Resolving Lingering Pathogens for Health Optimisation

Resolving Lingering Pathogens for Health Optimisation

20 Dec 2022

Firstly, a pathogen is a virus, bacteria or other microorganism that causes disease or unwellness to a host. When our body is attacked by an external pathogen, our immune system gears up to fight off the organism. If the body is unable to completely fight off the pathogen, it will remain in the body (or various locations in the body and its tissues) and continue to cause damage in various ways. This is a lingering pathogen. Ancient principles of Chinese medicine leading back to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) and further, teach us that these situations involving lingering pathogens need to be resolved to restore health.

How Do Lingering Pathogens affect the body?

In Chinese medicine, external pathogenic factors are grouped into categories such as heat, cold, damp and wind, which describe the nature of these specific influences and how they manifest in the body. Our body’s first line of defence is called Wei Qi, or defensive Qi, which primarily acts on the surface of the body. This is the level at which the body initially fights the pathogenic influence when it encounters it. If this defence is weak or the pathogen is too strong, it may enter deeper into the body. In many cases, the body’s various systems and immune responses do a good job at expelling or eliminating the pathogens once they enter the body, however in some instances, the pathogenic influence can lodge in the tissues of the body. The deeper the pathogen lodges in the differing layers of the body (of which Chinese medicine describes there are several layers), the harder it will be to expel and resolve, and therefore it can linger, which basically means it stays in a place where it shouldn’t be. Where it is lodged, the body does its best to hold the pathogen in a way that can minimise it creating harm to more vital tissues (such as organs) as a protective measure. As the body can’t get rid of it, it moves it to or holds it in a place in its tissues where it minimises harm to the body (but it still creates harm wherever it is lodged). This provokes an incessant immune response to contest with the pathogen, which can create chronic low-grade inflammation, general unwellness, and sometimes other strange symptoms which can all be very draining on our body and its energy reserves or lead to dysfunction or illness. The symptoms we experience will depend on our general health and constitution and the type of lingering pathogens that remain lodged in the body.
In modern times, we have also identified several other “pathogen-like substances” that should be considered in the lingering pathogen category, as their presence of being held in the tissues of the body lead to a variety of illnesses: 

Various Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi, Single Cell Parasites, Beta-Amyloid, Toxic/Heavy Metals (Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Aluminium, Etc.), Asbestos and other foreign particles (that can be breathed into the lungs and nasopharyngeal area and embed in those tissues), and other toxic substances that may be consumed via the digestive tract or absorbed by the skin and are held in the body’s tissues.

As mentioned, in many cases, the body manages the pathogen, and clears and eliminates it, but there are many cases where it does not. This can be due to the pathogen itself being a pathogen that tends to linger or is very strong of its own nature. Some pathogens, unfortunately, cannot be cleared, but only managed, however, many may be cleared. 

In the recent few years, based on the observations of several practitioners of Chinese medicine, several strains of the viruses and flus currently going around, as well as COVID 19, have had a very specific lingering quality to them, in which they take a long time to clear from the body, leading to lingering coughs, recurrent fevers, sore throats and headaches, long term challenging health complaints, or slow resolution. This has led us to prescribe one of the most revered lingering pathogen formulas in Chinese medicine (Xiao Chai Hu Tang) more during these years than we have prescribed it in any other years of practice to date. If you feel you may need some help in this arena, please book in for a treatment to confirm the suitability of the prescription of this formula or other related formulas for you.

A key factor that may contribute to creating a lingering pathogen is the stressing and or tiring of the body in various ways during its healing process when it is trying to overcome an infection. Examples such as overworking or failing to rest whilst experiencing acute illness are common causes. Other potential contributors include incorrect treatment (taking the wrong herbs or supplements for the condition), overuse of certain medications, a weakened immune system, emotional stress, or other various lifestyle factors.

An indicative sign that someone may have a lingering pathogen is when they say, ‘I haven’t felt well since…’ or ‘my health hasn’t been the same since…’ Often the end of that sentence will hint to an acute bacterial or viral infection that happened in one’s health history.

