The fall season is a time for focusing on immunity and lung health. Traditional Chinese medicine can play a vital role in strengthening and treating our immune system directly and in combination with adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and exercise. I sat down with our Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Cedar S. Kennedy, MAcOM, L.Ac, to discuss the importance of preparing early to strengthen the lungs and how traditional Chinese medicine can help provide immune support this fall and winter.
“In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs are associated with a type of energy called Wei Qi,” Kennedy explained. “It’s an energy that circulates outside the body and protects the individual from invading pathogens, and for that reason, some people liken it to the immune system. Strengthening the lungs therefore strengthens the Wei Qi and can act as a defense against colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses. Studies show that boosting the Wei Qi does actually result in a stronger immune system in Western terminology, as well.”
Traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture, moxibustion, and Chinese herbs are natural, effective ways to boost our immune system to stay healthy heading into cold and flu season.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and is gaining global attention from researchers due to its ability to strengthen and regulate the immune system. Acupuncture is a gentle, painless, and minimally invasive approach involving a licensed acupuncturist inserting hair-thin needles into specific points throughout the body.
“Acupuncture boosts the immune response by stimulating an increase in T-cells and other white blood cells helping to fight off invading pathogens,” Kennedy said.
Regular acupuncture treatments for immunity can help strengthen, support and rebalance the immune system to help prevent and fight off cold viruses and influenza.
Moxibustion, or moxa, is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment used to boost immunity against colds, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses. Moxa is a technique that warms the body by burning an herb called mugwort at different points on the body for therapeutic purposes.
“Moxa on one point in particular known as Stomach-36, found on the lower leg, has been extensively studied and found to increase the white blood cell count for approximately 24 hours. Combined with acupuncture, moxa can be an extremely effective natural immune booster,” said Kennedy.
Chinese herbal remedies complement acupuncture and moxibustion treatments in boosting immunity and improving overall lung health. Here are some recommended herbal remedies during cold and flu season:
- Yin Qiao: taken at first onset of common cold and flu symptoms
- Yu Ping Feng San: taken when you’re feeling well to prevent recurrent colds
Kennedy’s immune boosting routine for fall:
“I take cordyceps daily, and if I feel a cold coming on, I immediately take Yin Qiao and do some moxa on acupoint Stomach-36, followed by a hot shower and 15 minute sweat under blankets. The moxa and Yin Qiao boost the white blood cells and the artificially induced fever (i.e. sweating) kills the virus. It works like a charm!”
Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist Cedar S. Kennedy, MAcOM, L.Ac has 17 years of experience serving Kennewick, Washington, specializing in acupuncture, moxibustion, and Chinese herbs at Float Euphoria. Visit www.floateuphoria.com to schedule a consultation.
Learn more about Cedar S. Kennedy at www.cedarkennedy.com.