Acupuncture for flu? You might think of acupuncture as a method of treating chronic pain but this form of traditional Chinese medicine that is over 5,000 years old, could also help you avoid colds and flu this winter.
From an Eastern medical philosophy, acupuncture works by balancing and harmonizing qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital, life-force energy. All pain, stress and disease in the body occur when qi has become blocked within the body and/or depleted. By placing tiny hair-thin needles along the meridians (which also correspond with the nervous system) to unblock and revitalize qi, natural healing, pain relief and emotional balance can occur.
Western medicine views acupuncture as a form of therapy that releases hormones into the bloodstream, sending signals to the nervous system. Hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, have a positive effect on the body by reducing pain, balancing emotions, strengthening the immune system and regulating organ systems.
Studies have shown that patients receiving acupuncture have elevated immune-enhancing hormones and blood counts for up to three days after treatment. If you begin to feel the symptoms of the cold or flu coming on, it is important to visit your acupuncturist right away to get the most benefit from your treatment.