Acupuncture and Colds and Flu
How acupuncture can help
Evidence from randomized controlled trials suggests that electroacupuncture (Xiao 2007), acupuncture (Kawakita 2008; Kawakita 2004) and acupressure (Takeuchi 1999) may help relieve the symptoms of the common cold…
Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms of colds and flu by:
• enhancing natural killer cell activities and modulating the number and ratio of immune cell types (Kawakita 2008);
• reducing pain through the stimulation of nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors (Pomeranz 1987);
• reducing inflammation through the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);
• increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids the dispersal of swelling.
Do Japanese Style Acupuncture and Moxibustion Reduce Symptoms of the Common Cold?† Does Japanese Acupuncture and Colds and Flu?
The initial scores of the common cold incidence of the two groups were almost the same. Figure 1 shows the results of Kaplan–Meier survival analysis of CCD. The survival probability curves clearly demonstrate that the acupuncture group (solid line) showed higher survival (who did not catch a cold) than that of the control group in the initial 2 weeks and then fell to the same level with the control. The results also demonstrated that the onset of cold systems was delayed for about 2 days in the acupuncture group compared with the control. These results indicate that acupuncture treatment produced a preventive effect on the appearance of common cold symptoms. The total number of days that the subjects had common cold symptoms in the acupuncture group was lower than that of the control group, showing that acupuncture stimulation was curative as well. The FTLE 1999 was conducted as a pilot study and we could confirm that acupuncture had a positive influence on symptoms of the common cold using CCD and CCQ. We used the data for sample size calculation for the next multi-center trials and did not analyze the data in more detail because of the small number of the subjects.