Germ Theory: 101
Why do some people always catch a cold, and others don’t? Viruses, germs, and bacteria are everywhere. They are in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, but not all of them are bad or harmful.
Think of the immune system as your body's security detail. The cells, tissues, and organs that comprise it help repel foreign invaders like harmful bacteria, parasites and other microbes that can cause infections. Disorders of the immune system range from everyday annoyances like mild seasonal allergies to serious illnesses like leukemia. Stress, lack of sleep and other common conditions can contribute to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to infections.
When a particular meridian/organ system is already weak and unable to resist “outside” invasion, it is therefore prone to attack by germs, such as viruses and bacteria. Illness and disease can only result when our body provides a hospitable environment.
Your meridian channels control the flow of healing energy, called Qi (“chee”) throughout your entire body, including your organs. The function (health) of your lungs and the strength of your immune system all depend upon the quality, quantity, and balance of healing Qi. According to Chinese medicine, the "true cure" of disease is simply NOT to kill germs, but to reestablish and build up the body's amount of Qi so it can fight them off naturally. Ultimately, an adequate amount of Qi is required to restore the integrity of your meridian and organ system. Germs simply struggle to set up camp in a strong and healthy body.
It is also thought that your body has a protective layer surrounding it called Wei Qi. Your Wei QI also acts as a protective barrier to help keep illness at bay. When your Wei Qi is weakened, you become more vulnerable to illness.
Germs gather and thrive only in weakened parts of a person’s body. When there is an imbalance of Qi, the normal functions of your body will ultimately be affected. This can compromise the normal immune system response to germs and lead to illness.
The onset of disease requires both a pathogen and a host. When germs are strong, but the environment of the host (you) is stronger, the disease could be resisted. If the host is weak, however, then your environment can become a hospitable refuge for viruses, germs, bacteria, and other microbes to set up shop.
Good news! Acupuncture therapy can treat a wide range of health conditions, including immune deficiency, by stimulating and balancing the immune system. The goal is to strengthen the body’s response to foreign invaders, therefore, preventing illness and disease. Acupuncture can strengthen a weakened immune system by increasing red and white cell counts, T-cell count and enhancing humoral and cellular immunity. Acupuncture can regulate immune function and treat the underlying cause of the disease by reducing symptoms, speeding up the healing of infection and normalizing the body’s immune response.