Melbourne's Trusted Team for Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

Regain Health with Acupuncture for Post Viral Recovery

As you are no doubt aware, infectious respiratory illnesses are not a new thing… and neither are the lingering and debilitating symptoms after the illness.

Many people suffer from the long-term consequences of colds, flus AND COVID-19. 

The problem is the main focus is usually on the severity of the initial symptoms…

… not the often long journey of ‘recovery”. 

In this article we will show you how we help the rehabilitation following a respiratory infection.

But first let’s look at the symptoms…

Depending on the body’s constitutional makeup, symptoms will vary… everyone’s situation is unique.

Here are the more common symptoms presented:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhoea
  • Poor memory
  • Tinnitus
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Fever
  • Decreased stamina for exercise
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Neurological symptoms

What’s worse, the symptoms can sometimes persist for months. 

The infection can damage the lungs, heart and brain… thus increasing the risk of long-term health problems1

This is what has come to be known as long COVID-19. 

Long COVID-19 symptoms may persist for longer than 4 weeks after diagnosis…

…they involve many organs and systems. 

Unfortunately Western medicine has no clear understanding on the treatment for a full recovery.   

Let’s walk you through how acupuncture can help with recovery.

How does acupuncture help with COVID recovery?

For years, Chinese mainland hospitals have included Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine…

…standard procedure, integrated within the hospital settings.

And so it was no different during the pandemic…

Chinese herbal medicine was used to reduce the severity of symptoms and  speed up recovery2

Prescriptions for herbal medicine are based on patients presenting symptoms.. focusing on the root cause of the presentation.

Not all patients experience the same group of symptoms, thus prescriptions differ.

Inflammation from the infection has overwhelmed the body…

… the bodily systems have been thrown a curve ball and no longer work.

This is where Acupuncture has been shown to engage the immune system and it’s cells… significantly reducing inflammation3.

In clinical trials Acupuncture was shown to modulate the nervous system…

…to be able to control immunity and have a protective effect on the internal organs4

The study shows benefit for for long term respiratory and cardiac symptoms such as:

  • asthma
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath 
  • and irregular heart rate

Acupuncture was also shown to improve lung and heart function5,6

Acupuncture improves fatigue and insomnia through immunomodulating mechanisms,7… thus helping chronic fatigue that is experienced by long haulers

Described by some to be one of the more debilitating symptoms that lingers, is the brain fog and fatigue. 

Following a significant immune defense response, the body is in a state of deficiency… 

… it struggles to restore function to all of its systems. 

And when this demand is not met, the body will lack energy

Acupuncture for loss of taste and smell

A reduction or total loss of taste and smell has been prevalent in post viral infection. 

Most people will have these senses return to normal on average of 8 days. 

But, a subset of people will continue to experience long term changes… often also not responding to conventional Western medication. 

Post viral recovery from the loss of smell and taste can be facilitated with Acupuncture treatments. 

Research has shown that acupuncture for covid smell disorder is effective for treating:

  • loss of smell
  • altered smell perception
  • distorted sense of taste 
  • and loss of taste8

Previous studies have shown that Acupuncture prevents damage to cells and glands of the head and neck9.    

The points used can vary. 

Acupuncturists use local points on the face as well as points on the body… these points correlate to the nose and mouth region. 

Some loss of taste acupuncture points include:

  • GV-16 (Fengfu)
  • GV-20 (Baihui)
  • LI-20 (Yingxiang)
  • LU-7 (Lieque)
  • LU-9 (Taiyuang)
  • ST-36 (Zusanli)
  • KD-3 (Taixi)
  • DU-24 (Shenting)

Chinese herbal medicine treatment for long haulers

There is no specific COVID-19 herbal formula. 

While there are herbal prescriptions that treat respiratory, neurological, digestive and immune conditions. 

As mentioned, Chinese herbal medicine will reflect the individual symptoms of each patient…

… it works very well alongside conventional medicine and any Western medicine medications taken. 

Chinese herbal medicine is able to regulate the immune function… it decreases the mass amount of inflammation that may be lingering10,11

More specifically, it is able to address the individual’s constitution… 

…and get to the causative factor that is preventing the body from recovering. 

