There are so many great studies on the proven effects of acupuncture. What you may not know is acupressure works just as well without the needles. What’s nice about this is it’s something that you can do yourself and it’s also non-invasive (if you have a mild fear or phobia of needles). It’s not only useful when you have a cough, cold or any other health problem, but as a way to prevent disease and stay in optimal health.
The study that showed how acupressure was just as effective as acupuncture was conducted on cancer patients suffering from nausea during radiotherapy. Half of the 200 patients undergoing radiation treatment received traditional acupuncture with needles penetrating the skin on specific points. The other group received a simulated acupuncture instead, with a blunt, round placebo needle that merely touched their skin.
Results showed that 95 percent of the patients in both groups felt that the treatment had helped relieve nausea, and 67 percent had experienced other positive effects such as improved sleep, brighter mood, and less pain. Furthermore, both groups felt considerably better than a separate control group that received no acupuncture of any kind.
The treatments were performed by physiotherapists two or three times a week during the five-week-long period of their radiation treatment.
Whenever my kids get a cold or cough, acupressure is my first line of defense. And typically, with a few acupressure sessions and some other natural remedies, it goes away.
Here is a great Traditional Chinese Medicine protocol I use for overall health and to stop a cough in its tracks.
Step 1: Tap, press and massage the center of your chest on the breast bone using the pads of your fingertips. Tap gently and then use small, circular massaging motions all around the sternum/breastbone.
Step 2: Use the same tapping and also circular massaging motions starting at the the breastbone and moving your way to the periphery/arms. Repeat about 10-20 times.
Step 3: In the fleshy part directly under the collarbone, use pressure and massage from the center to the beginning of the shoulder. Spend extra time directly under the centermost area of the collarbone, as well as where the collarbone meets the shoulder.
Step 4: Press and massage the palm of your hand between your first and second fingers, all around the fleshy part and along side the finger bones. Massage up to two minutes in this area.
Step 5: Repeat all of the acupressure points as necessary to stop the cough. Points can be massaged as frequently as you can tolerate.
Step 6: Tilt your head down and grab the back of your neck with both hand massaging the entire neck with special attention to the points just above and on either side of the spinal protuberances. This point is known as Ding Chuan which relieves wheezing and asthma.
Step 7: Press the point in the hollow at the centermost base of your neck, below your throat (or adam’s apple if you’re a man) the point called Heaven Rushing Out and helps with a dry cough.
Step 8: A foot massage can work wonders for a cough. To keep this really simple—massage the whole foot. Push at the bottom of the foot directly under and around the ball of the foot, but also massage from the heel to the toes. I recommend massaging your feet with a warming oil like sesame oil to make it even more therapeutic and relaxing. You won’t believe how good giving yourself a foot massage can feel until you give it a try. Of course, if you have a loved one willing and able to give you a foot massage, that’s always an added plus.
Need more help fighting your cough? Try these yoga poses for seasonal colds.