Boost Immunity with Acupuncture

The seasons are changing and fall is upon us. I can feel it in the crispness of the air and the early setting sun. This also means that cold and flu season is just around the corner and now is the time to boost your immunity to prevent unwanted illnesses.

One of my favorite ways to do this is with acupuncture. Acupuncture stimulates healthy immune response and reduces inflammation so that your body can naturally fend off disease. Ever wonder why some people get sick when others don’t, even though they have all been exposed to the same pathogen? This has to do with how effectively your body can notice a foreign invader, like a virus, and defend against them. Acupuncture hastens the speed that your body responds to illness so you can fight it off rapidly.

My favorite acupuncture points that boost the immune system are:

St 36 : The primary point for boosting the immune system and tonifying qi and blood. It is said with this point “All diseases can be treated.”

LI 4 & LIV 3 : Promotes smooth flow of qi and regulates the immune system

LU 7 : Strengthens the function of the Lungs

My favorite points to use at the first signs of a cold or flu:

GB 20 + Du 16 : Translated as “Wind Pool” and “Wind Mansion” respectively. These two points can be found on the back of the head just below the occiput. The term ‘wind’ in Chinese Medicine is used to describe the set of symptoms often seen in the common cold such as chills, fever, headache, nasal obstruction and cough. These points are therefore used to treat those symptoms. Additionally, it is said that the back of your neck, or your Wind Gate, can by protected in the fall and winter by wearing a scarf or turtleneck. Bonus points that you’ll also look especially chic ????

LI 4 : For any disorders of the face including headache, rhinitis, sore throat. Stimulates the immune system to help you fight off the cold.

SJ 5 : Regulates body temperature, used for alternating chills and fever and ear infections

LI 20 : Opens nasal passages

I recommend coming in for acupuncture on a weekly basis to support the immune system through cold and flu season. If you do get sick, coming in at the very first signs of illness (cough, runny nose, headache, chills, etc.) will give us the best chance of helping your body fight off the bug rapidly.

Another tool that I love to use to boost immunity is the classical formula Yu Ping Feng San. This nearly 1,000 year old formula is translated as “Jade Windscreen Powder.” Meaning that this formula creates a barrier(or screen) as strong as jade around your body to help you defend against airborne pathogens. In fact, it was used extensively across China and Hong Kong during the 2003 SARS outbreak and studies show it supports the immune system through stimulating phagocytic activity and its anti-inflammatory effects. This being said, it’s always a good idea to discuss herbal formulas with your healthcare provider before you start a new program.

Dr. Ashley Amas L.Ac.

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