Thrive During Cold and Flu Season
While many of us may enjoy the cooler weather, it unfortunately marks the beginning of this year’s cold and flu season. However, just because this time of year marks a rise in the number of cold and flu cases does not mean that you must be one of those cases. We cannot control the weather, but we can control how we take care of our bodies – and our health. Receiving regular acupuncture treatments are one way that we can make ourselves less vulnerable to illness.
It has been proven that utilizing acupuncture can reduce the chance of catching a cold or flu in the first place. Acupuncture prevents colds and flu by boosting the immune system. Numerous studies have shown that patients receiving acupuncture have increased immune-boosting hormones and blood counts for up to three days after treatment. This is because the insertion of acupuncture needles into specific areas on the body help to start a cascade of biophysiological reactions. The parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) is turned on, sending out various neurotransmitters, hormones and other chemicals to help bring our body into a homeostatic state. The immune system has been turned on and enhanced.
For those who may already feel the symptoms of the cold or flu coming on (hello, sore throat), it is important to visit an acupuncturist right away in order to get the most benefit from treatment. This is because acupuncture can shorten the duration of an illness and it can also lessen the severity of symptoms you may be experiencing.
For example, acupuncture can help to reduce chills, fevers and body aches as well as relieve sore throat and congestion. If you’re already sick, coming in regularly is recommended as this is an active condition and we want to relieve it before it becomes chronic, i.e. think of how a common cold becomes bronchitis or pneumonia in some people.
If you’re already feeling under the weather or anxious that you might be at risk of catching a cold, acupuncture may be able to help. Not only will it bolster your immune system, but it can help to fight off external pathogens and help with other parts of our body: the cardiovascular system, nervous system, lymphatic system, etc. that all play a part in our health and well-being.
With the stress and business of the holidays, don’t add worrying about staying healthy to your to-do list.