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Autoimmune Disease: How Can Acupuncture Help?

Autoimmune diseases have no specific cure, leaving many with chronic symptoms. However, a series of acupuncture treatment sessions and nutritional therapy can help regulate the immune system and ease the progression of autoimmune disease.

Our immune systems protect us from invading cells, like bacteria and viruses. However, when the immune system mistakenly identifies a part of the body as foreign, it releases autoantibodies to attack healthy cells. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, and although researchers have not identified their root causes, they all share common physiological mechanisms. Acupuncture approaches and assists with immune modulation in several ways, offering much-needed relief from debilitating symptoms and helping keep autoimmune disease in remission.

Acupuncture’s Impact on Immune Modulation

Although more comprehensive research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which acupuncture alleviates autoimmune diseases, existing research indicates that acupuncture can reduce inflammation and assist with immune modulation. According to a 2018 study, manual acupuncture demonstrably alleviated joint inflammation and pain. Researchers concluded that manual acupuncture “enhanced the immune networks in the early stage to act on [Rhematoid arthritis] and promoted the immune network to a normal level at the late stage.” These promising findings highlight the powerful benefits of acupuncture treatment for autoimmune diseases. 

Lasting Relief for Painful Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Western medicine is starting to consider the potential benefits of acupuncture in treating common autoimmune disease symptoms. Smaller studies concentrating on specific autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema, all show great promise in offering lasting relief from chronic symptoms. Those struggling with symptoms of other autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Sjogren’s syndrome, may also find acupuncture treatment beneficial. 

Nutritional Therapy for Autoimmune Diseases

Factors such as environmental triggers, genetics, diet, and lifestyle play a role in autoimmunity. By making nutritious food choices, you can slow the progression of your autoimmune disease—or even send it into remission altogether. The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), a specialized version of the Paleo diet, combines nutrient-dense, whole foods with lifestyle choices to help regulate the immune system. By nurturing your body with high-quality meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and edible fungi and avoiding inflammatory foods (i.e., grains and dairy) and refined foods, you can coax your immune system back into balance. Working with an AIP-certified coach to augment your acupuncture treatment can promote healing throughout the body.  At Inner Works, our clinical experience finds that an optimal nutrient-dense diet combines synergistically with acupuncture, so that both together are far better than either one alone.

Reach out to Inner Works Acupuncture by calling our NW Portland office today at (503) 227-2127 to schedule an acupuncture and nutrition consultation.

Inner Works Acupuncture

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