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3D medical animation coronavirus structure

One of the key takeaways from the report is that, as the first wave of the reported outbreak of illness has settled, the core of the advanced stages of the disease in the short-term appears to be a lung infection (pneumonia).

Last week I came across a special report from the frontline of the alleged new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. It gives very insightful details as to what has been happening there, and what is likely to happen here in the US and the rest of world.

One of the key takeaways from the report is that, as the first wave of the reported outbreak of illness has settled, the core of the advanced stages of the disease in the short term appears to be a lung infection (pneumonia).

Similar to the SARS coronavirus virus of 2002-2004, the alleged coronavirus of 2019 (COV-ID19) can quickly cause pneumonia in certain people, which can be fatal especially in people with weakened immune systems, pre-existing conditions, poor general health, or malnourishment.

Over the course of the outbreak in Wuhan, the report also discusses how important acupuncture treatment has been. For those that don't know, unlike here in the US where acupuncture is isolated from other forms of medicine, in China it is fully integrated within the Chinese healthcare system. Most major hospitals in China have an acupuncture department, and admitted patients have the option of being treated with Western medicine or acupuncture or both as is deemed necessary and appropriate. 

Following admission into Chinese hospitals with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) due to the alleged COV-ID-19 virus, patients that opted to receive acupuncture treatment described experiencing a noticeable short-term improvement of their symptoms (see below), with some of the most common mild symptoms decreasing significantly or resolving entirely.

Even though in most cases the effects of acupuncture treatment didn't last long, the immediate temporary relief felt by many patients was significant.

After acupuncture treatment, many of those people deemed to be infected with the alleged CoV-ID19 virus were able to breathe again and they responded better to other types of treatment. Most importantly, patients receiving acupuncture reported feeling mentally and emotionall invigorated and filled with hope that they could overcome the illness.

COVID-19 Presenting Signs & Symptoms

According to the report, patients infected with the alleged COVID-19 virus mostly complain of the following signs and symptoms first:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore or itchy throat
  • Chest pressure/ pain
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Diarrhea or constipation

The report also includes information from two case studies involving a total of 237 subjects admitted into two separate hospitals 10 miles apart in Wuhan during January 2020 with confirmed diagnosis of the alleged COVID-19 virus. The following is the summary of presenting signs and symptoms:

Presenting Signs & Symptoms (advanced stages)
Fever 83-97%
Dry cough 59-82%
Fatigue 70%
Male 54-68%
Pre-existing conditions 51%
 Muscle and joint pain 35%
Shortness of breath 31%
Confusion 11%
Headache 8%
Sore throat, runny nose, chest pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting 1-5%


Additional important details:

  • Major complications appeared during hospitalization, such as acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), bilateral pneumonia (75% in one of the studies), arrhythmia and shock.
  • Most of the patients in the two studies received antibiotic and antiviral treatments, however the medication currently available is ineffective.
  • More than half of studied cases had pre-existing chronic illness such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular illness and malignancy cancer.

Manifestation of Alleged COVID-19 Disease: Damp-Cold Toxin Obstructing Lung

The report suggests that according to acupuncture's basic theory of disease, the presenting signs and symptoms of the alleged COVID-19 viral infection points to invasion of Damp-Cold Toxin, which easily turns into Phlegm stagnation and Heat toxins obstructing the Lung.

In acupuncture, the causes of infectious diseases and how these manifest are commonly described in relation to the external environment, specifically the climate. For example, if a disease shows signs of unremitting fever and sweating, it is generally believed to be caused by external pathogens that thrive in hot environments. But if there is a fever with chills and little or no sweating, it is considered to be caused by external pathogens that thrive in cold environments. And if there is signs of mucus, pus, or joint pain, it is considered to be caused by Dampness.

In the case of COVID-19, the alleged virus has manifested with signs of Damp-Cold, including causing a lot of mucus production in the lungs that is not expectorated, joint pain, chest pressure, shortness of breath, fatigue, and fever with chills. Not surprisingly, here in the US the alleged COVID-19 virus appears to be thriving in the wet and cold environments of the northeastern part of the country where the humidity is high (90% or above) and the temperature is cooler (40-60º). This region of the country has very similar weather patterning as in Wuhan, China, where the COVID-19 outbreak began.

As the disease progress, it transforms into Phlegm that gets trapped inside the lungs and generates Heat toxins. These are the signs of the advanced stages of the alleged COVID-19 disease, including signs of pneumonia, sepsis, fever, unproductive barking cough, shortness of breath, etc. Phlegm is considered a sticky type of Dampness, and as it becomes trapped inside the lungs it turns into a glue-like substance. As the pathogen gets trapped in the interior and multiplies, the body produces a stronger inflammatory response that results in severe fever and sweating (Heat). 

The disease first invades the Taiyang level (the outer protective layers of the body), and quickly penetrates to the Taiyin level (the level of the Lungs). Those with underlying deficiency of Qi (life-force) and Blood are most susceptible.

From the Taiyin level the pathogen can quickly penetrate deeper into the body to the Shoayin level (the level of the heart), causing cardiac related complications including arrhythmia, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), or cardiac arrest ( acute heart failure). 

My Initial Thoughts: Let's Not Miss the Point

The real power of acupuncture lies in its ability to help maintain functional health and wellbeing over a long period of time. It is important not to overlook this fact as the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe.

Acupuncture is once again showing it is as effective and relevant today as it has been in the past. We can go back over thousands of years of written documents and find similar evidence that shows acupuncture has always been a viable treatment in the face of some of the most serious infectious diseases throughout recorded history in China.

Classical Chinese acupuncture texts such as the Shang han lun (傷寒論), Jin kui yao lue (金匮要略), and Wen bing tiao bian (温病条辨) continue to prove to be timeless contributions to medicine. These are as valuable today as they were hundreds, and even thousands, of years ago. The concepts presented in these texts not only continues to be valuable and relevant to the modern practice of acupuncture, but also to millions of patients worldwide that seek natural relief from illness.

But yet despite it being used this way throughout history into the present day, acupuncture is not fundamentally equipped to excel as a system of treating acute and time-critical infectious diseases. On the contrary, acupuncture excels as a system of wellness and the prevention of disease by promoting longterm functional health.

Sure, acupuncture has and will continue to provide a certain degree of benefit for some individuals during the current wave of the CoV-ID19 outbreak. But with time-sensitive diseases, acupuncture will not be the best option because it works best when received consistently over a long period of time.

The real power of acupuncture lies in its ability to help maintain functional health and wellbeing over a long period of time. It is important not to overlook this fact as the first wave of the COV-ID19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe.

As the authors of the report indicate, acupuncture has merely only been a part of the process of recovering health for many of those people that have been infected, and alone it will not be able to cure the advanced stages of this particular disease. Therefore they recommend prevention as the best approach for dealing with COVID-19.

This serves as a reminder of the famous phrase from the classical 2000-year-old acupuncture text, the Huangdi Neijing (黄帝内经), that states, "Treating disease after it has begun is like digging a well after one has become thirsty." Acupuncture has always understood that prevention is the foremost and most effective form of treatment of all diseases. Let's not miss the point!

About the Author

authorRene M. Rodriguez is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and board licensed acupuncturist with 20 years experience in alternative natural medicine. He's in private practice in Los Angeles, CA, speciliazing in digestive disorders, skin conditions, infections, environmental illness, and mind-body health and wellness. For more information, please click here.

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