Utilizing Acupuncture Channel Palpation in a Case of Post Viral Fatigue & Difficulty Breathing
Updated: Jun 20
A female in her 30's came to the clinic with fatigue following viral infection. The illness began as a case of unusual back pain, followed by fever the next day. She experienced sore throat, cough, bronchitis with difficulty sleeping, tightness in her chest along rib spaces 2-4 and around acupuncture point region lung 1and lung 2 (near the pec insertion), and difficulty breathing. After a few days, she was prescribed antibiotics, which aided in her recovery.
3 weeks following the infection, she continued to have shortness of breath, tightness in her chest, and fatigue with stress and exertion. After work, it was common for her to get into bed and sleep for 10-12 hours. However, the fatigue persisted. Given her signs and symptoms the first channel inspected would be the lung channel.
According to the Nei Jing symptoms of the lung channel include "cough, wheezing, pain in the region between the clavicle and shoulder blade (trapezius) and chest fullness." Examination of the lung channel revealed tenderness and nodules particularly on the left side. Treating the lung channel in this case would have helped, but it was not the main channel responsible for her symptoms.
In fact, there are 3 other channels that pass through the lung organ and influence a person's breath quality. These channels include the kidney channel, the liver channel, and the coronary vessel (pericardium) channel.
Palpation of the kidney channel was unremarkable, her liver channel, however, had diffuse nodules throughout the lower leg, while the pericardium channel along the inner arm was extremely tender and swollen. Examination of the front gathering points showed more tenderness at the pericardium, acupuncture point Ren 17 (sternum level with the 4th rib space) instead of the lung 1 and lung 2 region.
Both the liver and pericardium channels promote the free flow of circulation throughout the entire body, by opening the circulatory pathways. If a person is a constantly stressed out, the liver and pericardium systems cease to function optimally. Because of her work, the patient was under constant stress.
Treating these channels produced an instantaneous and dramatic result. She was able to feel the channel pathways as described in the Nei Jing as it ran from the armpit through the middle of the arm and to the middle finger. More importantly, she was able to take full breaths as her chest released and breathing became less restricted. This was the first time she has been able to breathe fully after the infection. After needle placement,the front gathering point Ren-17 was immediately checked, and no longer remained tender. Upon follow-up 1 week later, her energy returned and her breathing was restored to Pre-Covid condition.