Boosting Your Immune System Through Acupuncture

Have you been feeling under the weather lately? If so, your body probably needs an extra immunity boost. Acupuncture is the perfect solution!

From the moment we were born, our immune system protects us from disease and illness. It faces constantly challenges and may have trouble staying strong. As we grow older, especially if we don’t take good care of our bodies, this system starts to wear down and become weak. Once our immune system weakens, our body becomes more susceptible to illness. This is why we need to put in extra effort to boost our immunity.

woman_tired_ 56157391 S Hr4Uf6_DPHow to Know If You Have a Weak Immune System

To assess the condition of your immune system, it can be helpful to look at your health history. Are you prone to colds or the flu? Do you get sick often? Do you suffer from allergies? These are all signs that your immune system may be weak.

You also need to pay attention to any symptoms that you experience on a daily basis. 

  • Do you frequently wake up feeling tired?
  • Does your stomach hurt when you eat too much food?
  • Is your skin breaking out?

All of these ‘symptoms’ could indicate that your immune system isn’t working properly. And, if you answered yes to any of these questions, then you probably have a weak immune system.

There are different ways that we can boost our immune system. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most popular ways. Another way is through acupuncture.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as a traditional Chinese medicine treatment. It works by stimulating certain points in your body to help balance your energy flow.

To further understand how acupuncture works, let’s first talk about the concept of qi. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, qi is an invisible substance that moves around the body. When this qi is blocked, it prevents the body from functioning properly.

Acupuncture accesses this qi and, essentially, unblocks it which gets the energy flowing throughout the body. Once the energy is flowing, function is restored.

How exactly is this done?

To clear the blockage, acupuncturists insert needles at specific locations in the body. Once the needle is inserted, the body sends a signal to the brain along the energy channels known as meridians. The brain interprets the message and releases chemicals that stimulate the production of more qi. With this new supply of qi, the blockage will be cleared. This helps to balance the mind and body and restore health and well-being.

qi_vital_energy_ 92671078 S 6G9psm_DPBuilding Your Protective Qi Through Acupuncture

According to TCM, every part of the body has its own unique qi. For example, your lungs have their own qi, your stomach has its own qi, etc. When these parts of the body get sick, they lose their ability to produce qi. If there is not enough qi, then they will not be able to heal themselves … which is required for repair of daily wear and tear on your body.

Protective Qi or Wei Qi is one of the five basic energies in TCM. It is also known as defensive qi. In order to build up your protective qi, you must first strengthen your internal organs. These include your liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, and pancreas.

When you have a cold or flu, your body loses its ability to fight off infections because your immune system is weakened. To regain strength, you need to stimulate your internal organs so that they can start producing more qi again.

When your body is infected by bacteria or viruses, your immune system will work overtime to fight off the infection. In order to keep up with the increased demand for energy, your body will use up all of its available energy reserves.

Without an energy reserve, your body will start to deteriorate. This is another reason to turn to acupuncture.

Acupuncture helps your body to regain some of its lost energy. According to TCM, as acupuncture stimulates an increase in the production of qi, there is an increase in the reserve in the energy channels or meridians.

These meridians, or energy channels, connect the various organs of the body. They also connect the brain to the rest of the body. When the qi is flowing smoothly, the body functions as an interconnected ‘whole.’

body_meridians_127448650 S MWSsHI_DPAre You Still Wondering About the Meridians?

Meridians are pathways that run throughout the body. There are 12 major meridians that run through the body. Each one corresponds to a specific organ. For example, the stomach meridian runs from the face to the toes.

There is an additional meridian that runs up the spine. It supports connections to every major organ in the body.

Meridians are very important because they are responsible for maintaining overall health. When you feel pain in one area of your body, it could mean that your body is trying to tell you something about another part of your body. By knowing what is going on in your body, you can make better decisions regarding your health.

How Does Acupuncture Boost Immunity?

Acupuncture boosts immunity by stimulating the body’s natural healing process. The needles used for acupuncture penetrate the skin and release endorphins, which trigger the body’s immune system to fight off infections.

Acupuncture also stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infection. In addition, acupuncture increases levels of T-cells, which are part of the immune system. These cells work together with B-cells to create antibodies. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system that attack foreign substances like bacteria or viruses.