Common symptoms of lingering pathogens include: 

  • Recurrent infections 
  • Unusual fatigue 
  • Low-grade fever 
  • Allergies or food intolerances (usually a new emergence of these issues) 
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Swollen glands/lymph nodes in various locations of the body
  • Skin rashes
  • Chronic symptoms of an unknown cause 

The most fascinating thing is that some of our patients had moments where things went downhill not just months ago, but up to 5-10 years ago, and with the right interventions, we turned their health around rapidly.

Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help the body in releasing the lingering pathogens. Once the pathogen is expelled, treatments will be geared toward rebuilding and strengthening the body, and the immune system. 

Another important area of focus that we will bring into this article, is the subject of trapped emotions. Different types of somatic psychotherapies have discussed how certain emotions from difficult or challenging moments in life can embed in organs and tissues or create armouring in certain areas of the body leading to changes in physical and psycho-emotional health. Chinese medicine also expands on the different emotions and their connections to different organs, channels, structures and systems of the body. In some cases, stressful events may either lead to emotions trapped in organs and tissues of the body leading to unwellness, or in some cases, the resulting stress affects the balance of the 2 divisions of the nervous system leading to other imbalances (anxiety, sleep and mood disorders and more). Whatever the case, Chinese medicine has a variety of treatment strategies that assist in either releasing trapped emotions from the body and its tissues or re-establishing a balance in the divisions of the nervous system. If you have noticed that your health has declined after specific difficult life events or stressful moments in life where you had to process challenging emotions, we suggest booking in for some sessions, and notifying us specifically about these issues, so we can utilise specific methods to assess which systems, organs and tissues are affected, and then we may proceed in assisting you with clearing them.

Please make sure to get in touch with Peter or Veronika if you suspect that you have lingering pathogens or other similar issue that needs to be addressed, so we can use the powerful treatment methods from the repertoire of Chinese medicine to get you back on the right track. Make a booking.

Lingering pathogen resources for our patients below:

Below, are a variety of resources for our patients addressing a wide variety of lingering pathogens. We prescribe various methods as homework depending on the relevant case to speed the healing of the body. If you are not an active patient, but wish to know if these are suitable for you too, please get in touch: info@tonikahelath.com.au

Shao Yang Category Chinese Herbal Formulas:

Depending on the symptom presentations, we will usually prescribe Xiao Chai Hu Tang or Chai Hu Gui Zhi Tang from the Shao Yang chapter of the Han Dynasty Herbal Classic: The Shang Han Lun (Treatise of Cold Damage). This chapter describes a group of symptoms connected to the syndrome:” pathogen lodged between the exterior and interior” which denotes “lingering pathogens” and explains applications of these formulae to assist depending on the case. It is also known classically as the formula to use for “Strange Disorders,” mainly because lingering pathogen conditions usually have strange symptoms.

Based on our experience, we can prescribe these formulae for a period of 1-2 months, so that the pathogens may be cleared over time. So, if you are on a formula prescription for this category, expect to take it for a while before we take you off it!

These prescriptions are primarily for post viral cases, as opposed to other varieties of lingering pathogens.


Du 16/Feng Fu/ “Palace of Wind” Acupuncture Point Massage for Post Viral Issues:

Keeping to the theme of the Shang Han Lun (Treatise of Cold Damage) mentioned above, the unique discussion that Kiiko Matsumoto (a modern, world renowned master of acupuncture) raised is that this revered herbal classic in fact mentions only 2 acupuncture points in the whole text, with a primary focus on one of them- Du16/Feng Fu/”Palace of Wind” which is located at the top of the neck, under the occiput of the skull, and superficial to the brain stem (which lies deep underneath this point).

To Kiiko Sensei, the fact that this point was mentioned in this revered herbal classic meant that it required some deep investigation. What ensued is a unique protocol of treating this point in all cases where the patient’s health rapidly declined or never recovered after a moderate to severe viral infection or upper respiratory tract bacterial infection. We treat this point in our patients with this presentation during their acupuncture treatments, as a major point to use in resolving this issue. Through our own experience we have found that those with this presentation of lingering infection symptoms- this point will usually be quite sore or tender on palpation, and that can extend to further down the neck (in the Blue Zone in the diagram). 

