The CDC recently declared this year's flu outbreak a nationwide epidemic, and just when it seems that the outbreak has reached it's peak, Austin hospitals report they have not seen a steady decline in cases yet. The flu season is not expected to taper off until March and with lower than usual vaccine effectiveness, it's not a bad idea to consider how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help save you from the flu virus.
The best way to treat disease is to prevent it. If you've been lucky enough not to catch the influenza virus yet, then do something to boost your Qi, or immune system now. Chinese herbs such as Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis), Huang Qi (Astragalus), and Ban Lan Gen (Isatis root) may be used in formulas. Not to worry if you think you're too late, though. If you begin noticing symptoms of the flu, such as fever, muscle aches, sore throat, or extreme fatigue, then an anti-viral formula like Gan Mao Ling can be taken to help alleviate severe symptoms.
Acupuncture is another important tool for preventing and treating the flu. It helps rebalance energy, regulate Qi, and stimulate the immune system, and when paired with herbal medicine, it has demonstrated an ability to not only reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection, but also shorten the length of time one is ill. If you get sick with the flu, do not wait to start acupuncture treatments. Getting treated in the early stages may help eliminate the influence of the virus.