A look into an alternative way to get through flu season.
By Carol Haslam October 12, 2011

Once again, flu season is upon us. In my last article, I examined the importance of taking a Vitamin D supplement to empower your body to resist the flu (5000 iu per day has been clinically proven to be as effective as a flu vaccine), and two herbs (elderberry and olive leaf extract) as which have been clinically shown to contain anti-viral properties effective in defeating the flu and cold.

This week we’ll discuss the claims of Acupuncture in the fight against colds and flu.

According to The World Health Organization, Acupuncture is effective in preventing cold and flu, and shortening the duration of a flu/cold if it is contracted (World Health Organization. Viewpoint on Acupuncture. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1979).

But why?

Germs are everywhere. Viruses are everywhere. But most of us are not perpetually sick from them. The reason is because our bodies successfully fight the bacteria and viruses in order to keep us well. The problem is when the body’s systems become too weak to kill the invading ailments.

Your body can be weakened by all sorts of factors; bad nutrition, lack of the nutrients you need, stress, smoking, sleep deprivation … the list can go on, and on. But, let’s look at stress. Every time you get stressed (in a traffic jam, over a project, at work when your boss looks over your shoulder, when the kids are fighting, etc) your body produces hormones and chemicals that (in ages past) were used for a fight/flight response. In our culture, many people are constantly producing these chemicals, as our stressors are endless and constant. Sometimes, even what we use to de-stress causes production of these chemicals (TV, video games, etc).

As these chemicals are produced, some of the body’s elimination mechanisms are redirected from the fight against viruses and bacteria to deal with elimination of the stress chemicals. We produce so many of these chemicals, that many are actually not eliminated, and are taken to various points in the body’s muscle tissue for storage.

Your body is similar to your house, in many ways. You put books on a shelf, dirty clothes in a laundry basket, and underwear in a drawer. You have a place to hold the wine, a drawer for the silverware, and a fridge for the food. Your body also has storage spots where chemicals from various types of stress are placed if they’re not taken out with the trash (sweat, urine, fecal matter).

When those storage spots get full, they become ‘toxic’. Blood flow is slowed in the area, and toxin traffic jams begin. All of this weakens our body’s natural ability to fight invasions such as cold and flu viruses.

That’s where acupuncture/acupressure comes in. These practices assist the body in clearing out the traffic jams. As the toxic build up of a spot is lessened or eliminated (through needles or pressure), the body’s energy flows (circulatory, nervous, and lymphatic systems) are stronger, and thus the person’s resistance to bacteria and virus is restored and strengthened.

Acupuncture/pressure is primarily about prevention. But it can also be used as treatment. As with any herbal remedy or pharmaceutical drug, the sooner you begin treatment of an ailment, the better. When you take a medication “at the first sign” of symptoms, you’ll get through it faster because you get it while it’s small. Likewise, if you get an acupuncture appointment when you first start to feel symptoms or feel run down, it will be more beneficial.

By Carol Haslam October 12, 2011