For over a thousand years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture have been helping people with all sorts of health problems. Here is one example – a very compromised immune system.
37 year-old Bianca* came to the Wholistic Medical Centre in Surry Hills because she had been suffering from recurrent colds and chest infections for the last 3 years. It started after a severe bout of pneumonia which lasted two months. She would be off work and in bed for weeks at a time, many times each year. She had little resistance and was catching everything that was going around. Head colds would become chest infections with lingering coughs and she had to resort to multiple courses of antibiotics over the last few years.
And then there was the fatigue!
A thorough case history revealed that during her teens, Bianca had a virus which was followed by two years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Then a second episode of CFS in her early 20’s which lasted 4 months. Along with the fatigue, she had sore muscles, pains in her hips, insomnia and often felt dizzy.
For 5 weeks before coming in to the Wholistic Medical Centre to try Traditional Chinese Medicine, Bianca had been sick with yet another chest infection. She was now extremely exhausted, a bit breathless when she tried to do anything, her chest ached, she had a post nasal drip and a cough producing some coloured thick phlegm. She was sleeping for over 10 hours each night but was constantly tired and had been unable to work her normal work hours.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine approach is to look at all aspects of health holistically, including current symptoms, diet, lifestyle, the appearance of the tongue and the feel of the pulses, along with pathology testing when indicated. Bianca’s iron levels and thyroid function were normal and eliminated as contributing factors. According to TCM principles the first step was to clear the current infection and resolve her cough and then to strengthen her lungs and immune system, and build up her energy and reserves.
A course of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicines were given over a period of several months. Later on the focus was more on strengthening her compromised immune system, and using some backup herbs at the first sign of a cold or flu virus.
Bianca responded really well and her cough had almost stopped by the end of her first week of herbs and acupuncture, her energy was improving and she was feeling stronger. She was able to work 2 full days at her job and was only needing about 8 hours sleep at night. Within 3 weeks she was back to her full-time work hours and was able to successfully fight off the early signs of another infection, something she had previously not been able to do.
After continuing with traditional Chinese medicine for another couple of months Bianca’s immunity was improving. She was given a different preparation to take at the first signs of any infection or if she had been in contact with sick people. Within a couple of months she was back to her normal energy and health, she was active bike riding on the weekends and able to resist the cold and flu viruses that others were coming down with at work.
*Name has been changed
This is an individual case study for educational purposes. Results obtained by one person does not mean the same can be expected by another. Each person has different life experiences and circumstances which will influence responses.
- Jiang L, Deng L, Wu T. 2013 Chinese medicinal herbs for influenza. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Mar 28;(3):CD004559. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23543533 This systematic review found that most Chinese medical herbs in the included studies showed similar effects to antiviral drugs in preventing or treating influenza. Few were shown to be superior to antiviral drugs. No obvious adverse events were reported in the included studies.
- Xiao Yang Hu et al. 2017 Andrographis paniculata (Chuān Xīn Lián) for symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One.; 12(8): e0181780. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5544222/