Boost your immune system this spring with acupuncture
The news this month has been dominated by the arrival of the latest pandemic outbreak, this time of the coronavirus which has affected thousands of people worldwide and led the Italian government to put certain parts of the country into lockdown at the weekend as a preventative measure.
In truth, although the medical advice has been to ensure rigorous hygiene protocols are in place in the environments where you live and work, there’s not a huge amount you can do to immunise yourself against a virus as powerful as this one.
But the crisis has turned the health focus to encouraging people to do more to help develop and reinforce their immune system – and along with a good diet, lots of sleep and improved vitamin intake, acupuncture can play a huge part in protecting you against common conditions.
In our last blog we talked about allergies and how acupuncture works to help reduce the symptoms that allergies like hay fever can bring.
But in the same way, acupuncture has been used for centuries as a treatment to get the body’s natural defences functioning at their optimum level.
A thousand years ago, practitioners of ancient Chinese acupuncture were experimenting very successfully with the concept of nasal vaccinations to stem the spread of smallpox using highly diluted secretions from smallpox secretions that were inhaled by patients.
There’s some evidence that this practice contributed greatly to the fact China escaped the smallpox epidemic that tore through Europe around the same time.
The process of using acupuncture to promote better natural immunity against illness targets a specific aspect of the body’s natural energy – known as wei qi – that is present just beneath the skin. This is the energy that regulates perspiration and immunity.
By using superfine needles to painlessly stimulate this energy, it encourages the body’s natural opening and closing of skin pores, which in turn prevents pathogens from entering our system.
Traditional and ancient Chinese medicine tackles pathogenic factors, which in this context also include environmental factors such as weather and temperature, to treat the immune system, and even today we apply those findings to the way we consider environmental fluctuations in the context of our health.
We instinctively know – and medical research shows – that if we sweat in cold weather, it increases the chances of catching a cold, just as exposure to heat or cold can affect our muscle function.
There are many things we can do ourselves to improve the way our natural energy boosts our immune system.
Exercise, a healthy diet, good quality sleep and a sensible approach to managing stress are all great ways of helping our bodies to perform better and resist the pathogens that come our way without us even knowing every day.
Acupuncture sessions are amazingly effective at helping to support the healthy routines that you build into your day – and, as I always say, because it’s an holistic treatment it also carries unseen benefits, treating issues and conditions you might not even be aware you have.
And if you do fall ill, remember to rest, increase your intake of nutrients, have an acupuncture session or two and give yourself time to recover.
With winter now about to disappear over the horizon, it’s easy to think that the worst of the potential illnesses we might be vulnerable to are also receding, but spring is a time of ever-changing temperatures, when we’re as likely to see the mercury hit the high teens as we are to see winter give us a reminder of its presence with a sudden sharp frost.
By building acupuncture into your health routine, you’ll make sure you’re not leaving your wellbeing to chance.
If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you to improve your immune system through acupuncture, why not consider getting in touch for an informal conversation to find out more about our treatments?