Acupuncturist Questions Coughing

How can acupuncture help in treating my loud cough?

I have a really loud cough, mainly at night. I'm not really sure where it's coming from though. I went to my primary last week, and he said that it could be something in the air since my chest looks clear on the scans. When looking up remedies, one site said acupuncture can help? How can acupuncture help treat this weird cough?

20 Answers

I would need to do a complete history and physical to adequately answer your question. There are a number of medical
conditions unrelated to your lungs that can cause one to cough at night, some serious and some not as serious such as GERD, aka acid reflux. There are lung conditions like asthma that cannot be seen on xray and only result in a cough, more at night. Your primary should assess for all possibilities. Adding an acupuncturist can help with symptoms, but it is essential to know why a chronic cough is happening.
Acupuncture helps many types of ailments. How this works is acupuncture helps to get the "chi" (energy) moving, which brings balance back to your body. All ailments are based on an imbalance.
There are many different reasons for chronic cough such as infections, irritations, allergies, sinus problems, silent reflux, certain medications, etc. Your chest scan was an important first step to eliminate any visible problems in your respiratory system.

An acupuncturist takes a history along with a tongue and pulse reading to determine the "underlying pattern imbalance" such as Lung Qi deficiency, Lung Yin deficiency, etc. The principles of Chinese Medicine guide the acupuncturist in diagnosing and treating a condition, even when the cause is not obvious.
With acupuncture, we use traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory and its methods to address treating coughs. With TCM, we can treat the meridian(s) of related organs of cough, like the lungs, and have a pleasant prognosis. We also seek herbal supplement to help reduce and ease cough, similar to lozenges, but more traditional and effective herbs. Hope this helps answer your question.

Live happy,


Acupuncture treats and balance your energy which stops the coughing. If it is from allergy as you said from air, acupuncture treatment also balance your immune system. so it will not go crazy when you face allergens.

It also seems you have yin deficioncy sign, acupuncture and herbs helps

My suggestion is giving acupuncture and herbs a try. You may get a lot of benefits from the treatment.

Jonathan Fang
Acupuncture helps a cough, generally. My experience for your type of the cough needs to review your current Rx with your pharmacy or pharmacist. Some prescriptions can trigger an uncommon cough.
Acupuncture can help the body fight off illnesses by enhancing the body’s natural immunity.
Yes. If you can use Acupuncture and natural Chinese herbs together. You will feel better.
It helps by detox as well as by stimulating certain nerve fibers to help brain regulate your respiratory system.
Acupuncture is quite successful at treating coughs, no matter what the cause. It's definitely worth a visit to your local practitioner. He or she may check into whether you suffer from allergies or whether there is mold in your house, or even if you suffer from digestive issues like GERD (which is often aggravated by lying down and can manifest as a cough). All of these issues are treatable with acupuncture. I am impressed that your GP is knowledgeable and open-minded about other modalities like this.
Glad you asked!
Yes, it can be help. You have nothing to lose to try it. Our way of finding the cause of the problem is totally different from the conventional medicine and some times, it is very hard to make you understand it.
Acupuncture can definitely help. It works great for cough, which is often something other modalities can’t touch. Herbs and acupuncture treatment help to clear heat from the lung, which is often responsible for the cough.
Well, this is complicated to answer without digressing in to a lot of Chinese medical terminology that will come across like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

If your chest x-ray is clear, the problem is most likely allergy related. There are several studies out showing acupuncture's effectiveness in the treatment of allergy. Speaking more generally, several studies have also pointed to acupuncture's ability to bring things down a notch when the immune system goes in to over drive.

To sort of skirt around the mumbo-jumbo issue - cough in acupuncture is considered a kind of 'rebellion' or 'counter-flow'. The type and quality of the cough (loud, soft / dry or with expectoration) tells us what is rebelling or counter-flowing. That information helps us to arrive at a treatment.

I've treated a lot of persistent cough and allergy patients. I typically get good results unless there is something else going on (like lung infection, which you've already ruled out).

Best regards,

Jeff Rippey, L.Ac.
There are a variety of issues from a Chinese medical point of view that could be creating this cough - things like a digestive problem, a heat problem (from diet or outside weather), a cold issue (from diet or outside weather), dryness, allergy, etc. For the treatment, the practitioner would need to know the cause.

On a more generic answer, the acupuncture can help because it can open the muscular tightness that is inhibiting deeper breaths that the cough is forcing out. The acupuncture can help replenish fluid circulation thus moistening the lungs and relieving the cough. The acupuncture can "pull out" the heat/cold or dry factors. Additional treatment strategies could include dietary suggestions (like eating pears) or using cupping treatment, gua sha treatment, etc.

When western medicine sees nothing, we usually have the tools to help because we see differently.
Acupuncture has a different understanding of lung and other organ and bodily functions. In instances like this, our theories can make sense of what doesn't to western medical doctors. In your case, it is unlikely that there is something in the air because if that were true, it wouldn't be worsening at night, the cough would remain constant. This suggests to us that there is an imbalance. Our methods of diagnosis will determine what that imbalance is and our treatments work to correct it. Once this is corrected, proper lung function is restored and the cough is alleviated.
We increase the immunity of our body and let ourselves heal.
Acupuncture is based on something entirely different than western medicine - namely qi (energy). Therefore, our approach to health problems is based on getting the qi to go in the direction it's supposed to go and getting it to balance. I could go into Kidney qi deficiency allowing Lung qi to rise upward instead of downward, but your eyes would probably start glazing over and roll back in your head. Suffice it to say that we can help with all kinds of weird stuff that leaves western docs scratching their heads. Go for it! What have you got to lose but your cough?
Hi! It’s very hard to say without examining you of course, but acupuncture can certainly determine the cause (according to eastern medicine) and treat accordingly.
Acupuncturists by carefully placing very thin needles on acupuncture points can help your lung Qi (chi). Also cupping helps to detox and clear your lungs. Laud coughing is also a dry coughing. Adding more raw onions to your diet moisten your lungs. Certain essential oils are also beneficial to moistening your lungs. Thanks
Thank you for your question regarding your loud cough.

According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), cough can be caused by a variety of issues or conditions related to environmental, physical or emotional imbalances. There are several questions an Acupuncturist Physician may ask related to your cough and lifestyle. Such as, is your cough productive or dry, the color of mucus, prevalence of the cough, the
time of day and your emotional state in order to get to the root cause of your cough. Acupuncture can definitely help your loud cough. Find a licensed Acupuncture Physician in your area to get an appropriate evaluation and treatments that may resolve your cough.

Sincerely, yours in health!!