Acupuncture to Boost Immune Function
Immune Boosting with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
With Gabriele Rummel & Keely Edwards
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises the immune system in two main aspects – the Defensive Qi and the health of the internal organs – both of which can be strengethened to improve overall immune function. A fundamental concept in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the idea of Qi (or Chi), which exists in and around our bodies in many forms. “Wei qi” is our body’s Defensive Qi, it acts to protect the body against pathogens and is derived from the air we breathe and the food we eat. Defensive qi flows through the meridians between the skin and muscle. It protects the surface of the body and is responsible for the opening and closing of pores, and thus, controls sweating and body temperature. It also nourishes the organs, muscles, skin and hair.
If the defensive qi is weakened, the immune system is compromised and the body is very susceptible to illness, for instance a cold or flu. If the defensive qi is extremely weakened, a serious illness may develop affecting the internal organs. Defensive qi can be weakened by a number of things: stress, improper diet, overexposure to the elements like cold or wind, overwork, lack of exercise, emotional distress, or a general imbalance between the yin and yang energies in the body.
Several internal organs play a role in the body’s immune system. While the heart, spleen, kidneys and liver all play an important role, Wei Qi is mainly related to the lungs. The Lungs are also the masters of energy. So when the Lung qi is deficient or compromised, you will feel tired and your body will be more open to external pathogenic attack. It is a big job for our body adjust and keep up with the seasonal changes. Winter is the time to strengthen our Immunity and to generally warm and harmonise all organ systems in order to prevent illness.
How to strengthen defensive qi
Acupuncture is a powerful tool to regulate the immune system. Research shows that acupuncture treatments can increase the body’s T-cell count, as well as the number of cells that ingest and destroy bacteria, protozoa, and cell debris. One shows that acupuncture may regulate the immune system and promote the activities of humoral and cellular immunity as well as NK cell activity (Yamaguchi et al, 2007), whilst another finds that patients having acupuncture while undergoing chemotherapy showed higher white blood cell counts (Lu et al, 2009). Many people find that regular acupuncture treatments for their asthma, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, colds, or infections will relieve their symptoms. Actually, acupuncture can do much more than that: it can treat the fundamental cause of disease.
Foods & Herbs to empower your Immune System
The micro-nutrients beta carotene, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and C are also key elements in strengthening our immune system. A diet rich in these foods and nutrients can benefit immune function.
Beta Carotene: Carrots, sweet potatoes
A: cod liver oil, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, egg yolk, squash, beet greens, broccoli
C : cabbages, peas, citrus foods, tomatoes, peppers, mango, persimmon, strawberries & raspberries.
E: Butternut squash, Avocado, wheatgerm oil, nuts (raw unsalted), seeds, green leafy vegetables.
Zinc: ginger, split peas, whole grain rye & oats, pecans/walnuts/almonds, mussels/sardines/oysters, turkey/chicken.
Both Gabriele & Keely are experienced in tailoring an immune boosting package to suit your individual needs, including an individualised body analysis. To make an appointment for Acupuncture Immune Booster and/or to pick up our favorite immune boosting herbs & supplements call us on 47593554.