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Acupuncture for Immune System Function

Posted October 04, 2016 by Hailin Wu, OM Clinical / Faculty Supervisor, Program Director & filed under Alternative MedicineAcupuncture and Massage College

Our immune system is our body’s security detail. Our cells, tissues and organs that comprise our immune system help repel foreign invaders like bacteria, parasites, viruses and other microbes that can cause infections. These can range from everyday annoyances like mild seasonal allergies to serious illnesses like bronchitis or pneumonia.

Acupuncture therapy can treat a wide range of health conditions by stimulating and balancing the immune system. Acupuncture can strengthen a weakened immune system by increasing red and white cell counts and T-cell counts.

The causes and effects of a weakened immune system

Stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition and other common conditions can contribute to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to infections.

A compromised or dysfunctional immune system is a major component of most chronic diseases. Once compromised, a weak immune system results in frequent colds, allergies, and reoccurring infections.

Immunity related disorders include:

  • Common colds
  • Flu
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Immune deficiency syndrome

Treating symptoms, not causes

Most allopathic health care is directed toward relieving symptoms rather than treating the underlying cause of the disease. Conventional treatments used in traditional Western medicine for overactive immune system disorders, such as allergies and autoimmune diseases like arthritis, often include treatments aimed at suppressing the immune system through medication. Although that method is useful for limiting symptoms and managing pain, it does not result in a cure. Side effects and other adverse symptoms may develop after long-term use of these suppressive drugs.

Restoring the immune function

So how does someone suffering from an immune disorder find relief? Acupuncture can regulate immune function and treat the underlying cause of the disease. By helping in reducing symptoms, speeding up the healing of infection and normalizing the body’s immune response. It works by stimulating specific portions of the autonomic nervous system through selected acupoints. These in turn cause responses in the immune system. Acupuncture can cause a rise in levels of interferon, one of the immune system’s messenger hormones. Regular acupuncture therapy can be effective in treating asthma, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, colds and viral infections.

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Cosmetic Acupuncture Is Better Than Botox

“I tried cosmetic acupuncture and it’s better than botox.”  A great article about a woman’s experience trying cosmetic acupuncture.  She saw great results and health benefits in addition to looking younger.

Read full article

Acupuncture for Allergies

We know that many people seek out and  get relief from pain with acupuncture.  But now this latest study shows that acupuncture also relieves allergies like sneezing and itchy eyes as well.

Many patients with allergies turn to antihistamines for relief.  But when these remedies don’t work, some choose alternative treatments like acupuncture. Inserting tiny needles just under the skin at specific points in the body in turn reduces certain allergy symptoms.

In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined 422 people who tested positive for pollen allergies. The participants reported their symptoms as well as what medication and doses they used to treat them. They were then divided them into three groups; one received 12 acupuncture treatments and took antihistamines as needed.  The second group received 12 fake acupuncture treatments (needles placed at random, non-meaningful points in the body) and took antihistamines as needed.  While the final group only took antihistamines for symptoms.

After two months researchers asked the patients about their symptoms and how much medication they used. The participants who received the real acupuncture treatments with their antihistamines showed a greater improvement in their allergy symptoms.   And used less antihistamines compared to the other groups.

Read full article here.

More on acupuncture and allergies.

Acupuncture: The New Facelift?


Jawline getting a bit saggy? That great sense of humor of yours leaving you with some not-so-funny laugh lines? Furrowed brow making you look like you’re in a perpetual state of grouchiness?

If you’re thinking of getting a little work done on your face, a younger-looking face may lie at the end of some needles — acupuncture needles, that is.

Can acupuncture really give you the face you thought you’d lost forever? Yes, say the acupuncturists who offer the procedure. Not really, say more conventional cosmetic surgeons.

Smoothing Out the Lines

Martha Lucas, PhD, LAc, a Colorado acupuncturist, says after a series of 10 treatments (twice a week for five weeks), skin becomes more delicate and fair, and there are fewer wrinkles. She says the treatments also result in an erasing of fine lines and a reduction of deeper lines, less sagginess, a lifting of droopy eyelids, and a clearing or reduction of age spots. And, as an added bonus, she says, there is an overall rejuvenation that is not confined to your face.

“Cosmetic acupuncture is a good alternative for women who don’t want the side effects associated with a surgical facelift,” Lucas says.

The procedure works for men too, says Lucas, although not as many men request it.

Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is designed to free up chi, or energy. When the needles — approximately 30-40 — are applied to the body and face, production of collagen and elastin may be stimulated, says Lucas, and skin is “plumped up.”

By addressing other parts of the body in addition to the face, acupuncture assists the body’s ability to support the “facelift.”

Making the Entire Body Younger

“We’re helping you to be younger — and look younger — by improving your energy from the inside out,” Lucas explains. “This still is TCM — it’s not just about the face; it’s about the whole body.”

“Chinese medicine is the true antiaging medicine,” Lucas says. “It helps your own body create a more youthful appearance.”

Lucas has been offering this procedure for approximately four and a half years, and last year she began training other acupuncturists in cosmetic acupuncture throughout the United States and Canada. As the procedure gets more publicity, she says, more clients are requesting it, increasing the need for acupuncturists trained in the technique, which requires special acupuncture points and different needling techniques than traditional acupuncture.

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