I recently wrote an article on treating your dog for arthritis using acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I included 4 Dos and 4 Don'ts when considering acupuncture for your pet, there are even some things you can do at home to help your furry friend feel younger again! Check it out!
Because Chinese medicine has been around since long before modern science, some of the ways that it views the human body can seem a little strange to us. I like to remind my patients that Chinese medicine is a system of analogies, and the analogy for our immune system is one of my favorites!
A healthy immune system should be like a bubble that lives right underneath your skin. It protects what's inside the bubble from what's outside the bubble. In fact, your skin itself is one of our first defenses against disease and is an important part of our immune system!
Sometimes our bubble doesn't quite work right, which leads to 2 basic types of problems.
The first issue is an immune system that lets things into the bubble that it shouldn't. The most common symptoms of a weak immune system is catching colds really easily and frequently.
The second issue is an overactive immune system that actually attacks things inside the bubble. With an overactive immune system you get diseases like allergies, eczema, psoriasis, celiac disease, lupus and more.
Chinese medicine is very effective at reminding your body's immune system how it should be acting. It calms an overactive immune system and boosts an underfunctioning one. This not only leads to symptom relief, but prevents the symptoms from recurring. Isn't that the dream of anyone who suffers from immune system disorders?
I find that it can take anywhere from 1-3 months to get good symptomatic relief. Keep in mind that the goal is to keep the symptoms from recurring, so I recommend that my patients continue taking their herbs and return for acupuncture quarterly to insure that they stay on the path to having a well-functioning immune system!
Something that you can do to boost your immune system at home (and this works for an over or underfunctioning one!) is to massage the acupuncture point Zu San Li (Stomach 36). It's safe for anyone to use, including pregnant women, and has been shown to increase immune function! Click here to read more about Stomach 36 and to see pictures of its location.