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Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions Newsletter   Providing Natural Health Care for the Entire Family
Issue #2016-7a

TCM and Your Immune System

Your immune system is the most important part of your body when it comes to staying healthy and fighting off disease and illness. It works by detecting harmful pathogens and viruses and protecting your body against them. When your immune system is not running properly, the body becomes more susceptible to illness. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine has focused on immune health for centuries. TCM believes that disease and illness arise when there is an imbalance in the body. When yin and yang are balanced, the body can function normally. When these energies are not in equilibrium, the body's natural energy flow, Qi, experiences disturbances resulting in illness. 

To keep the body working properly, TCM believes that any excesses or deficiencies in yin and yang need to be corrected. This is done in a holistic manner. By addressing the body as a whole, techniques such as acupuncture are used to bring the body back to its normal balance, which results in a healthy immune system. 

In TCM, different organs have different roles in immune health. 

  • The lungs are the first barrier to outside pathogens. The lungs disperse Qi to the body's surface to protect it. 

  • The spleen is seen as the blood and Qi source of the body. It works to move fluids and regulate blood flow. 

  • The kidneys are believed to be the root of healthy energy, keeping the body in equilibrium and strengthening the immune system. 
  • The liver promotes functioning of the endocrine, digestive, circulatory and immune system. The liver is responsible for the movement of Qi.

  • Lastly, the heart is one of the most important organs and works to regulate blood flow. The heart ultimately balances our body's nervous, cardiovascular and endocrine systems, which is vital for immune health. 

Acupuncture can help boost the immune system through specific acupuncture points on the body based on the meridian system. The meridian system is the path through which Qi flows. When the body is not in its best health, there may be a stagnation in Qi. Acupuncture works by releasing these blockages to return the body back to balance and its best immune health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory and Immunity

Acupuncture for Immune Deficiency

There are more than 80 chronic illnesses that are immune related including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and celiac disease. 

Autoimmune diseases result when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body's tissues. Immune deficiency is more common than most people think; around 20 percent of the population suffers from some form of an autoimmune disorder, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. 

Although symptoms vary greatly depending on the specific disease, commons symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle weakness, weight loss, dry eyes and abdominal pain. 

Autoimmune diseases are not always easily treated, as they are a chronic illness with no known cure. However, there are natural ways to ease and reduce symptoms such as acupuncture treatment. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that immune deficiencies come from an imbalance in the body. When there is a stagnation in the body's natural energy flow, called Qi, the body becomes out of balance, whether it is from a deficiency or excess of yin or yang. 

Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. By using specific acupuncture points on the body, the treatment is able to release any blockages and return the body back to its natural balance. 

Research has shown that acupuncture can affect the release of hormones, proteins and chemicals in the body, which can affect blood pressure and the immune system. 

Although there is no cure, immune deficiencies can be managed properly to have the best quality of life possible. Acupuncture has also been shown to help boost mood and lower stress and anxiety, which can be triggers for increased symptoms. 

If you think you may have an autoimmune disease and are not getting a diagnosis, don't give up. Immune deficiencies are hard to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms. It may take multiple doctors to get a correct diagnosis. 

Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive treatment option that can decrease symptoms and improve overall well being. 

Tips - Ways to Supercharge Your 
Immune System

The immune system can get bogged down for a number of reasons, whether it is from being overworked, or chronic allergies, we all are looking for ways to improve our overall health and wellbeing. Below a re tips to improve and strengthen immune function to keep the body in its best shape and fight off illness. 

Lemon and Peppermint oil

Both of these oils have detoxifying and healing properties for the body. Part of a strong immune system is cleansing and ridding the body of toxins. By adding a few drops of lemon oil to your water every day, the oil will help clean the blood and toxic buildup in your body.  Peppermint oil is known for its healing properties for headaches, indigestion and a large variety of stomach ailments. Add peppermint oil or peppermint tea to your daily routine to aid digestion and help reduce cravings of sugary foods. 


