Acupuncture Helps the Immune System
Cold and flu season tends to hit hard in January. I think people are exhausted from travels and parties in December, plus there are so many opportunities to catch a bug. Chinese medicine teaches us to live in harmony with nature. If you think about it, winter is a time of darkness, rest and hibernation. However, people tend to be busier than ever in the darkest months of winter. It makes sense that people therefore show signs of being run-down. So, what can you do about it?
Acupuncture helps the immune system. It is an excellent treatment to get your defenses and energy level strong and stable. My patients often feel alot better by the end of their session. Or, they need a good sleep and feel much better the next day. Acupuncture treatments often feel like they hit the reset button. You can feel more balanced and more yourself after a treatment.
Certain acupuncture points have specific beneficial effects on the immune system. For example. the lung meridian flows through the arms and helps regulate the Lung qi. This means that if you’re suffering from a cough or chest congestion, these points can help calm coughing and wheezing. Other meridians travel up to the nose and sinuses, and help eliminate headache and sinus congestion. Often times, patients come in with a miserably stuffy nose and leave being able to breath easily. There is also a point on the legs, ST36 zu san li, which has a full body immune strengthening effect.
Cupping and Gua Sha
Chinese herbs help prevent and treat colds. Some herbs, like astragalus and cordyceps, strengthen the immune system. Anti-viral herbs like isatis treat acute infections and shorten the duration of a cold.
Nutrition and Lifestyle
You know this already: sleep more, eat well, and exercise. So, it’s important to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. 7 hours in bed doesn’t equal 7 hours of sleep. Depending on how long it takes you to fall asleep and how often you wake up during the night, you may need to be in bed around 9 hours a night. Eating sugar, gluten, alcohol, and dairy can also cause excessive phlegm and have a weakening effect on the body. Focus on adding in good, wholesome foods like soup and chili. And don’t forget to exercise. Acupuncture helps the immune system, but what you do at home between treatments is even more important. Really, it’s worth it to do your best in these three important areas of daily life! Bonus points if you meditate (try the Calm app, it’s really good).