As any parent knows, young children and infants tend to catch every virus that is going around. Most of the time, they recover quickly from these ailments, but sometimes a cough can linger for days or weeks. Since infants are unable to verbalize their cold symptoms, they can do little to communicate their discomfort other than cry and wail, keeping worried parents awake for nights on end.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers children more susceptible to infections because their lungs, kidneys, and spleen, and of course, their immune systems, are still underdeveloped. Colds and persistent coughs are regarded as linked to these systems, and the acupressure points for children with coughs are those that help to remove imbalances in these channels and restore the flow of energy through the body.
What Causes Persistent Cough In Children?
Traditional Chinese Medicine distinguishes between six types of cough in children: wind-heat, wind-cold, heat phlegm, damp phlegm, yin deficiency, and qi deficiency. Effective treatment begins with diagnosis. Selecting the best acupressure points for children with cough will depend on correctly identifying the kind of cough. This is determined by the color of the sputum, the sound of the cough, and other symptoms the patient presents.
The most common forms of cough seen in children are wind-heat coughs and heat phlegm coughs. Wind-heat coughs are characterized by sore throats and blocked sinuses, along with fever, chills, and headaches. Children with heat phlegm coughs, on the other hand, will have sticky yellow phlegm and suffer from more violent coughing fits. Heat phlegm coughs often make children feel thirsty and lead to a flushed complexion.
Chronic coughs, with weak coughing and watery phlegm, may be due to qi deficiencies in the lungs. These energy deficiencies weaken the immune system and leave children more susceptible to infection. If your child is often tired and short of breath, pale, sweaty, and cold, and has a persistent weak cough that they just cannot shake, they may be suffering from qi deficiency cough.
Is Acupuncture Effective For Cough?
In clinical trials, acupuncture has outperformed conventional drug therapy for the treatment of chronic coughing following a respiratory infection. One controlled trial conducted in China compared acupuncture with methoxyphenamine treatment. The researchers employed acupoints on the Lung and Stomach meridians in accordance with TCM treatment principles. The treatment of chronic coughing depends on expelling wind to release pathogenic influences and dredging the lungs to clear toxins and phlegm from the respiratory system. Acupuncture and herbal plaster therapy at these particular acupressure points for cough in children were found to improve patient outcomes for children with chronic coughing receiving standard drug therapy.
In a meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled clinical studies comprising 929 patients with cough-variant asthma, acupuncture was shown to enhance clinical effectiveness rate, relieve symptoms of cough, phlegm, and diaphragmatic congestion, and improve lung function.
What Are The Acupressure Points For Children With Cough?
Acupoint: LU-10 (Other Names: Lung-10/Yu Ji/Fish Border)
Activating the Yu Ji, as it’s known in Chinese, expels heat from the lungs and eases congestion in the sinuses. This point on the lung meridian has long been regarded as one of the best acupressure points for fever and colds.
The LU-10 acupressure point is indicated for coughs with yellow or green phlegm and also provides a number of benefits to the throat. One of the primary acupressure points in the hand for cough and cold for kids, LU-10 can be used in the treatment of throat infections, fever, cough, and asthma.
You can find this lung meridian point on the fleshy part of the palm, below the thumb, on the radial aspect of the midpoint of the first metacarpal bone. Apply firm pressure here while breathing slowly.
Acupoint: LU-5 (Other Names: Lung-5/Chi Ze/Cubit Marsh)
Stimulation of LU-5 helps to improve the flow of air through the lungs. Known as the Chi Ze in Chinese, it’s one of the primary acupressure points for cold and for cough in children.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Chi Ze is used to clear heat from the body, relax the sinews, and expel phlegm from the lungs, making it an ideal point for treating cough and sore throat, as well as asthma and infantile convulsions.
The Chi Ze point is located on the elbow crease, on the radial side of the tendon of the muscle biceps brachii, when the elbow is slightly flexed. If your child is sick or coughing and cannot sleep at night, try applying gentle pressure to this point on the arm. Massage the point for a few seconds, relax, then repeat. Do the same for both arms.
Acupoint: LU-6 (Other Names: Lung-6/Kong Zui/Maximum Opening)
Another one of the excellent acupressure points for cough located on the lung meridian is the Kong Zui, or “Maximum Opening.” Stimulation of LU-6 may help to improve circulation, release heat congestion in the body, and provide relief from a sore throat. This point is used primarily for dry coughs.
