Whether you're going back to the office or the classroom, there is never a better time to supercharge your immune system!
The immune system can get bogged down by many things, including lack of sleep, stress, and diet. As we approach fall and the ever daunting flu season, it is important that you take good care of your immune system so that it can in turn take care of you.
Acupuncture has long been known to be a supportive activity for the immune system. By stimulating certain points, acupuncture increases blood flow and energy, both of which are vital to keeping your immune system functioning at 100%.
Along with acupuncture, here are our 6 top tips
that you can do on a daily basis to ensure that your immune system stays in tip-top shape!
1. Daily Exercise
Exercise is good for the body and mind in so many ways, but specifically, it is a great way to sustain healthy immunity. Moderate exercise promotes circulation and blood flow, which keeps the body's cells moving and working. Even just 20mins of exercise a day (running, walking, even yoga!) can help to support the immune system.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that are found in the gut, and they are crucial to overall body health. Balancing the bacteria in your gut helps to improve your body's food absorption as well as support all other regular body functions. Try to incorporate more probiotics into your everyday diet with drinks like kombucha and kimchi, pickled vegetables, and even sauerkraut!
3. Reduce Stress
Emotional stress can cause a number of physical problems like insomnia, stomach pain, and headaches. There’s a lot that’s impacted within your body when you become stressed. At a basic level, your body will release cortisol, which impairs T cell production and the ability to fight infection from foreign invaders. One of the ways that your body heals itself is by producing T cells (a substance in your blood that fights infection). Being stressed directly impacts your immune system, so it’s important to find ways to relax! Ways to reduce stress include exercise, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.
4. Vitamin D Not only is Vitamin D helpful in staving off or reducing your chances of getting cancer, it also guards against colds and flu as well as helps to combat the risk of infection. So how do you get more Vitamin D if you feel like you’re not getting enough? From the sun! Not only does it provide our bodies with an adequate amount, but it also helps to balance Qi which helps nourish our Kidney Yang. This helps to give our body warmth, thus keeping our tissues and organs functioning properly. Not enough sun? Not to worry! There is a large variety of Vitamin D supplements that can be taken, but be sure to consult with your doctor to check your levels before you start supplementing.
5. Get Enough Sleep
The National Heart Blood and Lung Institute states, "during sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health." In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development. The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems, including an improper balance of cytokines. Cytokines are inflammation and infection-targeting proteins both produced and released during sleep. In short, skipping the shut-eye can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, get along with others, and your immunity. The National Sleep Foundation suggests the following sleep range based on your age: Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours Adults (18-64): 7-9 hours Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Another way to combat illness is by using Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupressure points! Yes! Acupuncture can absolutely improve your immune system and body functions.
By activating specific points known to address these problems, we can actively affect positive change in one's emotional and mental well-being! Here are a couple of our favorite points that can be used.
Activate these acupoints by applying pressure with your hand in small circular motions. Do this at least 36 times at each point or longer if you have time.
For points on the limbs: do each limb and then move to the next point.
This point, Heart 7, is called "Shen Men" meaning Spirit Gate. This point reduces excesses that disturb the spirit and the balance of yin/yang. This point is so powerful that TCM practitioners often praise Shen Men as being the most calming and relaxing point in the body, while also being highly accessible.
The point, Large Intestine 4, is called "He Gu" meaning Union Valley. It is known to reduce stress, headaches, and neck pain. It’s also used to treat swelling and pain of the eye, nasal obstruction, sore throat, and more. This point is located on the back of the hand at the cener of the webbed triangle between the thumb and the index finger.
Chest Center This point, Conception Vessel 17 (aka Ren 17), is called "Tan Zhong" meaning Chest Center. It is a great self-help point for many reasons. Conception Vessel 17 is easy to find, and matches the location of the heart chakra, at the center of the sternum. With this point, you will find potent stress and anxiety relief, as well as an opening of the chest and relief of acid reflux or indigestion. This point is also known as the "Sea of Qi" which describes its invigorating effect of boosting Qi circulation, which means it improves circulation and raises your mood.
If you’re ready to jump-start your healthier fall season with Acupuncture and TCM, don’t wait, reach out and schedule an appointment today!
Yours in health & wellness,
If you or someone you know would benefit from a Healthier Fall give us a call or click to book your