Autoimmune disease – How Acupuncture helps

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Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders where the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. There are more than eighty serious chronic illnesses in this category including rheumatoid Arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, thyroid disease, Irritable bowel disease, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Multiple sclerosis, Addison's disease and more.  Today, approximately 50 million Americans (20% of the population, or 1 in every 5 people), suffer from autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disorders affects 30 million women and make up the fourth largest cause of disability among them.

Autoimmune diseases are poorly understood and misdiagnosed of any illnesses and are rarely discussed as a women's health issue. Autoimmune diseases affects multiple body systems and their symptoms are often misleading.

Western treatments involve the use of medications with varying degrees of effectiveness and toxicity. The drugs do not cure the disorder, they just address the symptoms and suppress the immune system in order to keep symptoms under control.

Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune diseases, integrative medicine solutions including Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment.

According to Oriental Medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is imbalance within the body. Imbalances can come from excess or deficiency within the body that disrupts the flow of vital force through the body.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine treats autoimmune disease by reducing inflammation, decreasing pain frequency and intensity, relieve side effects from medication, improving energy level and addressing a multitude of symptoms that unique to each individual and improving quality of life.

Clinical research has shown that Acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland and parts of the brain. These responses cause the body to release proteins, hormones and brain chemicals such as serotonin that control several body functions. Acupuncture affects the blood pressure, body temperature and immune system by these actions.  A study conducted by the Mayo clinic found that fibromyalgia patients who received Acupuncture had significant improvement in pain levels, fatigue and anxiety. The research concluded that Acupuncture would be very beneficial to fibromyalgia patients in managing the symptoms of the disease.

In addition to Acupuncture, your treatment program to manage your autoimmune disorder may involve a combination of therapies including stress reducing exercises, moderate physical activity, homeopathic injections, herbal medicines, bodywork and nutritional and diet changes. Perhaps most importantly, your Acupuncture Physician will focus on YOU as an individual. Your care will be tailored to your specific needs and symptoms, so you won't ever receive a "one-size-fits-all" treatment.

  • TEA: both green and black tea contains flavonoids, catechins which are beneficial in autoimmune disease.
  • APPLES: they contain flavonoid, quercetin that can reduce allergic reactions and decrease inflammation. Quercetin occurs naturally in certain foods, such as berries, red grapes, red onions and capers.
  • Ginger: studies show that ginger reduces inflammation by inhibiting prostaglandin and suppresses the immune system's production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, reducing disease severity in patients with arthritis.
To learn more about how Acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into your care, please call Five Element Wellness Center for a consultation.

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