The LU-6 acupoint is located on the inner part of the forearm, three cun below LU-5, or roughly halfway between the wrist crease and the elbow crease. Apply firm pressure on this point to relieve your child’s symptoms and ease their cough. Encourage your child to breathe in and out slowly as you press for ten seconds at a time.
LU-6 has also shown effectiveness in reducing swelling and inflammation in the arms and is often selected for needling in acupuncture for tendonitis.
Acupoint: LU-7 (Other Names: Lung-7/Lie Que/Broken Sequence)
In traditional acupuncture, issues with the lungs and breathing are related to emotions of sadness or grief. When you are upset, it’s difficult to take a deep breath, and your lungs may feel congested. Acupressure for cough in kids employs points on the lung meridian to help children breathe more easily.
LU-7, known as Lie Que in Chinese, is a versatile point used to treat conditions related to the lungs and throat, from asthma and bronchitis to cough, congestion, and allergies. As the lung channel passes through the stomach, as well as the throat and lungs, this point is also useful for digestive issues such as constipation.
Since LU-7 is located on the inside of the arm, above the wrist, it’s also regarded as an important point in acupuncture for wrist tendonitis. To find it, interlock your thumb and index finger of one hand with those of the other—LU-7 is found in a depression between the sinew and the bone on the forearm, along the edge of your index finger. Massage this point to give your child relief from a persistent cough and sore throat.
Acupoint: ST-25 (Other Names: Stomach-25/Tian Shu/Celestial Pivot)
The first of our acupressure points for children with cough not located on the lung meridian, ST-25 functions as a regulator of the spleen, the stomach, and the intestines. Stimulation here helps to dispel dampness and damp-heat from the body, making this an effective point for treating cold and flu symptoms caused by internal dampness.
Although it is located on the stomach, around one-and-a-half finger widths out from the navel, ST-25 is also an effective point for acupuncture for swollen ankles.
Once you’ve located ST-25, massage the point in a circular motion, bringing warmth to the stomach.
Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)
Activating the acupressure points for cough in children on the stomach meridian can help to clear phlegm and expel dampness and cold from the body. When qi energy becomes deficient, the flow of blood and fluids become stagnant. Activating ST-36 helps to stimulate this flow of energy, providing relief from congestion and coughs. Its ability to remove stagnant fluid accumulation also makes ST-36 useful in acupuncture for eye bags.
Stimulating the Zu San Li, as it’s known in Chinese, will support lung function, relieving your child’s cough and making them breathe a little easier. You can find it below the kneecap, around one finger-width from the anterior crest of the tibia. Apply firm pressure with the thumb.
Acupoint: ST-40 (Other Names: Stomach-40/Feng Long/Abundant Bulge)
ST-40 is a powerful acupoint for treating conditions caused by wind phlegm. Any illness that leads to a heavy build-up of mucous or phlegm is likely to be eased by activating this point. Stimulation here opens the chest, and the lungs expel dampness and subdue rebellious qi.
This stomach meridian point is also used to balance the fluids in the body and prevent stagnation. It’s considered among the acupressure points for good digestion during menopause, possibly reducing weight gain.
The Chinese name for this acupoint, Feng Long, means “Abundant Bulge.” The name refers to the location of the acupoint, halfway between the bottom of the knee and the ankle, on the front of the leg, where the skin is prominent and raised.
Stimulate this point with your thumb to disperse phlegm and help soothe your child’s cough. Apply pressure for around five seconds each time before release. Repeat multiple times on each leg.
Acupoint: Bl-13 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-13/Fei Shu/Lung Transporter)
One of the primary acupoints used in acupressure for sinus inflammation, Bl-13 is also an excellent acupoint for treating cough in children.
Stimulating Bl-13, known as the Lung Transporter, helps to open the chest and improve lung function. It’s effective for a wide range of respiratory conditions.
The acupoint is found between the shoulder blade and the spine. Warm this acupoint with a towel, then apply gentle pressure for up to a minute.
- LU-10 is indicated for coughs with yellow or green phlegm.
- LU-5 helps to improve the flow of air through the lungs.
- LU-6 improves circulation, releases heat congestion, and eases a sore throat.
- LU-7 treats conditions related to the lungs and throat, from asthma and bronchitis to cough and congestion.
- ST-25 expels dampness and damp-heat from the body.
- ST-36 clears phlegm and expels dampness and cold.
- ST-40 is a powerful acupoint for treating conditions caused by wind phlegm.
- Bl-13, the Lung Transporter, opens the chest and improves lung function.