What we give our patients as homework is to regularly massage (pressing or pinching) the whole blue zone marked in the diagram on themselves for several minutes each day, and particularly where it is sore or sensitive in that area, until it has reached a point where the whole zone is no longer sore or sensitive to the touch (which may take days or weeks depending on the case). Some of the great side effects of this treatment can be clearer thinking and brain power too, especially if brain fog was a symptom of your condition, so give it a go. 

Daily, for a couple of minutes, a few times per day.

Although different to Kiiko Sensei‘s method, we also suggest massaging the GB 20/Feng Chi /Wind Pool points or zones daily (as marked in purple on the diagram) as an addition to the above method, primarily because it is the other recommended point to be coupled with Du 16 in the Shang Han Lun, and should enhance the effectiveness of the protocol.


TH 17/Yi Feng/”Wind Screen” Acupuncture Point Massage for Post-COVID19 Cases:

Master Nagano was a Master acupuncturist in Japan in the 1900’s who over 50 years of practice developed many amazing treatment strategies. 2 of his major apprentices (Kiiko Matsumoto and Tsuyoshi Shimamura), are now renowned masters in the field who teach internationally. These 2 masters delve into the previous teachings of their master and combine it with their own clinical experience/research, as well as crafting their own unique modern treatment strategies.

Coincidentally, both of these masters, unaware of the work of each other, independently identified the TH17/”Wind Screen” acupuncture point as a powerful post-COVID19 treatment strategy to assist those recovering from COVID19. Kiiko Matsumoto, based on the teachings of her master, and based on analysing modern research from Europe regarding how COVID negatively influences the health of the Vagus nerve, experimented using various acupuncture points in the anatomical proximity of a section of the Vagus nerve on the neck (cervical spine region) to positively influence post COVID patients. TH 17 was found to be an effective point in assisting several patients suffering from post-COVID symptoms, and Kiiko Sensei is currently teaching this method internationally.
Shimamura Sensei, during the last years of COVID 19 recalled the Immune-based treatment protocols of his master, and tested them with his post COVID patients, and found that the treatment method of selecting TH 17 and TH 16 were particularly important in these cases also, and has been teaching practitioners on adopting this method to help with post-COVID cases.

For post-COVID cases, we have been treating our patients with these point selections if applicable, and for homework, we recommend simple self-massage on the TH 17 Point.

Pulse (press + release) this point with the tip of your middle finger or index finger rhythmically (1 press per second at 60 BPM) for 1 minute, 2-3 times + daily during your recovery phase. 

For the location, please see our diagram:


Other general ways to influence this “Immune” area which encompasses the area behind the SCM Muscle on the neck:
Lightly massaging areas of tenderness and congestion in the area behind the SCM muscle can have a great regulatory effect on areas of lymphatic/immune tissue in the neck region, and a beneficial effect on the Vagus nerve which lies underneath. This has also been shown to be helpful for those with recurring throat infections, where lingering infections in tonsillar tissue have been trapped. 


The Immune Points on the forearm can also release congestion in the Immune area behind the SCM (mentioned above) and augment the treatment. These points were identified in the 20th Century by Master Nagano (mentioned above). Massaging these points regularly has many beneficial effects. One of the major benefits is increasing your upper respiratory tract’s natural healing abilities by stimulating lymphatic and blood circulation in the upper respiratory tract.


Dr Omura‘s Methods:

Professor Yoshiaki Omura is a genius in the medical field and the field of alternative medicine, acupuncture and electro-therapeutics. A highly decorated MD, Cardiologist, Oncologist, and scientific researcher, Dr Omura has created some fascinating discoveries, and unique treatment approaches.

Dr Omura’s experiments which are meticulously outlined in his Journal (Acupuncture & Electro-therapeutics Research: The International Journal) have assisted him in creating several breakthroughs in treating intractable medical conditions.

Omura has a vast number of unique and effective protocols for a variety of health conditions.

We will note that Omura has a Heavy Metal Toxicity Chelation protocol (Featuring Coriander/Cilantro, Chlorella and Zeolite) for those with significant Heavy Metal toxicity (as Omura cites Heavy metal toxicity as a further reason for the body not being able to clear lingering viral infections), but that protocol is beyond the scope of this article, and very specific to those with Heavy Metal toxicity. If you believe you have this issue, then please book in with us and we can provide you with the details of how to proceed with this protocol.

