This article was published in Hedra News January 2016.

Acupuncture and Immunity


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers an alternative perspective on how the human body functions within itself and its environment.  It observes what happens to our bodies under certain conditions, and forms a pattern or understanding of the imbalances in that condition.  In the winter our immune systems are put to the test.  TCM recognizes one aspect of the immune system as relating to the Lungs.  This is because we commonly see disorders of the lungs in the winter, such as cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus issues, and dry skin.  The other aspect of the immune system is the deeper more chronic or long term affected immune system.  This side includes the part of the immune system that relates to autoimmune diseases, long term allergies and chronic asthma.  TCM considers this part of the immune system to be controlled by the Kidneys.

This is a holistic approach that connects the person and their environment or seasons.  As mentioned in last month’s article “Acupuncture and Change”, TCM connects the season of Fall with the Lungs, and Winter with the Kidneys.  In the fall the winter weather change is new and has just began.  The immune system of the Lungs is just like that, it is superficial, recent, newly changed.  The immune system of the Kidneys, relating to the winter is deeper, colder, darker, and longer lasting.  It is important to start early in the the fall to boost the immune system in preparation for the winter.  There are immune boosting tips to follow thru the winter season as well.  Here are a few things you can do, to give your body that boost for your short term and long term immunity:

  • Take a good quality daily vitamin – Since fresh vitamin rich produce is hard to come by in Idaho in the winter, supplementing your diet is important. Also, a lack of sunlight can cause vitamin D deficiency, and increase depression.
  • Drink bone broth or Miso soup – Another source high in vitamins and bone broth in particular contains the marrow from within the bones treating the Kidneys; Miso contains seaweed which supplements the Kidneys.
  • Adrenals relate to the Kidneys – The adrenals are glands that regulate stress hormones.  Relieve stress and give your adrenals a break.  To read more about the adrenals & stress see our blog at
  • See a licensed Acupuncturist – Weekly treatments can boost your longevity and help your immune system find it’s way back to balance.  Acupuncture will treat any symptoms associated with the immune system along with the common winter colds and flu’s.  Chinese herbs can also be helpful for remedying these conditions.
  • You’ll live better and longer – Taking care of your body will improve your quality of life, and you’ll feel better while doing it.

One main focus for Acupuncture is to help bring the body back to balance.  If you are having symptoms then you most likely have an imbalance somewhere.  Symptoms can seem good &/or bad, that’s right too many “good” symptoms can be an imbalance too.  Read next month’s issue to find out more.  Here’s your sneak peek for next month, we will talk about Acupuncture and Balance.