Pulmonary fibrosis will become one of the complications of COVID patients. It is clinically observed that most patients have different degrees of post-inflammatory pulmonary fibrosis when discharged from the hospital. The post-inflammatory pulmonary fibrosis of severely ill patients is particularly significant. Therefore, the rehabilitation of discharged patients need to be paid attention to by medical practitioners.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that yang deficiency is closely related to pulmonary interstitial fibrosis, and proposes that the essence of the disease is a mixture of deficiency and excessive, yang deficiency and coldness are the root cause, phlegm stagnation and blood stasis as its initial manifestations.
The novel coronavirus pneumonia is classified under “dampness with cold condensation” in TCM. Cold and dampness are considered as pathogens of yin, which can easily damage the yang energy. Considering that the disease location is mainly in the lungs, then if the yang energy of the lungs is weak, the vitality of the lungs will become impaired, and will lead to disease formation, from deficiency can lead to excessiveness, then the transforming function of yang energy will become deficit. The Qi becomes inadequate to perform its function in distributing the body fluids efficiently. Body fluids then start to accumulate and become congested into turbid phlegm. The more it will hinder the yang energy movement with cold condensation, leading to abnormal flow which will cause blood stasis. Actually, we can see here, it’s from deficiency leading to excessive condition. Yet in this situation, it will aggravate much further, considering the turbid phlegm and blood stasis are known to be as yin pathogens, it will then further damage human yang energy with cold coagulation. Such lingering and reciprocating condition will make the disease difficult to heal.
The pathogenesis of novel coronavirus pneumonia is complicated, and the treatment objectives must be targeted on the elimination of symptoms and treating at its root causes. The strategy must be the warming method to replenish its yang energy as its main objective, at the same time to eliminate the phlegm and promoting blood circulation for yang deficiency with cold coagulation are the root cause of this disease, as the saying: “need to replenish when there is deficiency and apply warming method to treat coldness.” What is important and the main point here is not just applying heat to induce energy for dispersing coldness, but also heat application is suggested to treat phlegm turbidity and blood stasis. Therefore, the warming method is selected and moxibustion application is the best and first choice for the treatment of this disease.
During this plague or pandemic, moxibustion gives promising results, especially in the treatment of post covid symptoms for those patients during recovery period. Moxibustion can play a more important role in the fight against “pulmonary disease”. Moxibustion can warmth and stimulate the acupuncture points, which has the functions of warming yang energy to dispel coldness, clearing the meridians to promote blood circulation, strengthening and escalating yang to save life from depletion, and for detoxification. Furthermore, advanced modern research has concluded application of moxibustion obviously will improve and has shown immunoregulatory effects.
Recommended acupoints are: Dazhui (DU14), Gaohuangshu (UB43), Zusanli (ST36), etc.