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Acupuncture and Immunity

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Acupuncture and Immunity

Fall is making its way here and we have plenty of great things to look forward to, like the crisp fresh air, warm winter clothes, homemade soups and stews and all the excitement of the holidays. How- ever, winter does bring with it the dreaded cold and flu season, which can hamper anyone’s love of the season. 

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are great options to boost your immunity and prevent sickness in a natural and safe way so you can enjoy the season for all it has to offer.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture 101

Very simply put, TCM is a whole form of medicine that is based on the concept of “qi” (pronounced “chee”) or energy and its flow through channels or “meridians” in the body. When the body is in a state of health, all the qi is flowing smoothly without obstruc- tion, allowing the body’s energetic systems to function optimally. Acupuncture is one of many tools used in TCM to keep the qi of the body thriving and flowing properly. Your licensed practitioner places extremely fine, disposable stainless steel needles in specifically selected acupuncture points that treat the causes of what you came in for versus the symptoms that arose. The amazing thing about acupuncture is its ability to promote your body’s natural healing reaction, allowing for a state of balance and holistic health.

Boost Your Immunity With Acupuncture

Chinese medicine looks at infectious diseases and their causes quite differently than Western medicine does. Instead of diagnosing disease as being caused by a bacteria or a virus, TCM understands it as being an imbalance of the strength of our own body’s qi (more specifically defensive qi or immunity) versus the strength of an external climatic factor. This is due to the simple fact that when Chinese medicine arose over 3,000 years ago, there was no knowledge of bacteria or viruses.

Our body’s defensive qi could be weak due to several things (poor diet, lack of exercise, stress) and, if it is attacked by a more powerful external factor, the body’s defences will not be strong enough to prevent the invasion. Even relatively healthy people can become sick if the pathogenic factor is stronger than their own defensive qi, resulting in a cold or flu, depending on the pathogenic factor. That is why preventative medicine is an important part of Chinese medicine, and why it is beneficial for helping boost your immune system.

During treatment, the practitioner will select acupuncture points based on the specific pattern of symptoms you are exhibiting. Points will likely be selected to drive the pathogen out of the body, so it is beneficial to go back to your acupuncturist soon after for a treatment to help boost your body’s energy and immunity. Some patients might get instant relief of symptoms while for others it might take a few visits. For best results, see an acupuncturist as soon as possible when you feel a cold coming on. Even better, go see an acupuncturist now to help boost your immune system and avoid getting sick in the first place. I have personally seen how successful these treatments can be!

Lifestyle Choices To Boost Your Immunity

A few key lifestyle choices will also help to boost your immunity this winter. Make sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep as well as allowing your body to relax. Don’t let stress get the best of you. Yoga, meditation and exercise are great stress relievers, but so is any hobby that brings you happiness and allows for a few moments of serenity each day.

Stick to a healthy, balanced diet and check out your local market for what’s in season. A few excellent food therapy choices are garlic and onion as they contain both allion and allicin, which have antiviral effects. Raw honey is also antiviral, antibacterial and even anti-inflammatory, making it great for a sore throat mixed with some hot water and lemon. Finally, both ginger and oil of oregano share the properties of raw honey and are excellent early defences when you feel a cold coming on. Your acupuncturist has knowledge of holistic nutrition and will be able to recommend more immune-boosting foods specific to your needs.

Don’t let yourself fall into the Fall trend of getting sick when you can make some simple lifestyle choices and have some relaxing visits to an acupuncturist to prevent it. Why not stay healthy this year and try it the natural way by using the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine that has been tried and true for over 3,000 years.

Health and Hugs,
Sasha Ormiston R.Ac
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