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TCM Approaches Lingering Pathogens

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the concept of lingering pathogens refers to the presence of pathogens (microorganisms or other harmful agents) that continue to remain in the body even after the symptoms of an acute illness have subsided. These pathogens can include bacteria, viruses, or other harmful agents that can cause chronic or recurrent infections. A common term for this is long haul.


TCM practitioners believe that lingering pathogens can cause a wide range of health problems, including chronic fatigue, recurrent infections, and autoimmune disorders. According to TCM, lingering pathogens can weaken the body's natural defense mechanisms, known as Wei Qi, which leads to chronic or recurrent infections.

I have treated many people with lingering pathogens from a variety of diseases. The most common one I see is from Mono, and it is affecting people decades after initial infection. Chronic Lyme is probably the most well known in this category. Of course, with the pandemic, I'm seeing an increase in patients with lingering pathogens from that specific virus.


To address lingering pathogens, TCM practitioners use a combination of herbal formulas and acupuncture to clear the pathogens and strengthen the body's natural defense mechanisms. Herbal formulas such as Yin Qiao San (Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder) and Sang Ju Yin (Mulberry Leaf and Chrysanthemum Drink) are commonly used to clear lingering pathogens and boost the immune system (please see your acupuncturist as herbs get very specific and incorrect herbs may do more harm than good).



Acupuncture is also used to strengthen the body's natural defense mechanisms, and points such as ST-36, LI-4, and TH-5 are used to strengthen the Wei Qi and boost the immune system.


In addition to the above, practitioners of TCM also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to prevent re-infection and enhance overall health. This includes eating a diet that is easy to digest, avoiding damp and humid environments, and getting regular exercise.


In conclusion, lingering pathogens refer to the presence of pathogens that continue to remain in the body even after the symptoms of an acute illness have subsided in TCM. These pathogens can weaken the body's natural defense mechanisms and lead to chronic or recurrent infections. TCM practitioners use a combination of herbal formulas, acupuncture and dietary and lifestyle changes to clear lingering pathogens and strengthen the body's natural defense mechanisms under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.


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