The Flu & You – How Can TCM Help?

Chinese medicinal clinical studies have suggested that using acupuncture as a preventative approach to colds and flu can reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the duration of the illness. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work by rebalancing the body’s systems, regulating the body’s healing energies, and enhancing the immune system.

Even though germs, bacteria, and viruses are everywhere—in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink—according to Chinese medical theory, they do not cause disease. Illness occurs when our Wei Qi and our meridian organ systems are weak and out of balance. When this occurs it creates a hospitable for germs, bacteria, and viruses to thrive, leading to a cold, the flu, or worse.

What in the world is “Wei Qi?” One of the main theories supporting acupuncture and its treatment of colds and the flu is the concept of Wei Qi. The concept of Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. It functions as a barrier protecting and defending the body against foreign substances, which can cause illness and disease. When it is strong and abundant, we remain healthy. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes inadequate, health is compromised and we become vulnerable to outside invaders.

Throughout our lives, a variety of factors affect our health and well-being. Although most of the time we recover quickly and regain our health, when these factors are numerous, our internal mechanisms become compromised and weakened. Our Wei Qi becomes depleted, and we get sick. By the time we notice the symptoms of our illness, the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing, and healing systems have already been affected.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine support and strengthen the systems of the body that are involved in the production of Wei Qi, and can help rebalance and support the immune system and stimulate Wei Qi energy. By building up the supply of Wei Qi, and facilitating the smooth and free flow of it throughout the body, the body’s organs and meridian systems become strong, enhancing their ability to effectively fight off illness and disease.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are safe, natural, and effective ways to support the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing, and healing systems. If illness does occur, acupuncture can help you get back on your feet again, helping to stave off prolonged illness without the use of medication and over-the-counter drugs.

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