You’ve probably noticed (or experienced!) that cold and flu season is in full swing. In fact, many people have already been sick multiple times this season!
A lot of people know that acupuncture benefits back and neck pain, joint injury, and muscle tension. However, did you know, that many patients find acupuncture beneficial in supporting the immune system and reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of colds and flus?
How Acupuncture Works
Qi (or energy) (pronounced ‘chee’) flows through channels in our body to nourish every part of our body (similar to blood flowing through blood vessels). Unlike blood however, Qi carries nutrients as well as energy needed to maintain healthy tissues. A lot of factors affect our immune system: diet, lifestyle, genetics and stress. These factors can slow down flow of Qi through the channels depriving tissues downstream. Acupuncture points act as “valves” that adjust the flow through these channels.
Acupuncture for Colds & Flus
As many of our patients know, Dr. Lee and I have advanced training in a technique of acupuncture called Balance Method. This approach is distinct in a couple ways. One, almost always, the acupuncture is performed on a different area of the body than where the symptoms are located. Second, improvement of symptoms are often noted almost immediately. With this technique, for example, sinus congestion is treated with acupuncture points on the forearm or lower leg. And in many cases our patients report improvements of symptoms during the treatment. Combined with rest and an immune supporting diet, acupuncture can be a wonderful addition to address stubborn symptoms like sinus pressure, lingering coughs and digestive upset.
More Tools to Add to Your Cold & Flu Survival Kit
How often we get sick, how severe the symptoms are and how quickly (and completely) we recover, depends on multiple factors. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, digestion is the foundation of a healthy immune system. With 80% of our immune cells residing in the lining of our digestive tract, this certainly makes sense. During the cooler seasons,more warm/cooked foods, minimal dairy and minimal deep-fried foods prevent indigestion. Particularly if you’re prone to gas/bloating, loose stools and fatigue. If you’re prone to phlegm/mucus, consider the above warmer diet as well as avoiding bananas, oranges and (again) dairy.
Nourishing probiotic foods are essential for healthy digestion and preventing illnesses. Also consider keeping Vitamin D handy – I keep it in my purse all the time so I can take it at the earliest sign of a cold as it’s been shown to slow down lung inflammation!
Are you, or someone you know, getting one cold after another? When we’re run-down, it’s hard for the immune system to mount an effective response against the viruses around us. In those cases, IV nutrient therapy quickly replenishes nutrients and helps boost your adrenal and immune system.
If you’re unsure how or when to incorporate these therapies, give us a call! It’s my hope that we can help you build up your
health “toolkit” so you’re well-prepared (and enjoy!) the healthiest winter season.