27 October 2015

Cold & Flu Prevention with Acupuncture

Cold & Flu Prevention with Acupuncture

Cold and flu season is upon us. For protection from nasty flu viruses many of us opt to receive a flu shot. The protection the vaccination offers varies from year to year and depends on how well it is matched to circulating viruses. To improve on the effectiveness of the flu shot or just to boost the immune health one can add acupuncture to the flu and cold prevention routine.

Between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians die every year from flu and its complications and many others end up in hospital as a result of catching the flu virus. A few acupuncture sessions can balance the body, increase immunity and your chance to survive the winter without major illness.

Acupuncture is an ancient therapy in which very fine needles are inserted into acupuncture points located in different areas of the body, for therapeutic purposes. Sterile, disposable needles are inserted to different depths on the skin and are turned or left in place for 15-30 min. Acupuncture can not only boost the immune system but can also treat allergies, colds, cough, asthma, sinusitis and congestion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the two paired meridians of the Lung and the Large Intestine are targeted in the treatment of flu and colds as well as their prevention.

A great complement to acupuncture, or used as a separate therapy, is cupping. In cupping therapy, the practitioner uses plastic or glass cups applied to the body; the air is then suctioned out using a small manual pump. The suction stimulates acupressure points, leading to the stimulation of blood and lymph flow and the release of myofascial restrictions. Cupping also stimulates the sensory nerves in the skin and can be used in painful conditions. Before the explosion of antibiotics, cupping was a therapy of choice for many respiratory diseases. 

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