Following is the second part of an interview I did with our very own Chava Quist, L.Ac MSTOM. For part 1, please click here.
Rob Benhuri: What can acupuncture do to strengthen the immune system?
Chava Quist: if you are prone to getting cold and flu, it is recommended to do a course of acupuncture prior to getting sick. Acupuncture has been shown through many research studies to stimulate the function of the immune system as well as support a normalized sleep cycle and help with stress management.
If sleep is poor it adds another variable and makes it harder for the body to heal. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) historically was applied as a preventative therapy to support people from getting sick during change of season or other stressors.
If you already started having cold and flu symptoms, getting acupuncture asap is the best approach. Acupuncture can be applied to alleviate symptoms like body ache, headache, fatigue, sore throat and cough.
RB: Are herbs always necessary? I know as a practitioner I am always concerned about the cost of treatment, so there is some pressure not to use herbs.
CQ: Honestly, i think herbs are highly important, especially when talking about acute illness. The reason being is that ideally if someone suffers from cold or flu they should come foracupuncture several days in a row to really fully treat the problem. Often with our modern lives people come for one session, feel good off the table, and don???t come again right away. if they don???t come enough (2 or 3 days in a row) then they almost certainly need herbs to coninue the work of the treatment once they leave the office. With acute illness we want to be aggressive so that it doesn???t linger in the body.
RB: Why is it so imoprtant to get acute illness out of the body? Sounds like a topic for a whole other blog!
CQ: TCM theory says the nature of any pathogen is to go deeper and deeper into the body.
Acute illness is considered superficial and should be easy to drive out. But if an acute illness is not treated or not completely treated they have the potential to become chronic and be another factor in weakening the body. Thus, the longer the illness is lodged in the body, the more complicated the treatment becomes to eradicate it.