Prevention is always better than cure and the best way to keep away from flu, cold, fever and infections is by strengthening the natural protection mechanism of the body, our immune system so that it can effectively fight off these problems. The most effective way to boost the immune system naturally is through acupressure and reflexology.
The history of acupressure and reflexology can be traced back to ancient Chinese methods of healing through touching and pressing specific pressure points. Acupuncture excels as a preventive form of medicine, it makes us stronger so that we can avoid the spread of disease, and it corrects minor imbalances before they become a bigger problem.
If you were to get acupuncture treatment solely for preventative purposes, your acupuncturist would select a group of points that do the following:
- Boost your immune system (our vital energy and the foundation of how everything in our body works, including the immune system)
- Strengthen digestion (that connection between gut health and immunity)
- Strengthen the lungs (in Chinese Medicine, the lungs are our first-line defense against contracting external “wind conditions” like cold, flu, and allergies)
- Relax the mind (stress can weaken the immune system)
Top 5 Reasons for Weak Immunity:
Do you fall ill frequently or take more sick leaves than others? The reason may lie in your weak immune system that is making your body more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Here are the 5 most common causes of weak immunity, and most of us fall prey to at least one of these.
Stress is related to each and every aspect of our modern-day lifestyle, and most of us ignore its harmful effects. But stress and anxiety for a prolonged time increase the cortisol level in the body that reduces the production of the hormone prostaglandin that supports immune functioning.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is our body’s method of rejuvenating and re-energizing itself, and lack of sleep doesn’t allow the immune system to revive itself, which in turn leads to a reduced count of white blood cells. Research shows that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep are more susceptible to viral infections.
Computer-centric work requires us to sit for long hours on our seats, coupled with lack of movement and exercise reduces blood flow throughout the body, which in turn reduces the flow of antibodies that fight infections.
Over-dependence on processed and ready-to-eat meals, junk food, and sodas that are loaded with preservatives, refined sugar, pesticides, and chemicals reduces the bacteria-fighting capacity of white blood cells and damages the immune system.
A sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices have turned obesity into one of the most prevalent health conditions for people all around the world and it is common in both children and adults. Obesity takes a heavy toll on the immune system by affecting the multiplicity of white blood cells, reducing the production of antibodies, and increasing inflammation.
How Can Acupuncture And Acupressure Support Immunity?
Acupuncture is an effective alternative medicine that boasts a 5,000-year history treating a variety of disease conditions and has recently shown to have an effect on physiological activities, specifically immune function. Studies have shown that acupuncture has a regulating effect on cellular and humoral immunity, meaning it can promote your immune response to secrete antibodies to fight against antigens as well as secrete cytokines to attack pathogens. Acupuncture therapy will give your cells a powerful punch to fight germs and viruses.
Acupressure, like acupuncture, is a method of sending a signal to the nervous system to “turn on” its own self-healing or regulatory mechanisms, but instead of using needles, you are using the pressure of your fingertips. Acupressure uses the same meridians and points as acupuncture does and helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow of your chi.
7 Best Pressure Points To Boost Immune System
Acupressure helps in successful treatment and long-term relief from almost all types of ailments like migraine, pains, indigestion, stress, diabetes, eye problems, asthma, and others. Here mentioned are a few pressure points that can be stimulated for reviving the immune system effectively.
1. Great Ravine:
This is one of the most well-known acupressure points to improve the immune system. This pressure point is located halfway between the highest point of the inner ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. Stimulating this point on both feet alternately helps strengthen the immune system. It also helps in treating asthma, sore throat, headache, anxiety and regulates the proper functioning of the kidney.
2. Great Rushing:
This point is located on the top of the foot, in the webbing between the big and the second toes. Stimulating this point on both the feet alternately helps in stimulating the immune system by increasing blood flow throughout the body and regulating Qi flow. It also helps in relieving vision problems, headaches, menstrual cramps, lower back pain, and insomnia.
3. Three Yin Crossing:
This is the intersecting point of the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney meridians. It is located three finger-widths above the inner ankle bone, along the back of the tibia. Stimulating this point on both the feet alternately helps in relieving immune weakness and restoring vitality. It also helps in stress reduction, treating gynecological problems like PMS, painful or irregular menstruation, reducing lower back and knee pain, insomnia, and dizziness.
4. Three Mile Point:
This point is located two finger widths out from the shinbone and one palm width below the patella. Stimulating this point on both legs alternately helps in revitalizing the body and regulating immune functions. It also helps in reducing stress and depression, digestive disorders, fever, and shortness of breath.
5. Shu Mansion:
This point is located under the collar bone in the depression near the breast bone. Stimulating this point helps in boosting up the functions of the immune system. It also helps in relieving depression, anxiety, clearing nasal congestion, and breathing difficulty. It reinforces immune system functioning by strengthening the respiratory system; especially good for people prone to upper respiratory infections.
6. Crooked Pond:
This point is located at the top of the elbow crease, at the edge of the joint. Stimulating this point on both arms alternately relieves immune weakness. It also helps in treating fever, keeping the colon clear thereby relieving constipation and indigestion.
7. Upper Sea of Qi:
This point is located slightly below the center of the breast bone. Stimulating this point helps in increasing the body’s resistance power to fight illness by regulating the thymus gland. It also helps in relieving anxiety and stress.
Few Other Immune System Acupressure Points
Lung 7 (LU-7)
It is located at the beginning of the depression in the wrist at the base of the thumb, approximately two finger widths up your arm. It helps strengthen the lungs to push out pathology. Traditionally, it was used for early symptoms of a cold/flu-like fever/chills and sore throat. However, it also bolsters the body’s resistance against seasonal bugs and viruses. Additionally, it treats grief and sadness, which can weaken the lungs.
Gall Bladder 20 (GB-20)
It is located on the back of the head, in the depression between the upper portion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the trapezius. It helps protect the body from exterior pathology, releases a headache and a stiff neck, nourishes the brain, benefits the eyes, and, clears the head, and calms the spirit.
Acupressure is just one tool in the toolbox to assist with building up your immunity and defenses. There are so many more tools to empower you in your own health, daily. However, you must give reflexology a try, to heal the immune system from within by stimulating the specific acupressure points.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Acupuncture Strengthen The Immune System?
Acupuncture increases the amount of your body’s immune cells, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and T-cells. It also enhances the immunity of those with immune-related illnesses by encouraging these cells to reproduce and boost the body’s defenses.
Which Acupressure Point Is Best For Immunity?
Stomach 36 is one of the most effective acupressure points to strengthen the immune system. Acupuncturists often incorporate this point into different types of treatments.
Can Reflexology Help The Immune System?
A non-negligible additional benefit of Reflexology is stress reduction, which positively contributes to your immune system. Reflexology also boosts the production of endorphins, which are needed by immune cell receptors to function properly. Endorphins are necessary for proper immune function.
Does Foot Massage Help The Immune System?
Research has shown that receiving regular foot massage helps boost our immune system and flushes toxins, thus increasing blood flow throughout the body.