Your immune system protects your body from external factors such as viruses and bacteria that cause illness and infections as well as fighting cancer cells from within the body. If you frequently catch cold or other infections this shows that your immune system is weakened and needs support. Signs of a poor immune system include:
- frequent colds/flus (more than 2-3 times per year)
- feeling fatigued and run down
- unhealthy hair or skin
- slow healing of injuries
- digestive problems
Acupuncture can help your body bounce back and become strong enough to fight future infections. Acupuncture stimulates the body’s immune response and strengthens your body to improve your resistance to infection. Studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture in improving the body’s immune function by increasing white blood cell and T-cell numbers, with results lasting up to a month after treatment.
Many things that affect your immune system negatively can also be addressed through acupuncture. Poor sleep, stress, and anxiety can be treated so that the underlying issues affecting your immune system can be improved as well as treating the immune system directly.
On your own, you can improve your body’s immune response by minimizing stress, getting enough sleep, and with a healthy diet and exercise. You can also utilize acupressure. There are several acupuncture points that you can massage at home to help stimulate your immune system (please avoid during pregnancy).
Here are four immune-boosting acupuncture points. All four are part of a grouping called the heavenly star points which are some of the most important and effective points used in acupuncture. See the diagrams below to help locate the points.
Stomach 36 (Zusanli) is an excellent point for treating many different disorders and is great for general well-being. It boosts your energy and helps your body fight off any infections that may be affecting you. It is located on the outside of the leg, just below the knee. Put your hand just below your kneecap and feel for a sensitive spot just outside the edge of the shin bone.
Large intestine 11 (Quchi) is great for reducing fever and for preventing colds and influenza. As well, it is great for reducing inflammation. Large Intestine 11 is found at the end of the elbow crease on the outside of your arm.
Large Intestine 4 (Hegu) is an important point in treating any kind of pain or congestion in the head and is very good for strengthening the immune system. It is also a great anti-inflammatory point along with Large Intestine 11. Large intestine 4 is located on the top of the hand in the space between the base of the thumb and the first finger, in the fleshy part of the hand.
Lung 7 (Lieque) is what is called a command point for disorders of the head and neck, and helps prevent colds and influenza. This point is also on the arm and is found on the thumb side of the wrist between the 2 tendons, just below the wrist bone.
Alternate pressure on all four acupuncture points, massaging each for around 30 seconds before moving to the next point, repeating this cycle two or three times for a total of about five minutes. Doing this first thing in the morning will lead to a healthier start to your day!
If you have any further questions about Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture, please contact our Registered Acupuncturist Elmira Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Elmira has been practicing Acupuncture in Edmonton since 2007. Acupuncture is billable to many extended health care plans.