Tagged: cupping

The Immune-Boosting Benefits of Acupuncture

Author: Pure Body Health Victoria

Immune boosting benefits of Acupuncture

Are there immune-boosting benefits of acupuncture?

The short answer? Absolutely.

The long answer? Well, we explore that in depth below!

First: What is Acupuncture?

For the uninitiated, acupuncture is an ancient alternative medicine philosophy that has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years. It is a safe and effective treatment that is used both alone and in conjunction with myriad diagnoses, such as, but not limited to, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, fatigue, dental pain, eye problems, irritable bowel syndrome, menopause, nausea, and seasonal affective disorder.

Acupuncture utilizes a variety of techniques:


Acupressure is the manual application of pressure to targeted points on the body by a professional, typically via their fingertips.


An ancient method of alternative method used to non-invasively target general body pain, inflammation, and blood flow concerns, cupping is the act of putting specialized cuts atop of targeted points along the body in order to create suction. It is classified as a type of deep-tissue massage.


Moxibustion is an external treatment based on alternative Chinese medicine that aids in blood flow and involves carefully burning moxa (a tool made of ground mugwort leaves) directly or indirectly to the body’s acupuncture points as a stimulant.


Last but certainly not least is infrared light therapy, which works alongside acupuncture to flush unwanted toxins from the body and increase overall circulation. It is also specifically used on clients who have concerns surrounding stiff muscles and/or joint pain.

How Do the Benefits of Acupuncture Boost the Immune System?

Due to acupuncture’s ability to stimulate the body’s immune response, it has been linked to the body’s improved ability to bounce back and better fight future infections.

In fact, studies have shown acupuncture’s tangible effectiveness in improving the body’s long-term immune function via bolstering white blood cell and T-cell numbers for up to one month post-treatment.

Acupuncture’s other immune-boosting benefit? Soothing common symptoms that often run down one’s immune system, especially over the winter months. These include chronic anxiety, stress, and poor sleep quality.

The top acupuncture points for immune-bolstering are:

  • GB-20, located at the back of the head
  • KI-27, located directly below the collarbone
  • ST-36, located on the shin
  • LI-4, located between the thumb and index finger
  • LU-7, located at the base of the thumb

Are There Limitations to Acupuncture’s Efficacy?

Yes. As detailed on our dedicated acupuncture page, there are specific conditions which require a professional judgement before acupuncture can be applied in order to ensure client safety. These are:

  • Sepsis
  • Notifiable diseases
  • Undiagnosed seizures
  • Endocarditis
  • Pregnancy (in the first trimester)
  • Having a pacemaker
  • The use of anticoagulants
  • Active infections
  • Skin lesions
  • Lymphoedema

When in doubt? Discuss your health condition with your health professional ahead of booking your acupuncture appointment.

Have Further Questions About How Acupuncture Can Benefit You?

Reach out to the Pure Body Health Victoria team today to learn how acupuncture can work alongside your lifestyle efforts to support a healthy immune system.

Attune to Spring with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Melissa Hawboldt, Dr. TCM

Have you noticed any changes in your health and energy in the last month or so? Spring is in full bloom here in Victoria, BC. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, each season has it’s own unique connection with all aspects of our wellbeing – mental, emotional and physical. Spring is associated with the Wood element, the East, wind, the colour green, and the Liver-Gallbladder system. The Earth’s, and our energy is moving up and out – bringing all sorts of things to the surface, from flower buds to skin rashes and old emotions. 

Emotional & Physical Balance 

Spring is associated with the emotion of anger. When the Qi (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy in our bodies is not moving smoothly, it can stagnate. This leads to feelings of frustration, irritability, and anger. When the Liver -Gallbladder system is out of balance you may also experience vivid dreams, depression, indigestion, sciatica, discomfort and tension around the ribcage and neck and shoulder area. 

To keep the Qi moving in your body, try brisk walks, shaking your arms and legs wildly for a minute or dancing to your favourite song. Acupuncture and cupping are also wonderful ways to get the Qi circulating, calm the mind, and relax body tension. 

The Liver-Gallbladder system is also connected to the eyes, and in turn, our vision for the future and our ability to gain a fresh perspective or outlook. Spring is an opportune time for journaling, goal setting, and creative pursuits. Spring is the season of movement, change, transformation, new beginnings and new ways of looking at the world. 

Eating for the Season 

Do you change your eating habits from season to season? According to TCM food therapy, for optimal health and wellness it is best align your food choices to your individual constitution and pattern first (you can talk to a TCM practitioner about this) and to the season second. 

The season of spring is traditionally a time to cleanse from a heavier winter diet. However, be cautious if you tend to have digestive problems. Raw, frozen, cold temperature and cold natured foods (such as fruit juices, cucumber, avocado and tomato) can weaken ‘digestive fire’ resulting in bloating, abdominal pain and loose stool. Ease into seasonal salads and smoothies if you tend to these symptoms. 

Time to transition from the slow and low cooking methods of winter and begin to use shorter cooking times and higher heat; poaching, blanching, steaming, sautéing and stir-frying are ideal. 

To give your Liver-Gallbladder system some love, avoid greasy, deep-fried foods, alcohol, peanuts, processed foods and limit your intake of dairy and spicy foods.

Foods that support and cleanse the Liver-Gallbladder system include: greens, sprouts, fennel, beets, carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, radishes, beans, quinoa, seaweed, blackstrap molasses, lemon, lime, plums, blackberries, raspberries, basil, sage, anise, nettles, turmeric, chamomile, and chrysanthemum herbal teas. 

Seasonal Allergies 

This is the time of year where I start to get my seasonal allergy patients back in clinic. Acupuncture, cupping and food therapy are used to reduce the frequency and severity of allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, headaches, and a foggy head. 

Do you have allergies or are you prone to catching colds in the fall? This is an opportune time to get preventative treatment, as in TCM theory, it is best to treat seasonal issues two seasons before. 

Acupuncture, cupping and food therapy can be extremely helpful during seasonal and life transitions. If you have any questions please connect with the wonderful team of acupuncturists at Pure Body Health. 

In health and happiness, 

Melissa Hawboldt, Dr. TCM