Acupuncture and the Common Cold

While the peak of cold and flu season is typically reported in January and February of each year, the official season for colds and the flu begins as we enter the fall. Most adult Americans report catching between two and four colds each year, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are ways to strengthen your immune system and combat the common cold without necessarily using expensive prescriptions drugs. Acupuncture can help boost your immune system and defend against certain seasonal illnesses. It can also help you recover more quickly when you do catch a cold.

How Does Acupuncture Help?

Acupuncture works to restore balance in a person’s flow of life-giving energy, which allows the body to heal itself, according to the tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This energy — also known as Qi —takes many forms. The immune system, as we refer to it in the West, is one of them.

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that when a person’s Qi is strong, the body can ward off illness and harmful pathogens more effectively. Qi is a universal energy that is believed to saturate everything around us, including people, animals and nature.

Sometimes a person’s Qi is weakened by illness or stresses in life. Acupuncture works to rebalance this flow of energy and, essentially, repair any weaknesses within it. By boosting the body and giving it what it needs to strengthen itself, acupuncture helps prepare the body to fight viruses more effectively.

Managing Your Cold With Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help relieve cold symptoms almost immediately, and help the body fight the virus much more quickly than it would if left untreated. Typically, acupuncture treatment for colds involves placing thin acupuncture needles at points along the large intestine and lung meridians. Treating these particular meridians is known to help activate sound immune function.

Recently, studies have shown that acupuncture plays a role in increasing the body’s natural production of T-cells. T-cells help destroy harmful bacteria and viruses in the body, including the common cold. Acupuncture has also been found to support the system that helps fight against infections and allergic reactions.

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