Winter is sometimes referred to as the ‘flu season’. It’s the time of year where we become more susceptible to colds and flu, but what’s really going on in our body’s that we are more likely to get sick? Why are some people more likely to get sick with colds and others not so much?
What is the immune system?
Your immune system, put simply is like your body’s defence mechanism – it comprises cells, tissues and organs that help fight invading pathogens such as parasites, bacteria and microbes that cause infections. Disorders of the immune system can range from seasonal allergies to much more serious problems such as leukemia. Someone who catches colds and other illnesses easily is likely to have a weaker immune system.
What causes a weak immune system?
As the immune system is such as complex function, it is hard to say all of what causes this to happen. Lifestyle factors such as stress, emotional issues and lack of sleep play a big role. Diet and nutritional deficiencies are also a contributing factor. Many experts say that the gut plays a key role in a healthy immune function, and that strengthening the gut is pivitol to having a strong immune system.
Immunity Related Disorders
These include from the mild, to much more serious:
– Common colds
– Chronic fatigue
– Autoimmune disease
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Multiple sclerosis
How Acupuncture Boosts the Immune System
Acupuncture can regulate immune function and treat the underlying cause of the disease. It works by stimulating specific portions of the nervous system through selected acu-points, which in turn causes a response in the immune system. Acupuncture can cause a rise in levels of interferon, one of the immune system’s messenger hormones.
Studies have shown that acupuncture helps the brain increase the body’s level of t-cells (cells which destroy harmful bacteria and viruses in the body). It is said that acupuncture does this by provoking the body’s immune response with the needles.
From a Chinese medicine perspective, the ‘wei qi’ circulates on the surface of the body, protecting the body from pathogens. When the wei qi is weak pathogens can enter the body and cause disease. Treatments therefore work on the organs and meridians of the body and aim to strengthen the wei qi so an individual is better protected from invading pathogens.
Practitioners at our Sydney Acupuncture clinics can guide you through during a consultation how acupuncture can help improve your immune system to achieve your health goals