Can acupuncture help long lasting cough approximately 7 months?

Q: I have had a cough now for about 7 months. I've been to the doctor several times, have taken antibiotics and had blood tests and xrays - nothing showed up.

A:  We are assuming that you have had all of the investigations which are available. The one you have not mentioned, and which is another quite frequent cause of a persistent cough, is a hiatus hernia or other stomach-related problem which leads to acid reflux. This can also be a cause of a persistent cough, along with a post-nasal drip and asthma.
 
If none of these has been identified as a cause, or even if they have, there may be some merit in looking at acupuncture treatment. There is not a great deal of evidence for the treatment of coughing, but this is mainly a reflection of the many different causes of coughing and the difficulties of designing a trial which generates meaningful results. Persisitent coughing has certainly be a symptom recognised within traditional Chinese medicine, and if it appears alongside other symptoms and alongside the diagnostic evidence which a trained practitioner will find using Chinese medicine techniques, there are a number of clearly defined syndromes which offer treatment protocols to address the underlying patterns.
 
Even where there is no recognised syndrome, it is important to remember that in its earliest forms Chinese medicine was asymptomatic, i.e it treated the patient as a whole based on the diagnostic evidence and not necessarily with regard to what they reported. In this way the treatment could truly be said to be unique. The underlying premise was symptoms only appear when the system as a whole is out of balance, and because of the internal patterns of energy flow, a symptom may not necessarily arise where the actual problem lies. The skill and art of the practitioner is to go to the root of the problem and once this is treated, there should be an improvement in the symptoms.
 
We would recommend that you get the stomach checked first, however, to see if this is the cause because this may offer rapid treatment solutions in conventional medicine. However, we still believe it would be worth your while talking to a BAcC member local to you to see if they feel they could offer you help, because most of the conventional solutions suppress the symptoms rather than clear them, and if there is an option which aims for a restoration of normal function this may be worth trying.  
 
 

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