Findings from studies conducted regarding the efficacy of acupuncture in improving the immune system abound. Acupuncture has been found very helpful in treating allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, colds, asthma and many other types of infections. This is in part because acupuncture does a good job in increasing the production of T-cells in the body.
These are the kinds of cells that are responsible for killing harmful bacteria and viruses that could pose threats to a person’s health. Through the use of very fine needles, accurately placed, acupuncture provokes the immune response of the body. As soon as the body detects the inserted needle, the immune system will wrongfully think that these needles are threats, so it will immediately increase its production of white blood cells.
Once the immune system is stimulated, the levels of interferon which is a group of messenger hormones will also rise. These occurrences will then jumpstart the immune system’s battle against disease-causing invaders.
This kind of immune response triggered by acupuncture is helpful in treating the underlying cause of many diseases. Through acupuncture, the healing process is accelerated, symptoms are reduced and the immune response then returns more quickly to normal.
Homeopathy is one of the many fields of natural medicine that uses a holistic approach in treating different kinds of diseases. Homeopathic practitioners take into consideration the person’s emotional, physical and mental aspects to ensure that each treatment is highly-individualized and all-inclusive. Homeopaths believe that every person has a different constitutional type.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of similarity. Thus, the saying “like cures like” is applied in each treatment. Homeopaths believe that micro doses of any substance are capable of healing whatever symptoms are caused by the same substance in larger quantities. The same principle is being implemented by pharmaceutical companies in allergy treatments and vaccines.
It has already been proven in many studies that homeopathic remedies work wonders in stimulating a person’s immune system. However, the mechanisms behind how it occurs still remain a mystery to many.
Findings from a study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed that the use of homeopathic remedy called Silicea helped stimulate the macrophages in the body. These macrophages play a role in engulfing the bad bacteria and other foreign substances found in the body.
Homeopathic remedies do not only stimulate the immune response of the body in order to jumpstart the healing process. Homeopathic treatments can also bring about feelings of calmness, especially if such effect is necessary in the healing process.
A study conducted on people afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis showed that those who were given homeopathic medicine, based on the person’s individual constitution, experienced greater relief than those from the placebo group. 82 percent of these study participants claimed to have experienced significant relief from homeopathic remedies. On the other hand, only 21 percent of those in the placebo group reported experiencing the same level of relief.
According to the researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, individuals who had a 45-minute massage were found to have an increase in the production of lymphocytes. These lymphocytes are white blood cells that function as “defenders” of the body against diseases.
But, how does massage therapy work to boost our immune system? There are two ways in which this is made possible. First, massaging the specific areas of the body enables improved lymphatic circulation. This is the process in which the lymph moves to the different areas of the body to more rapidly eliminate the disease-causing pathogens and other harmful wastes.
This improved lymphatic circulation also allows the white blood cells to spread all throughout the body. Thus, the infection-fighting capabilities of the human body are improved.
Second, massage therapy also helps to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is a hormone that increases blood pressure while temporarily reducing the production of natural killer cells. When the level of cortisol is reduced, the immune cells will be able to perform their job of protecting against diseases.
The results from a randomized study among women with breast cancer showed that massage therapy enhances the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body. This occurrence took place along with the increase in the number of lymphocytes and white blood cells.
The immediate effects of massage therapy also include alleviated symptoms of anxiety. Long-term benefits include sustained serotonin levels and improved immune system and cognitive functions.
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