By Danisha Bogue, L.Ac. - March 4, 2024
Categories: General

If there is anything that the Covid epidemic left us with, it’s the impression that viruses are lurking around every corner. That makes finding safe and effective ways to prevent and treat them crucial at this time of year. Western Medicine can be somewhat frustrating when it comes to viruses like the cold and flu because we’re often left feeling like there’s not much we can do about them. Sure, you can wash your hands and there are medications that can help you manage the symptoms, but even those medications don’t help you get well any faster (plus they can come with a slew of side effects). 

Luckily, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers some alternative approaches to both the prevention and treatment of viruses, focusing on fortifying the body’s resilience and promoting internal harmony. 

So how does that work? 

First things first, Traditional Chinese Medicine revolves around the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”), the life force coursing through our bodies. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, maintaining a harmonious flow of Qi is pivotal in preventing and treating illnesses, including viral infections. When Qi experiences disruption or weakening, it can create the perfect environment for viruses to flourish. 

Got it. So how do I get my Qi flowing harmoniously to stay healthy?

Excellent question. Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Strengthen Your Defensive Qi: Your Defensive Qi is the energy that serves as a shield against external pathogens (including cold and flu viruses). There are several Traditional Chinese Medicine practices that can help you strengthen your Defensive Qi, like acupuncture and herbal medicine. 
  • Eat Well: This is one area where Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine align – eating a balanced diet can help you stay healthy and prevent you from catching every virus that comes around. Specifically, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends foods like ginger, garlic, astragalus, and medicinal mushrooms can help elevate the immune system and bolster overall well-being. 
  • Mind-Body Connection: No, it’s not just a crunchy buzzword. Traditional Chinese Medicine acknowledges the connection between the body and the mind. Participating in activities like meditation, tai chi, and yoga can lower your stress levels. And lowering your stress levels can strengthen your immune system. So pay attention to your mental state!

That all checks out. What happens if it’s too late, and I’ve already caught something though?

Don’t worry! We’ve still got you covered. 

  • Herbal Medicine: Herbal remedies are definitely a secret weapon in our arsenal for treating viral infections. Tailored formulas of various herbs are design to address the specific symptoms and imbalances that are leaving you feeling miserable. Some powerhouse antiviral herbs include honeysuckle, forsythia, and astragalus. 
  • Acupuncture: Serving as the cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is number one at restoring the flow of Qi. Delicate needles, strategically inserted into specific acupuncture points, aim to recalibrate your body’s energy and ignite the immune system. 
  • Cupping: By using glass cups to create suction on the skin, cupping is able to stimulate your blood flow. It’s fantastic for purging toxins, enhancing circulation, and helping to alleviate viral symptoms. 
  • And More Eating Well: Yup, diet is still important. You should steer clear of foods that contribute to dampness or phlegm. The particulars depend on exactly what kind of virus you have and what the symptoms are, but in general it’s a good idea to avoid shellfish, heavy fatty foods and meats, vinegars, alcohol, and sugar. And broth-based soups and rice, as well as warm liquids are a good idea for everyone with a cold or flu. 

By concentrating on fortifying your body’s natural defenses, restoring balance, and addressing the root causes of your illness, you’ll be better equipped for sustaining optimal health. While you should use Traditional Chinese Medicine to complement conventional medical care, incorporating these practices can help keep you feeling good. Schedule your appointment today to get your personalized recommendations!

Be well.



This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.