Preventative Medicine: Acupuncture for Cold & Flu Prevention & Recovery
Did you know acupuncture can naturally boost your immune system, which will help you prevent colds & flu and minimize their impact if you do happen to catch one?
Acupuncture, which includes herbal medicine, has been used for thousands of years to help enhance the immune system. As acupuncturists, we assess your health by evaluating your Qi (chee) loosely translated as energy). Qi has many forms in our body, including genetic energy, food energy, and immune energy called “Wei Qi,” or “Defensive Qi. The primary function of Wei Qi is to protect the body from picking up pathogens, like viruses. When your Wei Qi is strong, your body easily fights off colds and flus and you either experience no symptoms or you might only get slightly sick and quickly recover.
From an acupuncture theory perspective, the body can potentially go through 6 stages of sickness when you get sick, if your Wei Qi is weak you may progressively get worse before getting better. Acupuncturist determine where you are in the progression of your illness and this guides where we insert (hair-thin) needles to help boost your immune system and restore health. One of the points often used to boost immunity is pictured here, Li4 (Large Intestine 4).
This point one of the most powerful points in the body. It has many functions. This potent point is known as the Command Point of the head and face. As such it helps with runny nose or congestion as well as sinus headaches. Li4 is also one of the points we use to activate your Wei Qi (immunity).
Western medicine doctors and researchers have been paying closer attention to acupuncture in recent years because there is growing body of evidence explaining the complex mechanism of action it has on the body.
Scientists have been able to determine that acupuncture boosts the body’s immune system by enhancing the production of natural killer cells, our primary immune defense mechanism. Acupuncture also acts on the more complex immune building system that regulates white blood cells that fight against infections, allergic reactions, and also autoimmune disorders. Another way acupuncture helps to prevent illness is by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. When chronic stress keeps your cortisol levels high, this lowers your immune system - making you more susceptible to getting sick. Acupuncture has not only been shown to reduce cortisol levels but also to help make us more stress hardy - meaning with acupuncture we become more resilient during times of stress.
Don't wait until you're sick to benefit from the immune-boosting benefits of acupuncture: begin regular acupuncture visits now as part of your preventative plan to keep colds and flu from slowing you down. Several (3-6) acupuncture treatments are needed for the body to respond, depending on how your immune system and “tune up” or maintenance visits are beneficial until cold and flu season is over.
Your licensed acupuncturist might also recommend an herbal formula, such as Jade Windscreen or Yin Qiao. If you've already been struck by cold or flu this season and feel a little better, but still have lingering symptoms, then you're likely stuck in one of the 6 stages of illness and would benefit from the herbal formula, Minor Bupleurum. Come in and get acupuncture & herbs to boost your immunity!
If you are interested in a natural way to boost your immune system, make acupuncture and herbs an important part of your treatment plan. Make an appointment by calling us @ (480) 206-6199.