Acupuncture For Sore Throat

While the weather may be cooling off here in Adelaide, many people’s throats will be heating up.  Children, teenagers, and adults all see an increase in sore throats, or pharyngitis, in the fall and winter.  Thankfully, acupuncture can help:

The Problem: Pharyngitis is the medical term for a sore throat, or inflammation of the pharynx. Although there are a host of reasons why people experience pharyngitis, ranging from smoking to mouth breathing to allergies, the two most common causes of pharyngitis are viruses and bacteria. Once school resumes in the winter, it is a prime time for germs to spread. Increased exposure extends beyond the classroom as students flock to football games, dances and parties – often resulting in a rise of confirmed cases of the common cold, tonsillitis, strep throat and mononucleosis (mono).

Of course, many adults contract these ailments as well, but mononucleosis most often occurs in teenagers between the ages of 15–17. Since teens of this age are frequently dating, mono also goes by the nickname “the kissing disease” because it is transmitted through saliva and mucus. The reality, however, is that mono and the other contributors to pharyngitis are caused not only by transmitting saliva through kissing, but also by such innocuous methods as sharing a straw or simply being in close proximity when someone coughs or sneezes.

The most difficult aspect is that many people carry the virus and bacteria without presenting any symptoms, meaning carriers are unaware of the threat they pose and others don’t know they should avoid close contact with an unknowing carrier. The problem is compounded by the fact that mono has an extensive incubation period of 30-50 days. That means that symptoms you are just beginning to notice could be the result of sharing an elevator ride with someone who was a carrier over a month ago.

Because it is almost impossible to completely avoid these germs, you will most likely experience a sore throat at least once in your lifetime. And when that happens, you will want relief fast. What should you do?

The Solution: It should first be stated that anyone experiencing high fevers, problems swallowing, or symptoms persisting for several days should absolutely be seen by their physician. However, most people experiencing a stand-alone dry, scratchy and/or sore throat tend to purchase over-the-counter medications and tough it out. What they may not know is that acupuncture therapy, combined with plenty of rest and fluids, is a simple and speedy alternative.

The key to restoring the pathways is to address corresponding meridian points; each point serves a different function. Thus, when someone experiences a sore throat, a licensed acupuncturist will typically combine multiple meridian points to remove heat (inflammation), increase moisture (resolving the dry, scratchy feeling), transport phlegm (silencing the often associated cough), and boost the overall immune system.

Even though people experience common symptoms, the cause of the pharyngitis can be different for each individual, as has already been discussed. An acupuncturist will therefore spend some time talking to you before the treatment to gain a better understanding of your personal situation in order to identify patterns which indicate which meridian points to address. Thus, two patients both being treated for a sore throat may receive different acupuncture treatments.

Conclusion:  Avoid paranoia, but do take general precautions when out in public, especially this winter. If you find yourself suffering from sore throat/pharyngitis, contact us at City Acupuncture to schedule an appointment to alleviate your sore throat and give your immune system a boost.

About Geoffrey He

Dr. Geoffrey He graduated in 1998 with Bachelor of Medicine majored acupuncture (Chinese medicine). He then worked as resident in Heilongjiang Province Hospital of China for five years. At the same time he furthered his education and acquired Bachelor of Medicine majored in Clinical Medicine (western medicine).He started his private practice in 2003 in Sydney and then moved to Adelaide in 2006 to pursue his special interest in pain management and fertility studies in combined Chinese medicine and traditional medicine.He has been practiced acupuncture and Chinese medicine for over twenty years treating general conditions with extensive experience in gynaecological disorders and infertility, stress related conditions and facial acupuncture, he is highly experienced in clinical medicine for pain management (Neurological Medicine), gynaecological disorders, fertility assistance (IVF) and cosmetic acupuncture. He is special interest in the area of Post Injury Management and General Practice in Chinese Medicine.Focusing on an intuitive level to suit each individual, Geoffrey's approach is rooted in the strong link between physical, mental and emotional health and the underlying cause of disharmony. Treatment is supported by additional lifestyle advice with an emphasis on empowering patients to achieve a healthy balance in their lives."I was trained in Western Conventional Medicine and Chinese Medicine with over 15 years clinical practicing experience including ten years in Australia, I combine the techniques of Modern Medicine and the art of healing from Chinese Medicine to help people get their natural and healthy life." - Dr Geoffrey x He