As most of you have probably noticed, we are smack dab in the middle of the Cold and Flu season- and it’s shaping up to be a bad one this year. As an added bonus for those of us living in Central Texas, we have to contend with the dreaded Cedar Fever- cedar allergies gone berserk…it’s not fun.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are widely available, but do little to actually improve one’s overall health or support the immune system in the prevention of illness, plus they often come with a laundry list of negative side effects. Acupuncture, however, in the hands of a qualified, licensed practitioner, can not only relieve cold, Flu and allergy symptoms, but can also help enhance and restore balance to the body’s entire immune function; clearing the underlying immune weakness that causes allergies and illness, and preventing you from getting sick in the future.
We know that illness and allergies occur when your body is exposed to pathogens or substances like bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust, pet dander, or certain foods. What most people don’t get is that the problem is not simply the pathogen or the allergen, the problem is your weakened immune system’s inability to overcome it.
So how does Acupuncture work?
Through almost two decades of intensive medical research, scientists have firmly established that, indeed- Acupuncture works. While the jury is still out on exactly how it works (there are currently a number of sound scientific theories), the evidence is very clear on the multitude of effects that the treatments have on the human body. Specifically regarding immune function, we know that Acupuncture increases the production of the body’s so-called “natural killer cells,” one of the body’s primary defense mechanisms against organisms that make us sick, and treatments regulate the production and function of white blood cells directly linked to the fight against infections, allergic reactions, and even autoimmune disorders. More importantly though, Acupuncture treatments have a system-wide effect on optimizing and re-balancing the relationship between all of the complex, interconnected body systems (including Digestive, Endocrine, Lymphatic, and Nervous Systems, etc) that work together to create what we simply call the Immune System.
The beauty of Chinese Medicine, though, is that with all of it’s complexities and now with it’s firm scientific backing, it is still fundamentally based on a very simple principle: that the mind and body are not viewed as separate parts and pieces, but as part of an energetic, interconnected system. That holistic philosophy is always present in the mind of a TCM practitioner and is reflected continuously throughout the entire theory and practice of the medicine.
At an Acupuncture appointment, an Acupuncturist such as myself will gather an extremely thorough health history, observe your symptoms and signs, ask about your stress level and emotions, and take into account your absolute uniqueness as an individual. With this information, properly trained and qualified Acupuncturists are able to determine the underlying imbalance(s) that you and your body are experiencing. Seemingly unrelated symptoms and conditions, when looked at holistically, point to an underlying “root condition,” and although practitioners will certainly focus on alleviating your fever, headache, sore throat, coughing, phlegm-factory, body aches, runny/stuffy nose, itchy/watery eyes, sneezing fits and whatever else you’re currently suffering from so that you feel better, the correction of the “root condition” leading to your weakened immune function will ultimately be the target of your Acupuncture treatments.
What Else Can Acupuncture Treat?
You might be surprised to know that besides the aforementioned colds, flu’s, allergies, and obviously pain, Acupuncture can effectively treat an enormous variety of conditions. For the most part, if you can name it, I can treat it.
Way back in 1997, The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), recognized Acupuncture to be effective in treating over 56 different conditions and the list has continued to grow since then. Commonly treated conditions include any acute or chronic pain, migraines/headaches, neuropathies/neuralgias such as sciatica, digestive disorders, anxiety/depression/high stress levels, infertility, menopause symptoms, respiratory disorders, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, High Blood Pressure or Cholesterol, vertigo/dizziness, even things like toothache and acne- and that’s just an abbreviated list.
Acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies work as an effective alternative and adjunct treatment modality to conventional techniques and medications for everything from acute illnesses to chronic conditions. It is extremely safe, highly effective and a completely natural approach to regaining and maintaining health and well-being, both mentally, physically and emotionally.
This information brought to you by Austin Acupuncturist, Melanie Irvine, L.Ac., MAOM, owner Turning Point Wellness– now providing service at two convenient Austin area locations. For more info about how Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, and natural nutrition can help you achieve vibrant health and well-being, feel free to visit my website, www.TurningPointAcupuncture.net for more details and direct contact information.