Clearing Congestion with Chinese Acupuncture

It's that time of year again and everyone including myself is sick. Time to load up on over-the-counter cold medications, extra tissues, Vitamin C's, throat lozenges, hot teas and getting plenty of rest to fight off the winter sniffles. The flu can be very dangerous for an individual with an immunocompromised system such as myself, especially with a medical condition classified as in which my diaphragm is limited, and my coughing ability is nonexistent. If I get a virus with nasty congestion and an associated cough, it could be life-threatening.
EB Forst

It's been two years since I've been sick, the last time being COVID two Junes ago. I am big on the preventative healthcare model and therefore I do a tremendous amount of self-care in my daily routine to keep me healthy. In addition to the usual vitamins, supplements, juicing, following a healthy lifestyle and diet etc., I receive weekly acupuncture in my home every Thursday. I try to never miss it. Yet, even with all my preventative healthcare methods, my ticket was up, and I caught the crud that has been circulating the country the last few months. Because my most feared symptom of congestion was taking a toll on me, I realized I must act fast and attack the bug from every angle. Or I feared if not, I would end up in the hospital with pneumonia, as I have had twice in previous years due to a basic common cold escalating into a more dangerous and life-threatening situation.

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So, it was perfect timing the last few weeks to work with my acupuncturist in assisting me while being so ill looking at how to clear sickness from my body utilizing the ancient form of Chinese Acupuncture. Because the congestion was so thick throughout my sinuses, nasal passages, and ear canals, she utilized a technique she affectionately calls her "cat whiskers". Technically, the Chinese acupuncture point is called Bi Tong, English translation being "penetrating the nose", and its location being junction of the cartilage of the ala nasi and the nasal concha, near the upper end of the nasolabial groove. In layman's talk, these are the points around the nose and sinuses. When the needles are properly placed, twirled around, and left to sit during a session of acupuncture, the result is magic. Congestion clears and the nasal passages can pass air again. In all actuality, it took two rounds of the same treatment to help clear the congestion, but days after the needle treatment, my body begin to heal.

Some might be afraid to put needles in around their face, yet in my experience, these points, with the right licensed practitioner, were fairly painless and the results far outweighed a few seconds of minor discomfort. I was able to avoid antibiotics, and more importantly avert a dreadful hospital stay. By thinking out of the box, listening to what my body needs and embracing an Eastern medicine tradition, I am successful navigating some of my most serious and scary health scenarios. The mind body spirit connection once again prevails.

About the Author - Elizabeth Forst

Elizabeth Forst is a nomad Yogi, world traveler and spinal cord injury survivor. Enjoying the mountain life in Denver, Colorado, she is a doctor of physical therapy with roots based both in Western medicine and the Eastern traditions; understanding the connection between mind, body, and spirit is her ultimate life pursuit. Through her writing and advocacy efforts locally and nationally, she is a beacon of light and a source of positive exploration for others traversing the challenges of paralysis.

Elizabeth Forst

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.