Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs

Effective in treating colds, flus, allergies and asthma

By Dr. Megan Marco, printed in the Mystic River Press & Westerly Pawcatuck Press, September 2009.


As the weather gets colder, we start to prepare for the cold and flu season.  Seasonal allergies and allergies from dust, mold, and pets occur.  Asthma can flare up with the change in weather, as well as sinus infections, sinusitis, common colds, and respiratory infections.  Many people are used to taking care of these symptoms with their medications and inhalers, but wouldn’t it be nice not to put these chemicals in your body?


One of my early patients was a man who had years and years of sinus infections.  His insurance covered sinus surgeries and years of different medications, and he said that none of these had helped.  Although skeptical, he then decided to try Acupuncture with me.  After only a few Acupuncture treatments and taking Chinese Herbal tablets specifically prescribed for his symptoms, his sinuses opened and he did not have any more sinus infections.  He could not remember his last winter without a sinus infection.  When he saw the amazing results of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, he could not believe that his health insurance would cover all of the surgeries and pharmaceuticals that he had taken, but they had never recommended Acupuncture nor would his insurance at that point cover Acupuncture.  He was so happy that he had taken the initiative to get Acupuncture and Chinese herbs and wrote to his insurance company to share his story.


With Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, which includes Chinese Herbs, we look at the root cause of the problem.  By creating a change in the root cause, we are able to boost the immune system and prevent colds, illnesses, and allergies before they happen, as well as treat colds, illnesses, and allergies once they do occur by accelerating the healing.


Here are some things that you can do to stay healthy:


1.  Keep your shins, neck, and back warm.  As we enter into autumn, it becomes windier.  In Chinese Medicine we say that wind can invade the body, causing illness.  Expressions like “I got a cold” or “I got a chill and then I got sick” all relate to what we call an External Invasion of Wind-Cold.  The areas where wind can invade the easiest are the shins, back of the neck, and lower back so it is important to keep these areas protected.  Acupuncture helps the immune system to have energy or Wei Qi (pronounced Way Chee) to fight bacteria and viruses that take advantage of the body’s weakened defenses.


2.  Be prepared with Chinese Herbs.  Three types of formulas that everyone should have in their medicine cabinet:

  • Yin Chiao San, Ilex, or Gan Mao Ling – for the initial signs and symptoms of a cold – sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, runny nose.  Ilex can also be taken if you have been around someone sick to zap bacteria and viruses.  These formulas treat influenza, tonsillitis, and the common cold
  • Bi Yan Pian --  a phenomenal herbal anti-histamine, to open the sinuses and relieve sinus symptoms even due to air pollution.  Bi Yan Pian has no side effects or drowsiness.
  • Forsythia – when the illness has gone deeper into the sinuses, Forsythia acts like an herbal antibiotic, antiviral, and antimicrobial, without the digestive negative side effects of an antibiotic, plus the herbs bring in the clean-up crews to clean out the sinuses and reduce inflammation.


3.  Acupressure points you can do: 

Lung 1 is excellent to prevent asthma and to open the lungs when an asthma attack or wheezing is occurring.  Lung 1 is located just below the clavicle or collar bone in the deepest area near the shoulder and should be pressed on firmly to help the lungs to open and help the person to breathe more deeply.  You can also press on this point yourself, and kids can easily learn how to use this point.

Large Instestine 4, also called LI 4, is the most common point used for Acupuncture and Acupressure to treat colds.  LI 4 is located in the most tender spot in the web between the thumb and index finger.  This is a great spot to massage when you have a cold and is good for stress relief, too.


4.  Take a hot bath to induce a short-term fever.  Ahead of time, you can boil some ginger for 15 to 30 minutes and then pour this ginger and water into your bath.  The invigoration and medicinal properties of the ginger water can help you feel better quicker.

5.  Eat some nice warm soup, just like grandma used to say.  Green onions, fresh ginger, and chicken are excellent ingredients in the soup to help sweat out the cold.  We also carry a soup mix of Chinese herbs that help to boost your immune system and fight colds, it tastes good, and you can eat the herbs!  Eat foods that are full of good nutrition especially warm foods and soups. 

6.  Avoid sweets and stimulants like coffee.  When you are sick, the sugars feed the pathogens allowing them to spread and aggravate the condition.

7.  Get adequate rest.

8.  Take a vacation from stress -- schedule in time to relax and come in for a treatment, schedule in time to have fun by yourself and with friends and family.

9.  Come in now for an Acupuncture Appointment and/or Herbal Consultation to boost your Wei Qi and immune system to prevent catching a cold, to prevent allergies, and to treat the root cause of allergies or asthma.  See a Licensed Acupuncturist who has training in herbs to prescribe the herbal formulas that are right for you.



Dr. Megan Marco trained in Western sciences as well as Oriental Medicine.  Her background, knowledge, and intuition make her an effective doctor, helping people of all ages to heal.  She studied premed and Neuroscience at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Holistic Medicine and Ayurveda in India, and achieved her Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.  She has advanced studies in Pain Relief, Fertility, and Pediatrics.  She studied in advanced Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine in Nanjing, China with Dr. Huang Huang and her favorite style of Acupuncture, the Balance Method, with Dr. Richard Tan of San Diego.  Dr. Marco’s greatest joy is helping her patients and friends on their paths towards health and contentment.