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Acupuncture Balances and Strengthens Immune Function

Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of complementary therapies is their ability to optimize immune health and prevent illness and disease. Most notably, Chinese and naturopathic medicine provide an amazing array of natural methods that can effectively build immune function and greatly reduce the chance for serious disease.

Immune weakness is a tangible concern in the modern world as people and products (and thus, microorganisms) are able to travel great distances in short amounts of time. Busy offices and crowded shopping areas do not help the situation. In addition, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, Crohns, psoriasis, etc.), HIV/AIDS, and cancer are raising awareness around the importance of healthy immune function. Although Western medicine has the ability to miraculously save lives, it is clearly deficient in providing natural options for balancing and strengthening the immune system. Thus, it is necessary that the benefits of natural therapies, supplements, and nutrition be made available to as many people as possible.

Practiced for over 3000 years in various Asian cultures, acupuncture has recently made its way to the Western world. In a modern acupuncture clinic, many patients come in seeking treatment for weak immunity. A typical presentation includes frequent colds and flus, recurring sinus infections, fatigue, stress, and insomnia. For this pattern of symptoms, acupuncture can be an effective way to break the cycle of chronic vulnerability to the elements.

Moxibustion, though less well-known, is another powerful tool within the practice of acupuncture. Moxibustion (moxa) is a heat therapy involving the use of mugwort, a Chinese herb, that is applied topically to acupuncture points. Studies have shown moxa to increase white blood cell counts in chemotherapy patients and other cases of weak immune health. For patients with recurring colds and infections, moxa is a great method for naturally boosting immunity.

To enhance the capability of one's immune system, a multifaceted approach is necessary. Along with acupuncture and moxa, paying close attention to one's diet can significantly affect the balance of the immune system. Additionally, specific Chinese herbal formulas are extremely influential in strengthening one's immunity. And maybe most important is the maintenance of a healthy stress response. Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated the link between stress and immune health. With the support of acupuncture and herbs and a regular practice of tai chi, yoga, or meditation, managing stress becomes effortless. As a result, the immune system is freed to function optimally and overall health is greatly enhanced.

If you would like to learn more about acupuncture and discuss your specific health situation, please phone 403.455.0880. Dr. Wegmann will be happy to answer your questions.

Mitch Wegmann is a registered acupuncturist and doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He owns and operates Calgary Acupuncture Centre in the city's southwest quadrant, near the Marda Loop district.

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