Chinese Medicine and your Immunity: Boost your Wei Qi Now to Stay Healthy This Winter
I hope you’ve all been staying warm and cozy through our first couple snow storms of the year!
As the weather gets colder, many people come to me for a few seasonal “tune-up” treatments to prepare their body for winter and ward off illness. While Chinese medicine has its own theory for why acupuncture and herbs can be effective for raising immunity, even scientific studies are finding proven links between acupuncture and immune system improvement.
Acupuncture improves immunity
In the medical journal, “Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine”, 2007 Dec;4(4):447-453), Japanese researchers documented that after acupuncture treatments, there was a statistically significant increase in the activity of T cells, B cells, macrophages, and natural killer (NK) cells; all of which are part of the immune system. This means that acupuncture can regulate the immune system and promote the necessary functions related to immunity in the human body.
I love it when western studies back up what the Chinese have empirically known for thousands of years!
While we may not explain it in the same way, we do see the same effects.
Acupuncturist’s view of the immune system
Acupuncturists think of your immune system as an energetic shield on the outer layer of the body, which protects the system from invasion from “evil Qi” (pathogens, etc.).
We call it “wei qi”.
When a person’s wei qi is weak, it is easy for pathogens to invade the body and cause illness. Wei qi is primarily related to the lungs; and the season of Metal, which we are in now, is also related to the lungs.
For this reason, it is an especially beneficial time of year to make sure your wei qi is strong…treatments you get during this season will have a magnified effect on nourishing and balancing the lungs, assisting your wei qi in protecting you from illness.
You say tomatoh, I say tomAHto…
So while western studies may use fancy terms and talk about cellular activity, we talk about the same functions but in terms of having strong energy (qi).
Because no organ is an island, usually when someone has weak lungs, or wei qi, we can trace it back to other deficiencies in the body as well. By treating the body as a whole, overall health and wellness is promoted, and energy is increased.
There are many other things that one can do to increase their qi and promote health–specifically for their lungs during this Metal season–which I have been writing about in my last few blogs. To take advantage of this season, try to incorporate some of those activities and foods into the next several weeks, before winter, the Water season hits.
And if it’s been a while since you’ve been in, it may be time for a few “seasonal tune-up” treatments to put you at your best before the holidays hit!