structural anomalies may be playing a part in inhibiting the lungs.
Works cited: medlineplus.org