July Acupuncture Blog

After suffering from a what I considered a very relentless cold viral attack that could’ve lasted weeks, I thought it would be a perfect time to share how Chinese medicine helped me to greatly shorten my recovery time. Spring is generally the windiest time of the year in the Bay Area as I discovered a couple of weeks ago when I had to spend hours outdoors in the Presidio after carelessly leaving the house without sufficient layers.

A couple of days after being exposed to the blustery cold wind that day for many hours, I came down with intense cold symptoms that I was thankfully able to tame with acupuncture, herbs and cupping.  


In Chinese medicine, a common cold can be diagnosed or classified as either a wind-cold or wind-heat that has attacked the defenses of the body.  The term wind is analogous to the viruses or microbes associated with colds, flus or infectious diseases. Wind is considered the primary factor that can penetrate through the skin and open pores of the body.  According to Chinese medicine, the back of the neck is where the most superficial meridian runs.  Therefore one should be mindful about covering up with proper layers, especially the back of the neck, when being exposed to the often unpredictable wind and cold in San Francisco.   

With a wind-cold, one can experience symptoms such as body aches, more chills than fever, malaise, possibly a cough or itchy throat, clear runny nose,  and no sweating.    Wind-heat symptoms often start with a sore throat, where there is fever more than chills, body aches, malaise, cough and yellow nasal discharge, and more sweating is present.

Acupuncture points are used that strongly support immune function, reduce pain, and aid the body to clear the pathogen.  Cupping is another method which is also used to aid the body’s defenses by pulling out the toxins. Glass cups are gently placed on the skin after creating a vacuum suction seal.  The pressure facilitates the release of toxins out by stimulating fresh blood and oxygen flow to the organs such as the liver, kidney, intestines, lungs, and skin, that are involved with detoxification in addition to the lymphatic system.  Since the blood is being pulled to the surface, there will be some bruising with various discoloration depending upon the level of stagnation, which can last for a few days.  

Thankfully after receiving an acupuncture and cupping treatment at the onset of the worst of my symptoms, I immediately experienced tremendous relief from the cold symptoms and increased energy.  After a few treatments, which also included taking herbal formulas,  I was completely healed of my symptoms and my energy was fully recovered back to 100% more quickly than if I had tried to fight it on my own.  

With renewed energy, I have discovered an even greater appreciation for the 3000+ year old ancient medicine that continuously inspires and empowers me to better help my patients have a deeper understanding and awareness of their health.

In my next newsletter, I would like to further discuss different ways we can maintain the natural order of balance in our lives according to the philosophies of traditional Chinese medicine in order to prevent illness.

For the month of July, Zazen will be offering free community acupuncture every day, as well as the opportunity to schedule a  free 15 minute phone consultation for private treatments.

In best health,

Patricia J. Kim, L.Ac.