In the western model of medicine, a cold is transmitted from person to person through a virus or bacteria. This leaves us with the feeling that we are always “exposed” and have no means of self defense. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine model, we can do things to prevent and release disease. This is because disease can only manifest in the correct climate. Therefore, if our immune systems are healthy, we will be much less likely to get sick. This explains why some people get colds twice a season while others get colds very rarely.
The immune system is managed by the nervous system. The immune system can be impaired by what’s called Allostatic Load. Allostatis is our body’s ability to maintain balance when under stress. Thus, Allostatic Load is our bodies immune response to stress. When our body ‘fights’ off’ an illness, it creates an acute stress situation. Acute stress actually helps the immune system handle a pathogen by causing immune cells to move out of the bloodstream and into tissues where they are needed. Acute stress actually strengthens our immune system. It is chronic stress that impairs our immune system. Chronic stress comes from overwork, lack of sleep/exercise, poor diet, etc. Acupuncture actually causes acute stress by creating tiny sterile wounds all along the body’s surface. As mentioned, acute stress helps the immune system handle a pathogen by causing immune cells to move out of the bloodstream and into tissues where they are needed. Acupuncture also “resets” the Allostatic Load. After acupuncture, the body is relieved from acute & chronic stress and regains its ability to recognize and respond to pathogens. [Read more…]