By Georgia Carr, LAc

Like the bodies of other animals, the human body has a defense system, which can recognize and eliminate foreign bodies when it is invaded by such bodies. Since microbes have existed on earth for several billion years longer than human beings and animals have, both human beings and animals need a good defense system in order to survive healthfully. This defense system is called Immune System.

When our immune system is functioning normally, we should not feel such symptoms such as fever, pain, swelling, or itching in our bodies. However, when the immunological activity is decreased or too many antigens are over powering the defense system, then we will feel such symptoms until a normal condition is recovered. The symptoms of the different stages of immunological reactions can be assigned to the defense systems of inflammation and allergy. The two kinds of lymphocytes involved in the immune response are B-cells and T-cells.

Immunity Related Disease:

  • Common cold and allergies
  • Asthma
  • Recurrent urinary infection
  • Candidiasis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Hepatitis
  • AIDS

Acupuncture treatment is often used to strengthen the Immune System (Wei Qi in Chinese). To insure the best health, treatment prior to seasons of vulnerability, or the introduction to new environments such as airplanes, classrooms, foreign countries, etc, is the best medicine. Acupuncture and cupping therapy can also be used during an acute attack of the common cold, flu, or asthma. Treatment at this time promotes the body’s ability to heal itself, and quickly decreases symptoms such as fever, sore throat, itchy or scratchy eyes, headache, and body aches.

Immunity can also be enhanced with Chinese Herbs, whether they consist of a single herb or combined formulas, many herbs are adaptogenic and tonic immunostimulants. They stimulate blood flow, or microcirculation and affect metabolism and the endocrine system. It is the characteristic of Chinese herbs not only to cure disease, but also to restore the normal functions of the body in order to strengthen the patient’s resistance.

Herbs suggested For Preventive care:

  • Ginseng
  • Dang Kuei
  • Astragalus
  • Cordyceps
  • Ling-zhi

It is important to seek professional advice from a Licensed Acupuncturist before taking any herbal products, for herbs should be prescribed according to each individual’s body condition. For more information regarding specific ways to improve your immune system, consult with your Acupuncturist.

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