Natural Living

By Janet Humphrey

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Did you know that acupuncture and herbs can help prevent colds and flu?

We all experience increased susceptibility to colds at the change of seasons. If you look around your workplace at this time of year, you can see how many colds are going around. We have come to believe that nothing can be done, and if we catch a cold we just have to let it run its course.

By stimulating the immune system, acupuncture can help the body ward off infections as well as help fight an infection that has already started. People who receive acupuncture regularly often report that their incidence of colds is significantly reduced. Those who receive acupuncture at the first sign of an infection often get over it right away. And once you have a cold, acupuncture can help you recover much more quickly, and avoid complications like sinus infections and bronchitis.

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In Chinese medicine, it is said that our immunity comes from the Wei Qi (pronounced “way chi”), which circulates through the body to protect us from pathogens. The Wei Qi is said to flow along the outer surface of the body, serving as a protection from anything trying to get in. At the change of seasons the Wei Qi has to adjust its level to the new climate, and as it is doing that we can become vulnerable to infections.

images-washhandsarticle1.jpeg Through acupuncture, we can support the balance of Wei Qi, and this translates into increased immunity. The best time to receive acupuncture is when you are healthy, to keep your immune system strong. If you begin to notice symptoms of a cold or flu, get yourself in for an acupuncture treatment and you can often eliminate it completely before it ever takes hold. If you combine acupuncture with herbal therapy, it works even better.

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As the flu season approaches, many people choose to receive a flu shot. Whether you choose the vaccine or not, the basic rules for staying healthy include good hygiene – washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your eyes and nose. Getting adequate rest, dressing warmly, and eating well will all enhance your immunity and keep you healthy throughout the fall and winter seasons. Find yourself an acupuncturist and boost your immunity with some preventative treatments. You might just be surprised how that the flu season passes you right by.

You can locate an acupuncturist near you at www.nccaom.org, the website for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. If your health insurance provides acupuncture, it may also have a listing of Licensed Acupuncturists on your plan.

Janet Humphrey, M.S., L.Ac., has been involved in the field of natural health care and Oriental Medicine since 1985. She completed her studies in Oriental Medicine in 1991 and was licensed in California for the practice of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Today she’s working on opening a new wellness center when she’s not healing and de-stressing all her New York clients.

Originally published November 2006
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