Acupuncture Helps Immunity

Acupuncture immune systemThe principles of acupuncture used to treat and prevent disease are recorded in the Huangdi Neijing (given the title The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine), written in about 2600BC. These ancient principles can be applied in a modern scientific context: when the immune system is strong, the viruses, bacteria and other pathogens can’t harm your body; when pathogens damage your body, the immune system must be deficient. 

Acupuncture moves Qi

Acupuncture is used to relieve Qi (energy) blockages through the stimulation of specific acupoints along the meridians to help the Qi flow smoothly. This can recharge the self-healing function in the body, increase and balance the healthy Qi, and help you rebuild a strong immune system. The organs can also be adjusted by acupuncture to restore internal balance and harmony. Acupuncture maintains that all aspects of the body are healthy with sufficient Qi, so bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that induce sickness cannot invade or damage your body.


Acupuncture stimulates the immune system

Acupuncture’s ability to stimulate the immune system has been studied intensively. Current research focuses on how the needles activate the nerve-endocrine-immune system to restore balance and support tissue healing [1,2]. Other research reviews specific acupuncture points, such as ST36 (Zusanli), which is an important immune system point shown to increase immune system cytokines, T-cell activity, and IgA antibody in the intestine. Many parts of the immune system are affected at once [3,4].

Acupuncture can also stimulate the body to release natural analgesic (pain-killing) endorphins, which is helpful for stress-induced immunodeficiency [5,6], and immune deficiencies because of cancer [7].


In summary, acupuncture harmonizes the body’s own healing ability, thus strengthening the immune system. It has traditionally been used preventatively or at the very earliest stages of disease for best results. Acupuncture can also work together with other therapeutic methods to improve your overall immune system.


You can find more articles by Jianmin Xu,  here.




  1. Li, Ning-Cen et al. “A New Perspective of Acupuncture: The Interaction among Three Networks Leads to Neutralization.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAMvol. 2019 2326867. 24 Feb. 2019, doi:10.1155/2019/2326867
  2. Kim, Sun Kwang and Hyunsu Bae. “Acupuncture and immune modulation ». Autonomic Neuroscience. 2010;157(1-2) :38-41. doi : 10.1016/j.autneu.2010.03.010
  3. Liang, Fengxia et al. “Acupuncture and Immunity.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAMvol. 2015 (2015): 260620. doi:10.1155/2015/260620
  4. Chen, Longyun et al. “Enhancement of immune cytokines and splenic CD4+ T cells by electroacupuncture at ST36 acupoint of SD rats.” PloS one:vol. 12,4 e0175568. 13 Apr. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175568
  5. Vickers, Andrew J et al. “Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis.” Archives of internal medicine. 2012; 172(19):1444-53. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3654
  6. Richardson PH, Vincent CA. “Acupuncture for the treatment of pain: a review of evaluative research.” Pain. 1986; 24(1):15-40. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(86)90023-0
  7. Wu, B. et al.“Effect of acupuncture on immunomodulation in patients with malignant tumors.” CJIM. 1996; 2: 266–269. doi: 10.1007/BF02934691

acupuncture, immune system


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