This morning a person who helps out my 84 year old mother told me she was going to get tested for strep throat. She had visited my mother yesterday. This got my attention because for an 84 year old who is partially bed bound, a strep attack is a serious medical issue. This sent me off to review what my treatment options might be. I wanted to get ahead of this if at all possible and if not be prepared to act quickly. I thought all of you might be interested in the process.
Here is a quick look at the theory Traditional Chinese Medicine uses to diagnose and treat these conditions. Simplistically, a cold, flu, bronchitis, etc. is caused by an invasion of something outside of us. One of the fun translations, because of the way it rolls around the tongue, is an “external pernicious influence”. Diagnosis and treatment revolve around how deeply this influence has penetrated the body. Just nibbling around the outside, all one needs to do is increase the level of the immune system. Once the invasions gets past the first line of defense with acute symptoms, it is time to throw it out. If it becomes chronic, which I experienced several weeks ago, a combination of building the immune system and expelling the influence is called for.
The length of time herbal formulas are taken depend on level the “external pernicious influence” has achieved. In the early stages where there are acute symptoms the formula will work or not within a couple of days. If the invasion gets to a chronic stage several weeks of treatment are called for.
Now, back to the treatment of my mother. I will get her started on Gan Mao Ling today as a “just in case” move. There are no side effects and if the influence is thinking about attacking we may be able to repel it before it can establish a foothold. If it does establish itself, i.e. get through the first levels of defense, there are 10 different formulas I stock which may be appropriate individually or in combination with each other. If it enters the chronic stage, i.e you feel bad but you are not really sick, there are another set of formulas which will be effective. In addition to formulas, these conditions also respond to acupuncture, acupressure and Tui Na Massage.
If you get sick or just feel something coming on, call my office. Treatment can vary from a quick consult where you are leaving with a formula in a couple of minutes to a full intake and treatment. Wherever you are, this part of your wellness team is ready to help.
— John Flavin LAc