We list 3 of Dr Omura’s protocols here, that each have various effects on the different types of lingering pathogens:


Dr. Omura’s Optimal Dosage Vitamin D3 Protocol:

Dr Omura’s Optimal Dosage Vitamin D3 Protocol was developed over several years of experiments determining that the application of a precise dosage of Vitamin D3 taken at 8 hours intervals, 3 times in each 24-hour period of the day leads to some very unique physiological changes in the body that lead to optimal health. It was discovered that the optimal dosage for the majority of the population is 400 I.U every 8 hours, unless someone has a very specific reason suggesting they require more or less, such as serious health issues like cancer (require more) or Liver and Kidney issues (require less). Whilst too much Vitamin D3 may lead to negative effects, and not enough can lead to deficiencies, for most people, this suggested dosage is optimal according to Omura. Whilst the scope of the various beneficial effects of the protocol are too numerous to outline in this article, the important thing to know is that various viruses, bacteria, fungi, single cell parasites, Beta-Amyloid, toxic/heavy metals (Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Aluminium, Etc.), Asbestos and other foreign particles (which can be breathed into the lungs and nasopharyngeal area and embed in those tissues), as well as other toxic substances, are excreted efficiently from the body in various excretions such as urine, sputum, etc. whilst undergoing this protocol, leading to this protocol being considered a suitable method of clearing a Lingering Pathogen from the body. It also has a significant effect on improving blood circulation to all body tissues and can be considered an excellent method for general health care, even if someone is not specifically trying to clear pathogens from the body.

The protocol involves taking a moderate dosage (400 I.U) of Vitamin D3, strictly, every 8 hours (totalling 1200 I.U daily). This can be achieved by using commonly available paediatric Vitamin D3 Drops available at most pharmacies, as opposed to tablets/capsules (which have larger dosages), so that the precise smaller dosages per dose may be achieved.

Some examples of daily schedules:

7am (D3-400 I.U), 3pm (D3-400 I.U), 11pm (D3-400 I.U).


6am (D3-400 I.U), 2pm (D3-400 I.U) and 10pm (D3-400 I.U).

An important thing to note is that the 8 hour schedule is important, as the optimal dosage is active for about 7-8 hours in the body, prior to the body requiring the optimal dosage again, so as general advice, if you miss a dosage in the day by accident, then skip it until the next dosage is due(or moderate the dosage times left in the day), as opposed to doubling up, otherwise the properties of what the optimal dosage does in the body will not be activated if the dosage is too high within that period of time, and it may throw the daily schedule out. The aim is to constantly have the body in a state of utilising the optimal dosage (to prolong and maximise the unique effects on the body that it activates) for a sustained period.

Whilst there are several vitamin D3 protocols available out there, some with moderate dosages, and some with massive dosages, and some in between, we have found that this is an excellent protocol for most people and have seen some amazing effects when people are on this protocol. We also feel that it fits with the Chinese medicine principles of balance in the prescription of supplements and herbal medicines, where more is not always better. Whist we think there is no “one-way” out there, and suggest people try various methods, we do suggest you try this protocol for yourself and let us know how it goes.


Dr Omura’s Press-Needle Stimulation of “True St 36” Acupuncture Point Method:

This protocol and its effects bear a lot of similarity to the beneficial effects of Dr Omura’s Vitamin D3 protocol. It was discovered over years of research that this press-needle method had significant effects on the body when the acupuncture point is correctly located.

Dr Omura through his research discovered that the “True St 36”, that has all of the special properties attributed to St 36 (the most famous of all acupuncture points) is in fact the case when it is located right next to the tibial bone, as opposed to 1 finger breadth from the tibial bone as it is stated in common acupuncture textbooks. Therefore, locating it correctly and stimulating it adequately will lead to special physiological effects in the body. 

The protocol involves placing a Press-needle sticker on the point, and having the patient press and release the point with moderate pressure for 200 presses, 4 times per day (eg. morning, midday, sunset, and prior to bedtime).

