The Chinese medical doctors of the past called the Lungs the most tender organ. The reason for that is that the lungs are considered the most external of the internal organs. The Lungs are the organ most exposed to the outside environment. With every breath we take in, the Lungs become exposed to the outside air and the contents of the circulating air.
All parts of the body that are involved with breathing in addition to the lungs are considered to be part of the respiratory system. This includes the nose, bronchi, sinuses, the diaphragm and even the skin, to some degree. Maintaining the health of the respiratory as a whole is important to keep our Lungs healthy.
TCM approaches a person’s health problems within the context of the whole being. If a patient comes in with the western diagnosis of asthma, our job is to translate the symptoms into a diagnosis based on Chinese medical theory. The beauty of TCM is it that treatment of any condition is on a very individualized basis. We have various modalities within TCM to treat patients: these include acupuncture, herbal formulas based on the condition, cupping which can pull toxins out of the lungs to name a few.
Acupuncture or acupressure for Respiratory Issues: Acupuncture helps build or tonify the energy within the respiratory system. This energy is called Qi (pronounced “chi”). When lung Qi is strong and the body is balanced, then respiratory issues rarely become an issue. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow which carries oxygen to every cell in the body. The increase blood flow boosts the immune system, dilates the bronchioles and produces anti-inflammatory agents that help improve breathing by relaxing the muscles.
Acupuncture Points for Respiratory Issues:
- Kidney 27 – This point is located bilaterally on the chest, just below the collarbone. Kidney 27 is used to open the lungs, reduce coughing and encourage full breathing.
- Lung 5 – Lung 5 is located at the end of the outer crease of the elbow, just to the outside of the tendon. This point opens up the airways and the throat, while reducing coughing and wheezing.
- Ren 17 – This point is located in the middle of the chest, midway between both nipples. It is used to open the chest, loosen up congestion, stop coughing and encourage full breathing.