SHA Magazine Natural Therapies

The therapeutic effect of acupuncture on sore throats

SHA Wellness Clinic
September 5, 2023

Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the treasures we have inherited from wise ancient civilisations. Acupuncture is one of the tools that have been successfully incorporated into modern life because of its ability to treat many symptoms and diseases in a non-invasive way, without side effects and with very good results.

Acupuncture works by inserting fine needles through the body’s energy channels to harmonise the flow of energy that can be disrupted by problems such as insomnia, stress, digestive disorders, and some infections.

It has also been found to be effective in the treatment of almost all types of pain, whether functional, such as digestive disorders or colic, or musculoskeletal, such as contractures or joint inflammation. It is also useful for headaches and pain caused by chronic or acute illnesses.

The WHO recognises the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving pain and protecting people’s health and has drawn up a list of diseases and symptoms that can be treated with this tool with good results, according to the scientific evidence that is available.

Pharyngitis or inflammation of the throat or pharynx is one of them. It is a condition often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. It can cause discomfort, pain, or hoarseness and difficulty in swallowing or speaking. Most sore throats are caused by the viruses that cause the common cold or flu. In rare cases, the pain is caused by bacterial infections.

Pharyngitis can be chronic and acute. Chronic pharyngitis usually develops from recurrent acute pharyngitis, which does not heal; infections come and go within a week. It can also occur due to chronic inflammation caused by alcohol and tobacco abuse or by talking or shouting too loudly. In contrast, the acute version of pharyngitis is inflammation of the throat caused by common viruses.

The main symptom of this condition is a sore throat, but there are also other secondary symptoms, such as pain that worsens when swallowing or speaking, dryness of the throat, fever, a hoarse voice, and swollen glands.

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that pharyngitis occurs when the function of the lungs, stomach, and kidneys are weakened. In these circumstances, if external agents such as cold, wind, or rain enter the body, the body does not have enough resources to protect itself and the virus replicates in the throat and causes inflammation.

Some acupuncture techniques have been shown to be effective in relieving the inflammation and pain caused by these infections. If you have acute pharyngitis, treatment is much quicker, whereas a chronic process will take longer. In both cases, acupuncture has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms and improving quality of life, although the treatment times vary a bit.

A study published in the journal Science Direct has explored the efficacy of acupuncture in relieving tonsillitis, and the results showed that in most of the patients studied, treatment of tonsillitis with classical Chinese acupuncture managed to control the main symptoms, including odynophagia and tonsil hypertrophy.


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