Although acupuncture has been in existence for thousands of years, only recently has it been attracting researchers and investigators all over the world. In TCM theory, acupuncture is believed to strengthen the human body’s resistance to diseases.

Several studies have revealed that acupuncture can also strengthen anticancer and antistress functions as well as improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

energy_woman_35931915 S 2RWT5r_DPEnergy Boost and Immunity

Acupuncture is known to give you an extra energy boost. When you feel fatigued after a long day, acupuncture can help restore your energy.

If you want to improve your immunity, you also need to have high energy. This type of energy is generated inside us, and it is what keeps our bodies functioning normally.

We need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to minimize the energy drain from our daily activities. Acupuncture can increase your energy level by stimulating your nervous system.

It’s also important to increase your ability to cope with stress. Stress causes our body to produce hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones cause our muscles to tense and our heart rate to rise. They also make us more susceptible to illness.

When you’re stressed, your immune system becomes less efficient. Acupuncture can help reduce stress and therefore improve your overall immune function.

How Does Acupuncture Fight Infections?

Acupuncture fights infections through several different mechanisms.

First, it helps stimulate the lymphatic system. This is an essential component of the immune system. Lymph nodes are small glands located along the major arteries and veins. They filter out toxins and other harmful materials from the bloodstream.

macrophages_75967975 S gUpLYe_DPLymph nodes generate special cells called macrophages that engulf pathogens and carry them to the nearest lymph node. Once there, they destroy the pathogen.

Macrophages also secrete chemicals called cytokines that activate the immune response. Cytokines are chemical messengers that tell other cells how to react to an infection. For example, if a virus invades the body, cytokines will alert the immune system to destroy the virus.

Second, acupuncture stimulates the thymus gland. The thymus gland produces T-cells, which play a key role in immune function. Interleukins, another type of cytokine, are also produced by the thymus gland. Interleukins regulate the activity of other immune cells.

Third, acupuncture increases blood flow to the area where the needle is inserted. This increased blood flow can bring oxygenated blood to the site of inflammation. Oxygenated blood contains white blood cells that kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Fourth, acupuncture regulates the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine are important brain chemicals that affect mood and behavior. They also influence the immune system.

How Does Acupuncture Fight Inflammation?

Acupuncture helps fight inflammation through several different mechanisms. It helps the body regulate the production of certain chemicals.

First, acupuncture reduces the amount of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) produced by the kidneys. PGE2 is one of the most potent inflammatory substances known to science. It’s made by the kidney and acts on the adrenal glands to trigger the release of cortisol. Cortisol triggers the release of more PGE2.

This vicious cycle leads to chronic inflammation. Acupuncture stops this process by reducing the amount of PGE2 released into the bloodstream.

endorphins_298212918 S afsEaD_DPAnother mechanism acupuncture uses to reduce inflammation is increasing the level of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers found in the brain. They bind to receptors on nerve endings and block pain signals. When endorphins are present at high enough concentrations, they actually numb the sensation of pain.

Endorphins also have anti-inflammatory properties. They inhibit the release of histamines, which cause swelling and redness. Histamine causes itching and burning sensations.

Finally, acupuncture decreases the level of substance P, a neuropeptide that plays a role in inflammation. Substance P is a powerful chemical messenger that travels between nerves and organs. It tells the brain what parts of the body need attention and what parts should be ignored.

Using Acupuncture for an Immune Boost is Worth It

If you are new to TCM, you may be hesitant to get an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture should top your list as a natural alternative treatment for boosting the immune system since it has minimal or no side effects. It is a natural procedure that doesn’t involve taking prescription medication.

If you are looking for a safe and natural way to boost your immunity, acupuncture may be one of the best options for you. Considering the health crisis that the world is in today, everyone could use a boost to their immune system. And, what better way to do that than through acupuncture?

About the author

Dr. Gala Gorman is a licensed Acupuncturist, Naturopath, and Author who offers expert advice and programs to help people prevent disease. She uses advanced techniques that "reverse the clock" on aging. She founded the Delta Discovery Center with her partner, Charlie Frangos, to provide a place for self-discovery and healing on Hilton Head Island and beyond. Dr. Gala helps people learn to be their own health advocates.