Treatment for post viral recovery

We offer both telehealth and/or face to face consultations as well as Chinese herbal medicine delivery…

In Chinese medicine we treat the root cause of your body, not just the presenting symptoms… supporting the body to bring itself back into health. 

In effect we shorten the often too long ‘ journey of recovery’.

Anxiety, stress and depression can also be limiting factors to your body’s healing. 

We also consider the psychological impacts of a viral infection… returning back into society and daily activities.

And that happens within the very first consultation with one of our experienced practitioners. 

From there a personalised treatment plan so you can get back to doing the things that you love. 

Our practitioners have been managing patients with post viral recovery for many years now… particularly within the last 2 years during the pandemic. 

We get it!

We look forward to seeing you back on the road to recovery.

Research References

  1. COVID-19 (coronavirus): Long-term effects. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Retrieved 11 January 2022, from
  2. Traditional Chinese medicine used to treat 85% of COVID-19 patients. (2020). Retrieved 11 January 2022, from
  3. Zhao, Y.X., He, W., Jing, X.H., Liu, J.L., Rong, P.J., Ben, H., Liu, K. and Zhu, B., 2012. Transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation protects endotoxemic rat from lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012
  4. He, W., Shi, X.S., Zhang, Z.Y., Su, Y.S., Wan, H.Y., Wang, Y., Yu, X.C., Zhu, B. and Jing, X.H., 2020. Discussion on the effect pathways of preventing and treating coronavirus disease 2019 by acupuncture and moxibustion from the regulation of immune inflammatory response. Zhongguo Zhen jiu= Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion, 40(8), pp.799-802
  5. Chai, X.S., Wu, W.Y., Deng, H., Zhou, Y.S. and Zhao, Y.J., 2008. Treatment of 24 cases of chest pain following lung cancer by balancing acupuncture therapy. Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science, 6(6), pp.363-365
  6. Zhang, W.P., 2007. Effects of acupuncture on the pulmonary function and heart rate variability in different state of bronchial asthma. Zhen ci yan jiu= Acupuncture research, 32(1), pp.42-48
  7. Xu, Y.X., Luo, H.S., Sun, D., Wang, R. and Cai, J., 2019. Acupuncture in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome based on” interaction of brain and kidney” in TCM: a randomized controlled trial. Zhongguo zhen jiu= Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion, 39(2), pp.123-127.
  8. Vent, Julia, Djin-Wue Wang, and Michael Damm. “Effects of traditional Chinese acupuncture in post-viral olfactory dysfunction.” Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery 142, no. 4 (2010): 505-509.
  9. arcia, M.K., Meng, Z., Rosenthal, D.I., Shen, Y., Chambers, M., Yang, P., Wei, Q., Hu, C., Wu, C., Bei, W. and Prinsloo, S., 2019. Effect of True and Sham Acupuncture on Radiation-Induced Xerostomia Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open, 2(12), pp.e1916910-e1916910
  10. Ren, Y., Yao, M.C., Huo, X.Q., Gu, Y., Zhu, W.X., Qiao, Y.J. and Zhang, Y.L., 2020. Study on treatment of” cytokine storm” by anti-2019-nCoV prescriptions based on arachidonic acid metabolic pathway. Zhongguo Zhong yao za zhi= Zhongguo zhongyao zazhi= China journal of Chinese materia medica, 45(6), pp.1225-1231.
  11. Song, Y., Yao, C., Yao, Y., Han, H., Zhao, X., Yu, K., Liu, L., Xu, Y., Liu, Z., Zhou, Q. and Wang, Y., 2019. XueBiJing injection versus placebo for critically ill patients with

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Sustain Health
Sustain Health is a multidisciplinary, wellness clinic located in South Melbourne, Australia. We believe good medicine is about looking at the whole being, treating the person and keeping them well. We view each patient as an individual affected by their unique lifestyle, diet, environment, emotions and attitude. Every individual’s health needs a tailored approach to achieve better and sustainable medical solutions. Sustain Health currently offers its clients: * Fertility * IVF Support * Acupuncture * Chinese Medicine * Chiropractic

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