If living through a pandemic for two full years has taught you anything, it’s probably this: You’re willing to establish new habits and take a variety of precautions to avoid illness and keep yourself healthy.
That’s all well and good, but it’s important to remember that health is actually a two-sided coin. In addition to doing your best to protect your health, you should also do whatever you can to strengthen it. That means finding ways to fortify, balance, and support your immune system.
As holistic wellness experts who specialize in traditional Chinese medicine, Jon Huang, LAc, and our team at Earthy Ruby in Cupertino, California, know that your overall health is only as strong as your immune system. Here’s how you can boost yours with acupuncture.
Complex and hardworking, your immune system has the nonstop job of defending your body against the foreign invaders — viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi — that cause infection, illness, and disease.
Just as your immune system defends your body, you should defend your immune system. That’s because, for as strong as it can be, your immune system is also vulnerable to depletion by a wide range of factors. These include:
Even routine seasonal changes can decrease immune system function, particularly if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Warning signs that your immune system is weakened and needs support include:
Having frequent infections is another sign of immune system depletion: If you develop recurrent ear infections, sinus infections, or pneumonia, or if you need to be treated with antibiotics more than twice a year, your immune system may need a boost.
As a principal modality of traditional Chinese medicine — a holistic wellness approach that’s been practiced for over five millennia — acupuncture uses very fine needles to stimulate exact points (acupoints) throughout the body. Inserting the needles at specific acupoints helps reactivate and reconnect correlating body areas or systems.
Traditional Chinese medicine describes acupuncture as a technique that rebalances qi, the vital life force that flows through your body’s pathways (meridians). Inserting needles into key acupoints helps unblock and reconnect corresponding energy meridians.
Practitioners who come from a Western perspective explain acupuncture as a technique that helps stimulate key nerves, muscles, and areas of connective tissue, thereby prompting the release of body-stabilizing, mood-boosting natural chemicals.
A growing body of research shows that acupuncture is an effective holistic treatment for a variety of common health issues, ranging from chronic pain and fatigue to skin problems and suppressed immune system function.
Acupuncture stimulates immune system response on multiple levels to enhance your body’s resistance to infection and illness. You can use it to strengthen and support a weakened immune system, or you can use it to maintain a strong immune system and keep it in balance.
Acupuncture has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that actively calms your body’s systems. This is especially helpful for people who are living with an autoimmune disorder or chronic illness, as persistent inflammation is an underlying driver of many disease processes.
Studies show that regular acupuncture treatments bolster the immune system by increasing the number or power of several key defense tools. In other words, regular acupuncture strengthens the immune system in much the same way as regular weightlifting strengthens muscles.
Specifically, acupuncture appears to stimulate the production of white blood cells and T cells, and boost the effectiveness of natural killer (NK) cells. White blood cells and T cells are your immune system’s army against bacteria and viruses, while NK cells are a specialized type of white blood cell that can kill tumor cells as well as cells that are infected with a virus.
In addition to fine-tuning your immunity, acupuncture can reduce — and in some cases fully resolve — many of the underlying problems and conditions that deplete your immune system in the first place.
It’s a proven and effective treatment strategy for chronic stress and anxiety, persistent sleep problems, and recurring digestive issues; it’s also very helpful for easing the symptoms and severity of long-standing health concerns like allergies and migraines.
A strong, healthy immune system is invaluable. If you’re ready to give yours a boost, our team at Earthy Ruby can help. Call 408-868-5272 or use our easy online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.