This is the homework that we usually have our patients do. Alternately, if you can locate the point as specified in the diagram and press and release on this area for 200 presses, 4 times per day even without the press needle, it will have a similar effect (but not as powerful as per when having a press needle on the point). We usually recommend leaving the press needle in place for up to 6 days, and to be removed so it doesn’t become dirty due to being in place for too long, then it can be re-applied at your next acupuncture session.

As is the case for the Vitamin D3 Protocol above, the scope of the various beneficial effects of this protocol are too numerous to outline in this article, the important thing to know is that various viruses, bacteria, fungi, single cell parasites, Beta-Amyloid, toxic/heavy metals (Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Aluminium, Etc.), Asbestos and other foreign particles (which can be breathed into the lungs and nasopharyngeal area and embed in those tissues), as well as other toxic substances, are excreted efficiently from the body in various excretions such as urine, sputum, etc. whilst undergoing this protocol, leading to this protocol being considered a suitable method of clearing Lingering Pathogens from the body. It also has a significant effect on improving blood circulation to all body tissues and can be considered an excellent method for general health care, even if someone is not specifically trying to clear pathogens from the body.

Clearing Inhaled Particles from the Lungs (Trapped Particles in Lung, Bronchial, Naso-phayrngeal and Tracheal tissues):

In 2008, an unfortunate situation occurred in which Dr Omura inhaled various forms of Asbestos and developed severe asthmatic reactions that were almost completely unrelieved by asthma medications and other methods by respiratory specialists. In this case, asbestos particles were trapped in the upper portions of each lung, leading to severe circulatory disturbances, and an inability of this area to absorb any medications, nor return to its normal respiratory function. Through this unfortunate situation, Dr Omura was able to utilise familiar protocols, and to craft new protocols to heal his lung tissue and expel the asbestos from his lungs and respiratory tract. This protocol involved taking an optimal dosage of certain medications, as well as manual stimulation of the Lung Hand representation zones on each hand as well as Laser light stimulation of the Medulla Oblongata- Lung & Cardiac representation zones on the back of the skull/scalp. Rapid improvement ensued, and a complete resolution of the condition was achieved by the removal of the presence of the inhaled particles, which were expelled from the body in Sputum and other excretions over a matter of weeks. This is an example of another rare form of trapped pathogen due to an inhaled physical substance that is trapped in organ tissues and other relevant structures. A very challenging condition that was resistant to all western medical interventions.


By studying Omura’s methods, we have employed a variation of this protocol with patients several times in the last years with success. These were in less severe cases of particle inhalation with various patients suffering from wood particle inhalation, pollen inhalation, and airborne ash particle inhalation, all leading to moderate to severe asthmatic reactions that were highly resistant to standard broncho-dilatory asthma medications.

The variations of Omura’s protocol used either of the first 2 protocols mentioned above (The Optimal Vitamin D3 protocol and/or The true St 36 Press Needle Protocol) to influence the body systemically. Then we combined those foundation methods with manual stimulation of the Medulla Oblongata- Lung & Cardiac representation zones on the back of the skull/scalp as well as the manual stimulation of the Lung Hand representation zones on the middle finger of each hand. The resolution/clearance times of the conditions were all based on the degree to which the self-treatment methods were followed as a daily practice.

The quicker results were obtained through diligent daily adherence to the protocols.

With the mechanical stimulation of the hand and scalp zones, we recommend hourly stimulation of each of these zones for a few minutes, to maximise the body’s activity in clearing. If you have a variant of this condition, please follow both of Omura’s protocols above, and the mechanical stimulation of the points in the charts below on the back of the skull, and on the middle finger of both hands, and stimulate them for a few minutes every waking hour of the day, whilst continuing to take your suggested medications from your medical doctor, until you have reached a complete resolution of symptoms over a course of weeks.

Please note that in the case of the Medulla Oblongata chart example, variations in skull shape may alter the location of the zone for each individual, therefore, we recommend mechanical stimulation to occur in the centreline of the scalp between the occiput and the apex of the head in order to cover the relevant zones without missing them.

We wish you luck with any of these home recommendations, and as always, we are here to help you recover from challenging conditions as quickly as possible. If you have any questions, please get in touch:


Article co-authored by our acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioners:

Peter Scarselletti and Veronika Peovska