Good bacteria, such as probiotics, are necessary for a healthy digestive system and as a result, overall immune function. When you take antibiotics to kill bad bacteria in your body, you are also killing the good bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium along with it. When this happens, the body can become out of balance and result in chronic stomach pain. Taking a probiotic supplement or drinking liquids with probiotics in it such as kefir and kombucha can help keep your digestive function inline and improve your body's food absorption. 

Reduce Stress 

Emotional stress can cause a number of physical problems like insomnia, stomach pain and headaches. Because of this, the body can become very sick from chronic stress. Ways to reduce stress include exercise, meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises. 


Acupuncture has been shown to increase the white blood cell count in the body and stimulate the immune system. By placing acupuncture needles in specific points of the body, acupuncture works by bringing the body back to balance and increasing blood and energy flow. 


Echinacea is an effective natural herb for preventing illness. The herb has been shown to increase the body's white blood cell count, boosting the immune system. You can find this flowering plant at most stores in liquid or pill form. 


Exercise is good for the body and mind in just about every way, one of them being immune health. Moderate exercise promotes circulation and blood flow, which keeps the body's cells moving and working. Try adding just 20 minutes of exercise to your daily routine, whether it is walking, yoga or jogging. 


Recipe Corner

Immune Soup

  • 8 cups (237 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bulb garlic (at least 10 cloves), minced
  • One 1 1 / 2 inch (3 1 / 2 cm) piece of fresh gingerroot grated
  • 1 1 / 2 cups salted vegetable soup stock (I use chicken broth)
  • 5 pieces sliced dried Astragalus Root
  • 2 cups fresh, sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 large reishi mushroom
  • cayenne powder, if desired
Now, you can make variations. You can cut out the reishi if you cannot find it.
Shiitake mushrooms are amazing for the immune system and are available at most supermarkets.

Astagalus, as well as the mushrooms, are available at Asian groceries (as Huang qi root, not the powder). 

Mountain Rose Herbs is a high quality, reputable herb company.

I always have a big jar of astragalus root by my stove. I throw a few pieces in practically every soup and tea I make. It is the main herb you think about for "herbal immune system nourishment."

Oh...back to the recipe!
  1. Bring water to boil in large pot.
  2. Heat olive oil, sauté garlic, onions, and ginger until soft and aromatic. Add contents of skillet to water. Add broth, shiitake, astragalus, and reishi. Simmer covered for two hours.
  3. Remove from heat, allow to sit for two more hours.
  4. Remove astragalus and reishi mushrooms. Reheat.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne powder if desired. (just enough to bring out a light sweat)
At this point, I also usually add a bit of miso.

The information contained within the  newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is  not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health  care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult  a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before  starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.
Monthly Acupuncture Column Featured in SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine 
Toni Eatros, AP,
Acupuncture Physician, 
is the  featured acupuncture columnist in the popular SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine.
Be sure to check out July's issue, on stands now, about How to choose A Pure Olive Oil for You and Your Family

Be sure to check out June's issue, on stands now, about A Closer Look at Cholesterol & Statin Drugs - Part3 

Click the link below to view May's Article:  A Closer Look at Cholesterol & Statin Drugs - Part 2
Click the link below 
to view April's Article:
A Closer Look at Cholesterol & Statin Drugs - Part 1
Acupuncture and immune system

Acupuncture has been proven to be beneficial to the immune system in numerous studies.

 One study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2014 analyzed ca ncer patients after they received acupuncture treatment. 

The study found that there was a significant increase in blood cells as well as a decrease in fatigue after the acupuncture treatment. 

Overall, the study concluded acupuncture can boost the immune system and increase immune cells. Another study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture has been reported to improve symptoms of allergies, which is an abnormal immune response. 

The study concluded that for the patients tested, there was evidence that acupuncture treatment helped lower inflammatory properties in the body to alleviate symptoms. 

If you are suffering from any form of an autoimmune disorder contact an acupuncturist to learn more about how treatment could help you.


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Reference Books
#1 Helping Ourselves: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics

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