Your immune system is your body's security detail — the cells, tissues and organs that comprise it help repel foreign invaders like bacteria, parasites and other microbes that can cause infections. Disorders of the immune system range from everyday annoyances like mild seasonal allergies to serious illnesses like leukemia. Stress, lack of sleep and other common conditions can contribute to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to infections.
Acupuncture therapy can treat a wide range of health conditions, including immune deficiency, by stimulating and balancing the immune system. Acupuncture can strengthen a weakened immune system by increasing red and white cell counts, T-cell count and enhancing humoral and cellular immunity in patients with immune-related illness.
The causes and effects of a weakened immune system
A compromised or dysfunctional immune system is a major component of most chronic diseases. Poor nutrition, stress and exposure to harmful agents all lead to a declining immune system. Once compromised, a weak immune system results in frequent colds, allergies, and reoccurring infections.
Immunity related disorders include:
- Common colds
- Chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Immune deficiency syndrome
Treating symptoms, not causes
Most allopathic health care is directed toward relieving symptoms rather than treating the underlying cause of the disease, which may include toxins, chronic viral infections or a combination of the two. Conventional treatments used in traditional Western medicine for overactive immune system disorders, such as allergies and autoimmune diseases like arthritis, often include treatments aimed at suppressing the immune system through medication. Although that method is useful for limiting symptoms and managing pain, it does not result in a cure. Side effects and other adverse symptoms may develop after long-term use of these suppressive drugs.
Restoring the immune function
So how does someone suffering from an immune disorder find relief? Acupuncture can regulate immune function and treat the underlying cause of the disease by reducing symptoms, speeding up the healing of infection and normalizing the body’s immune response. It works by stimulating specific portions of the autonomic nervous system through selected acupoints, which in turn causes responses in the immune system. Acupuncture can cause a rise in levels of interferon, on of the immune system’s messenger hormones. Regular acupuncture therapy can be effective in treating asthma, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, colds and infections.
For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.