By Katherine Armer, MSTCM, Lac
Even before the world was gripped by Covid anxiety, we all could use help boosting our immune systems. First and foremost, getting good sleep, exercising, eating healthy whole foods (avoiding sugar and refined carbs!) and managing stress are crucial for maintaining well being. If you share a house with little kids, or work with kids and/or in the service industries, avoiding seasonal colds is pretty much out of the question. But staying on top of your immune health will help you get through even the snottiest months of winter. Many of us also like to add herbs and nutritional supplements to our arsenal, particularly in the winter or in pollen season/s if you get allergies. Elderberry, Zinc, Vitamins D&C can all be incredibly helpful. The combination of Nettles and Quercetin is also a favorite here at Lemontree Wellness.
In addition to receiving acupuncture treatments to support balance and a strong immune system, you can do acupressure on yourself, both as health maintenance and in acute circumstances. The following are just a few of the points we use in Traditional Chinese Medicine to give the immune system a boost. They are easy to find, and can be held with minimal pressure, or stimulated with stronger pressure, depending on your sensitivity and energy levels.
To stimulate an acupressure point, find the point in the area described that feels tender. Apply medium pressure, and massage gently in a circular pattern for 30-60 seconds. It’s normal if it’s tender but don’t stimulate it if causing pain or redness.
Stomach 36 is a primary acupuncture point for stimulating and strengthening the immune system and regenerating energy. It is known to help digestion, alleviate allergies and prevent diseases by shoring up immunity. It is used in cases of chronic illness, poor digestion, general weakness, and fatigue. It is found about a hand length below the kneecap, slightly lateral and in beside the prominence of the tibia bone.
Large Intestine 4 is a great point for any kind of congestion, and is thought to be anti-inflammatory. It treats any kind of head and neck pain and tension, improves circulation and strengthens the immune system. It’s located in the space between the thumb and first finger, half-way along from the wrist crease to the fist knuckle. Usually there is tenderness there- it speaks to the power of acupressure that this point is contra-indicated in pregnancy, even when not using needles.
Lung 7 is one of the common points used for symptomatic relief of cough, headache and stiff neck. It is thought to bolster the body’s natural defenses and protective mechanisms. To locate it, make a thumbs-up sign and look for the depression at the base of your thumb. From that depression, LU7 is located approximately two finger-widths up your arm towards your elbow.
Large Intestine 11 (pictured above) has traditionally been used to help prevent colds and flus. Modern studies have shown that it regulates immunity, and stimulating this point is one of TCM’s best tricks for reducing fever. It helps circulation and clears pathogenic heat. It is located at the lateral edge of the elbow crease.
We have acupuncture appointments available on Mondays through Thursdays. You can book online using our easy scheduling system HERE. 💛