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How Acupuncture and Herbs Boost Immunity

By Heather Pilling L.Ac

Dr. James Yansick D.OM L.Ac

During winter and spring, many of us struggle with exterior pathogenic factors that invade the host and alter the body's homeostasis. These pathogens are the cause of what we call the common cold and flu. Pathogens also weaken the immune system and the ability for the body to fight off both acute and chronic illnesses. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology have proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of various viruses, and in strengthening the overall immune system. Some common illnesses derived from a weakened immune system are

● Common Cold

● Virus Strains

● Upper Respiratory Infections

● Sinusitis/ Rhinitis/ Bronchitis

● Allergies

● Chronic Fatigue

Acupuncture stimulates the amount of your body’s immune cells such as white blood cells, red blood cells, and T fighter cells. It can enhance the immunity of those who may be immunosuppressed, while simultaneously expelling pathogens and reducing inflammation to maintain homeostasis. In order for the body to maintain proper health and expel pathogens and bacteria, it is imperative that there is proper blood flow and minimal stagnation.

Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points that are a part of an internal meridian system derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine. This aids proper blood flow for healing and boosting immunity, while relieving stagnation within the channels .The actions of each point and meridian, pertain to different illness and disease, as well as stimulate different areas of the body. It is not uncommon for practitioners to insert needles into distal areas from the pain or relation to illness. For example, in Chinese medicine, the point of Stomach 36 is located below the knee, and is known to be the most influential point for strengthening the immune system.

To maintain homeostasis and proper immune function, it is important to expel the body of any illness. During the winter months, the back of the neck should be covered when going outside, into lower temperatures. In Traditional Chinese medicine, the back of the neck is the primary location for invasion of pathogenic factors such as wind, heat and cold. These factors are essentially the main causes of illness and directly attacks the immune system. It is of vital importance to strengthen the immune system through the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies or supplements, so the body can avoid intrusion of exterior pathogenic factors.

Chinese Herbology has existed since prehistoric times. The ancient Daoist monks left detailed records of extensive herbal studies that aimed at finding “elixirs,” to prevent disease and support longevity. Diagnosis is made through the use of standard principles such as differentiation using 8-10 questions based on current health status, past medical history and tongue and pulse diagnosis. The formulas are given in capsulated pill form, which are to be taken as directed for a course of approximately 7-10 days.

Traditionally, Chinese herbs address winter viruses as “pathogens” or a “wind - cold invasion.” There are 6 stages of a wind cold invasion as well as 4 levels. Depending on where the pathogen resides in the body, will then determine the herbal formula dispensed by the licensed practitioner. Chinese herbs have been proven effective and are often given with acupuncture and dietary guidance, to achieve desired health and wellness goals.

Located in both Freehold and Howell, NJ, you can schedule your acupuncture and/or herbal consultation at BEAM Healthcare & Sports Rehabilitation, by calling 732.901.3001.


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