Acupuncture For Immunity
Top of mind for everyone these days is building good immunity. In the past, you most likely didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about your immune system until you got sick. Then at the sign of the first sniffle, you probably ran to stock up on vitamin C, lozenges, and tissues. If you were looking for additional holistic support, you may have added Elderberry, oregano oil, vitamin D, zinc, and reishi mushrooms to your arsenal. (Want to know more about some of these? Read our post, 4 Immune Boosting Supplements where we dish on our favorites.) Those are all superb options for helping to build a robust immune response daily. And, they work best when taken before something hits, building a stronghold in your body rather than when your health is already under attack.
Acupuncture, The Immune Warrior
Acupuncture for immunity works similarly. A study published by the National Institutes of Health revealed that acupuncture with e-stim can increase the number of T cells in the body. And, general acupuncture can decrease inflammation, which is paramount to a top-notch immune system. How does it work? Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that at the root of all things is Qi, movement of energy, and increased blood flow to promote healing. When your body’s energy is sluggish, your body falls prey to viruses more readily. Conversely, when your energy is in balance, you are able to fight off “invaders” with greater ease. By stimulating portions of the nervous system through specific acupoints, responses in the immune system are triggered. In this way, acupuncture is used preventively to shore up a healthy and strong immune response. And, as we know, this is no longer relegated just to typical times of vulnerability such as Fall, Winter, or cold/flu season. Most important is utilizing acupuncture for immunity proactively, meaning BEFORE an issue arises. (Please note that we would not treat anyone that is currently experiencing signs or symptoms of Covid as they should be quarantining according to CDC guidelines).
Need An At-Home Boost?
The following points can be activated by applying firm pressure (acupressure) to each point 2 to 3 times per day. It is important to note that the following points are bilateral. Some are easy to do at the same time and others will need to be done one at a time. For Lung 7 and Large Intestine 11, you will need to start with one side and then proceed to the other.
1. Find a quiet area in your home where you can sit in a comfortable position.
Take a few moments to focus on your breath and clear your mind.
2. Apply firm pressure to each point while breathing steadily into your abdomen.
Spend approximately 30 seconds on each point
4. Begin with Kidney 27 and work your way down the body.
The points should be done in the following order: Kidney 27, Large Intestine 11, Lung 7, Stomach 36, and Spleen 6.
4. For Kidney 27, Stomach 36, and Spleen 6 you will be able to activate both sides of the body at the same time.
5. Click on the photos below to enlarge.
More Immune-Boosting Tips:
1. Limit processed foods, alcohol, sugar, stressing, and sitting all day. All of these can zap your energy and contribute to an adrenal imbalance, which makes it harder for your body to fight back.
2. When it comes to Covid-related media, we suggest moderation. Stay informed, but in a healthful way. No need to check your phone every two minutes to see if there is anything new; this will only serve to put you on edge.
Remember that stress hormones can reduce the effectiveness of immune cells so aim to do things that reverse the stress response. That can be as simple as laughing with a friend, going for a walk, writing in a journal, or meditating. Even just slow belly breathing can calm the mind and increase the expression of genes that are beneficial to the immune system.
Try counting to 5 with each inhalation and exhalation to slow down your breathing.
Acupuncture to heal aches and pains probably comes as no surprise, but there are a host of other lesser-known conditions that it can help with too, including immunity. Stay tuned for future posts to learn how acupuncture can help alleviate asthma, anxiety, addictions, and more.