Staying Well Amidst the Chill: How Acupuncture Boosts Immunity During Cold and Flu Season

Staying Well Amidst the Chill: How Acupuncture Boosts Immunity During Cold and Flu Season


As the cold and flu season approaches, many individuals seek ways to fortify their immune systems against the impending threats of illness. Acupuncture, has gained recognition for its potential to bolster immunity and reduce susceptibility to infections. In this article, we explore how acupuncture can serve as a valuable ally in the battle against colds and flu.

Three Key Factors Contributing to Increased Vulnerability During Cold and Flu Season

1. Viral Exposure

During the colder months, people spend more time indoors, increasing the likelihood of close contact with individuals carrying cold and flu viruses.

2. Weakened Immune Function

The drop in temperature and reduced exposure to sunlight can compromise the immune system's ability to fend off infections.

3. Stress

The holiday season and the pressures of year-end responsibilities often contribute to heightened stress levels, which can weaken the immune system.

Specific Acupuncture Points for Immune Support

Large Intestine Meridian:

LI-4 (He Gu): Located between the thumb and index finger, this point can strengthen the immune system and help relieve cold symptoms.

    Lung Meridian:

    LU-7 (Lie Que): Found just above the wrist crease on the radial side, it supports lung function and helps the body fend off respiratory infections.

      Spleen Meridian:

      SP-6 (San Yin Jiao): Located on the inner side of the leg above the ankle, this point enhances overall immune function by strengthening the spleen.

        TCM Patterns and Immune Support

        Wei Qi Deficiency:

        Wei Qi is the body's protective energy, and its deficiency can lead to frequent infections.

        Acupuncture Treatment: LU-9 (Tai Yuan) and ST-36 (Zu San Li) to tonify the Lung and Spleen.
        TCM Formulas: Yu Ping Feng San to strengthen Wei Qi.
        Dietary Suggestions: Foods that boost Wei Qi like astragalus root, garlic, and ginger.

          Wind-Cold Invasion:

          Description: Symptoms include chills, fever, and nasal congestion, indicating an external pathogenic invasion.

          Acupuncture Treatment: GB-20 (Feng Chi) and LI-11 (Qu Chi) to expel Wind and Cold.
          TCM Formulas: Xiao Qing Long Tang to disperse Wind-Cold.
          Dietary Suggestions: Warming foods like soups, stews, and herbal teas.

            Liver Qi Stagnation:

            Description: Emotional stress and tension can lead to Liver Qi stagnation, weakening the immune system.

            Acupuncture Treatment: LV-3 (Tai Chong) and PC-6 (Nei Guan) to regulate Liver Qi.
            TCM Formulas: Xiao Yao San to relieve stress and promote harmonious Qi flow.
            Dietary Suggestions: Foods that soothe Liver Qi like chamomile, lemon balm, and green tea.

              Acupuncture, with its focus on rebalancing the body's energy and strengthening its defenses, offers a valuable tool for promoting immune health during the cold and flu season. Research, such as a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, suggests that acupuncture can enhance immune function and reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms1.

              By understanding the TCM patterns associated with immune weakness and using specific acupuncture points, practitioners can provide their patients with a natural and effective means of fortifying their defenses during this challenging season.


              1. Kavoussi, B., & Ross, B. E. (2007). The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 13(1), 3-7. 


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