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Advantages of Choosing Traditional Chinese Medicine to Boost Immunity

From herbal remedies to acupuncture, there are many more advantages to TCM that you can explore and take advantage of for modern wellness. Learn about the holistic approach TCM takes towards better health, immunity, and flow of qi.

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The recent COVID-19 pandemic brought with it an increased interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and other alternative treatments. This interest was further bolstered by a study conducted in TCM Hospital in Wuhan which showed a greater than 90% efficacy in treating the disease and boosting immunity against it.

But what is the immune system to begin with? The immune system is a collection of cells and organs which act collectively to protect the body from harmful bacteria and other microbes, particles, and toxins. The cells fall into two major categories:

  • Innate immune response, which is the first line of defense and attacks the invader instantly 
  • Adaptive immune response, wherein the cells not only attack the invader but also “remembers” it so that it produces antibodies with succeeding exposure.

What is TCM?

TCM is a comprehensive system of healthcare which is being practiced for over a thousand years. It involves balancing qi (the body’s vital energy) and the harmonious flow and balance of Yin and Yang. TCM takes a holistic approach, wherein imbalances in one area of the body can affect overall health and functioning.

The Advantages of Choosing TCM to Boost Immunity

To better understand the advantages of choosing TCM to boost immunity, we shall discuss the main treatment modalities in TCM and the benefits they provide.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine, thin needles into specific points along the affected meridians of the body. This helps to regulate the flow of qi and enhances the body’s natural defense. It also helps to reduce inflammation and improve the overall functioning of the immune system. 

Acupressure

Acupressure follows the same principle as acupuncture except that you massage the affected points of the body’s meridians. Aside from the regulation of the flow of qi, acupressure also reduces inflammation and boosts immune system function. Good examples of acupressure points include ST 36 ( Zu San Li) and SP 6 (San Yin Jiao) Intersection.

Dietary Adjustments

Diet plays a critical role in TCM in maintaining health and preventing disease. During cold seasons, warm foods such as garlic, ginger, and cinnamon are recommended to be added in one’s diet. In contrast, cooling foods such as dandelion are given during hot seasons. These foods invigorate the body, improve blood and qi circulation, and strengthen the immune system.

Seasonal Lifestyle Adjustments

TCM emphasizes the need to make lifestyle adjustments with the changing of seasons. In summer, physical activity and exercise is recommended in order to burn off excess energy. In fall and winter, the reverse is true, wherein sleep and rest are needed to conserve energy. During cold seasons, one can engage in gentler exercises, such as Tai Chi or Qigong, to improve qi circulation, for stress reduction, and boost immune function.

Herbal Medicine

TCM utilizes a wide range of herbal medicines in its arsenal, with many to have a beneficial effect on the immune system. Herbs such as astragalus, reishi mushrooms, and ginseng are commonly used in boosting immune function, increase energy, and help the body overall to adjust to seasonal changes.

Stress Reduction

Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on the body, one of which is a weakened immune system. TCM advocates the performance of meditation and other mindfulness techniques to help in reducing stress and restoring balance to the mind and body. Such a balance is integral for a strong immune system.

Conclusion

As you can see, TCM takes a holistic approach in boosting your immune system. Because of the specificity of treatment, it is highly advised to seek consultation with a licensed and trained TCM specialist, so that he or she will prescribe the best treatment based on your medical condition and your body’s constitution.

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