Your immune system is responsible for keeping bacteria, viruses, microbes and toxins from interrupting the normal functions of the body. It’s a complex system that involves specialized cells (such as T-cells, B cells, macrophages and others) that recognize and destroy foreign entities. Poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep and repeated exposure to harmful agents all lead to a declining immune system that’s no longer able to respond effectively when the need arises. And once it’s compromised, a weak immune system results in a compromised respiratory system that leads to frequent colds, allergies, the inability to fight off infections and general feelings of malaise.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy are effective tools to strengthen a weakened immune system. The National Institute of Health and many published studies concur that acupuncture has far-reaching effects on immune system health from increasing red and white cell counts in compromised patients to increasing lymphocyte proliferation and natural killer cell activity in patients fighting illness.
This activity is accomplished through the needling of specific acupuncture points and their subsequent effect on the nervous system. Other effects of acupuncture relax the body, help a person sleep and promote healthy digestion all of which support a healthy immune system.
Many Chinese herbs prescribed by our licensed practitioners are recognized for enhancing the immune system and are combined synergistically to prevent and treat infections. A study published in Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Immunology found that astragalus (huang qi) increases both specific and non-specific immunity. Ganoderma (ling zhi) can increase the number of white blood cells and also inhibit the growth of various viruses and bacteria as presented in Cellular Immunology. According to the Chinese Medical Journal, Cordyceps (dong chong xia cao) has a strong effect on overall immunity by increasing lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Other herbs act to dry excessive mucus, relieve sore throat and sinus pressure, clear lung congestion and open airways.