Acupuncture and Immunity for Cold and Flu Season

With winter approaching and the cold and flu season ready to rear its ugly head, now is a great time to build up a healthy immune system to give your body a fighting chance to make it through winter without falling victim to the flu.

How can Acupuncture help build your Immune System?
Acupuncture can help prevent colds and flu by building up the body’s defences or Wei Qi (Defensive Qi). The main function of Wei Qi is to protect the body from external pathogens that can make us sick. These pathogens generally enter the body through the nose, mouth, pores of the skin and the exposed areas of the upper back and neck. Depending on how strong your Wei Qi is determines whether you get sick or not and the severity of the illness. If your Wei Qi is strong, you generally won’t get sick very often or when you do your body fights it quickly and it’s not too much of a bother. If it’s weak, then you’re likely to fall ill when someone coughs in your general direction.

If you do get struck down by a cough, cold or flu this winter, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can greatly reduce the length and severity of it. Often we see in clinic people will ring up and cancel their appointment when they aren’t feeling well or are sick, when in actual fact this is the best time to come in. The sooner you get in for an appointment from when you notice the symptoms appearing, the better the outcome of the treatment.

Tips to help avoid a cold or flu this winter:
Try not to sleep next to an open window or under a cold fan or air conditioning. If you have no choice then try to sleep with your neck, shoulders and upper back covered. When you’re asleep, your Wei Qi retreats internally leaving the skin undefended therefore leaving you more susceptible to catching a cold due to, in this case, a wind invasion.
Try to avoid exercising in cold, windy or rainy environments. When exercising outdoors, be sure to put a jumper on straight after or wear it while exercising. Exercising opens your pores and if you leave them exposed in this kind of weather you are more likely to contract a cold
Limit your intake of alcohol, dairy and fatty foods as they can lower your body’s defences
Eat warming foods in winter.
Try to drink your water warm or at room temperature and not too many icy drinks.
Reduce your stress levels! Being stressed depletes your Qi and therefore weakens your immune system. Find time to relax whether it’s reading a book, yoga, meditation or exercise.
Acupuncture treatments for immunity can be incorporated into any treatment you are already receiving or as a standalone treatment, so have a chat with your Acupuncturist if winter usually means three months of cold and flu for you and let’s have a happier, healthier winter.

Mel cropped-polaMelissa Thompson
Acupuncturist at Studio Qi, Gold Coast.

My introduction to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine came about in my late teens/early 20’s when, after years of suffering excruciating menstrual pain, I started looking for answers away from Western Medicine as no doctor seemed to have a solution that was working for me. Luckily for me, Brad and Tabitha moved in next door and suggested I come to their clinic for a course of treatments. It wasn’t long before the results were there and I was absolutely ecstatic!It was Acupuncture that changed my life so it just seemed fitting that I study this fantastic field and help introduced others to its amazing healing properties.