How can you improve your immune health?

Stay strong and healthy this winter

Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you reach your health goals.

Acupuncture for balancing sleep cycles

How can you improve your immune health?

Everybody gets sick at some point in their life. For some, it’s just a quick weekend thing.  For others, it can last for several days and even weeks. Why do some people always get sick whenever there is a bug going around and others don’t? It all comes down to immunity. People who have a stronger immune system, tend to be sick less often.  Those with compromised or weak immune systems, seem to get sick at the drop of a hat. There are also other factors that can impact someone’s immune health including stress levels, having other conditions that weaken the immune system, sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet.

How does TCM view immune health?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the immune system is called Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”). The Wei Qi is closely associated with the internal organs, specifically the lungs.  When the energy of the lungs is well-balanced, Wei Qi is strong and can easily fight off any external attacks. In TCM terms, the lungs dominate the skin and breathing. If lung function is deficient or compromised in any way, then the body is more open to external pathogens like viruses and bacteria. Common symptoms of decreased Wei Qi or immunity include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat, headaches, fever and/or chills.

A component of TCM is using herbal medicine, acupuncture, and using Food as Medicine as a part of the treatment plan.  Studies have found that regular acupuncture treatments can also cause the brain to increase T-cells in the body. T-cells destroy bacteria and viruses. Acupuncture needles provoke the body’s immune response by sending T-cells and white cells to the needle sites to fight off the invaders.  These effects can last for several days, which keeps immunity higher than normal.

Herbs that have been found to help immune health include Astragalus and Cordyceps. Astragalus (huang qi) is one of the more frequently used Chinese herbs. It is used to tonify the Wei Qi, fortify the lungs and protect against pathogens. Studies show huang qi increases white blood cells, which can help fight off infection and pathogenic invasions. Cordyceps (dong chong xia cao) is another immune-boosting herb. Cordyceps enhances immunity by increasing white blood cells, T-cells.

Using Food as Medicine can also be beneficial. Common foods to add-in are aromatic foods like garlic, onions, and ginger. Having cooked dark greens and dark berries can help to provide antioxidants as well. Read more about the anti-inflammatory diet, here.

Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you reach your health goals.


Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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