A viral infection is caused by microbes called viruses. They can cause mild, moderate and severe diseases. Some may be acute in nature. In case you get a virus, you may not always get sick from it as your immune system will fight it off. Read on to find out how acupuncture and herbs can boost the immune function to fight virus infection.

The coronavirus (Covid-19) stimulates our immune system to release a lot of chemicals which induce a super strong inflammation. A lot of thick mucus accumulates in the lungs and quickly damages the lung function. If we have a balanced immune system and no chronic inflammation in our upper respiratory system, we may not have severe symptoms even if we are carrying the coronavirus (Covid-19). On the other hand, if we consume too much spicy food, nuts, high salt food and sweets or drink alcohol daily, our lungs tend to have a lot of phlegm accumulation. We will then tend to have chronic inflammation in our upper respiratory system. Once we are dehydrated and have a higher histamine level, the virus will survive longer in the airway and trigger a very strong immune reaction with a lot of mucus accumulation in the lung, causing sudden loss of lung function. By the time people start having difficulty breathing, they have already lost the majority of their lung function because our lungs have tremendous capability to compensate. For Covid-19, use Chinese herbal formula to balance your immune function so that we can protect our lung function in early state of the virus infection.

What Causes a Viral Infection?

A viral infection is caused by the proliferation of harmful viruses inside the body. Once infected, viruses introduce their genetic material into your cells and hijack the cells function to make more viruses. Eventually, they kill the cell by bursting it and releasing newly formed viral particles free. The free viral particles then attack other cells and continue the process of tissue destruction.

Symptoms of Viral Infection

Acute infections usually begin with an incubation period. The classic symptoms include aches, pains, fever, malaise, and nausea. The incubation period can range from a few days (like influenza) to ten years (AIDS), depending on the type of virus. A typical example is uncomplicated influenza. Viral particles are inhaled in droplets produced by coughing or sneezing or through contact surface as with the coronavirus (Covid-19). Once inhaled, they begin replication of their cells and form a colony. Your innate and adaptive immune responses usually clear the infection in seven to fourteen days. However, you may feel unwell for several weeks as a consequence of the damage to the respiratory system.

Acute Viral Infections as Epidemics

Acute viral infections, especially when vaccines are not available, can be responsible for epidemics of diseases that involve millions of people every year. These are difficult to treat or control since by the time a patient feels ill, the virus has already spread to another host. Pay attention to hand hygiene practices to prevent the spread.

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Immune System

The first-line defense of your body to a viral infection is an innate immune response which functions continuously in a healthy human body. If the infection outpaces the innate response, the adaptive immune response gets activated. Acupressure, acupuncture and Chinese herbs, can boost and balance the immune system to fight virus infections. The healthy body is a result of the harmonious balance of life force known as qi. The immune system can be affected when this flow is disrupted. In acupuncture, thin needles are inserted in meridian points to balance the flow of qi. It strengthens and balances the immune system. A study published by PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20399151) addresses the mechanism of acupuncture in the modulation of various immune responses. Another study (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1581655/) describes how acupuncture activates the defense systems of your body. Chinese herbs can help clear the internal heat which leads to strong and lingering inflammation in your heart, lung or other vital organs. In the case of coronavirus (Covid-19), Chinese herbs help clear up the thick mucus to protect our lung function in the early stage of this virus infection.

If people can take herbs to balance their immune system, the immune system can control the inflammation in the right level. Then our body can clear up virus infection without damaging our lung, joints or heart function. Much autoimmune disease can be linked with virus infection such as type I diabetes.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Li Zheng is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. Graduated from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Li Zheng now has 26 years of clinical experience. She holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the US and is a Harvard Medical School-trained researcher and a professor at the New England School of Acupuncture. Her two practices are located in Needham, MA, and Boca Raton, FL. For more information please visit : https://bostonchineseacupuncture.org/