Although difficult to measure, acupuncture appears to:
Have a regulatory effect generally.
Raising some brain chemicals, hormones, etc. when they need to be raised and lowering others when they need to be lowered. This is done, most likely, by stimulating the natural innate knowledge of our bodies – our innate drive towards homeostasis or “balance.”Offer a calming effect generally. We all have heard about the detrimental effects of stress and stress related hormones.
Acupuncture appears to offset these reactions in the body not only calming the person temporarily but possibly protecting the person from damage from stress over extended periods of time.
Has a reducing effect on inflammation locally and throughout the body. Certainly in pain cases it appears that acupuncture reduces inflammation and promotes healing.
Modern research has shown detrimental effects of chronic systemic inflammation (fibromyalgia, parkinson’s, heart disease, diabetes, etc.) and acupuncture’s ability to treat these conditions must in some way be related to offsetting these systemic responses.
Acupuncture or acupressure supports the bodyʼs healing process and can be an important component of a protocol for treating Lyme disease. Of course, a good acupuncturist would consider many characteristic variables about the patient, the length of time the patient has had the disease, and the presentation of symptoms.
Acupoints for Immune Support
ACUPOINTS TO SUPPORT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Lung 9 (“Great Abyss”): This point benefits the immune system and in particular nourishes the Lung in its production of Wei Qi (immune energy); it also helps the Lung circulate blood and energy throughout the body. This point is also known to generally support the circulation of both energy and blood.
Lung 9 is located on the palm side of the wrist, on the crease of the wrist, in the depression at the base of the thumb.
Conception Vessel 17 (“Sea of Tranquility”): This is a powerful immune-stimulating point that provides support for the Lung energies, which produce the Wei Qi. It also nourishes the Heart, which houses the Shen (spirit), thus helping to reduce the anxiety and depression so common among chronic Lyme disease patients.
Conception Vessel 17 is located at the center of the breastbone, directly above the thymus gland (the originating source of T-cells).
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The following acupoints are, of course, described in general; if acupoints are combined, they gently support the immune system and help the Liver and lymph system in their tasks of relieving stagnation and supporting detoxification.
ACUPOINTS TO SUPPORT LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE AND THE LIVER
Liver 3 (“Great Rushing”): This is one of the main points to relieve stagnation and restore a dynamic flow of energy and blood, breaking up obstructions that impair the body’s self healing.
Liver 3 is located on the upper part of the foot, in the depression in the webbing between the big toe and the second toe.
Large Intestine 4 (“Great Eliminator”): Large Intestine 4 together with Liver 3 make up what Traditional Chinese Medicine calls the “four gates.” I visualize that when these points are used together, the effect is like opening the windows and doors of the house and letting the fresh air circulate, eliminating the stale, polluted air. This point is used for draining or dispersing energy that is “stuck” in the upper part of the body, particularly the head—good for foggy thinking and headaches.
Large Intestine 4 is located on the top of the hand, in the webbing between the thumb and the second finger.
Spleen 6 (“Three Yin Meeting Point”): This is one of the most used points in acupuncture because of its many functions. Primarily used to nourish the yin (water, lubricating) essence—which is often extremely depleted with Lyme disease—it is also used with the acupoint Spleen 10 to break up stagnation, move the blood, and disperse heat and damp. Targeting these acupoints helps relieve the joint pains and varied inflammatory reactions in the body that are common symptoms of Lyme disease.
Spleen 6 is located on the inner lower leg, approximately three inches above the ankle bone, in the depression just on the inside of the bone.
Spleen 10 (“Sea of Blood”): This point is used to invigorate and move the blood, harmonize the Spleenʼs energy and remove heat from the blood, which is manifested in hot painful joints, skin problems, and agitated thoughts.
Spleen 10 is located about two inches above the knee, on the inner thigh.
Stomach 40 (“Abundant Splendor”): Stomach 40 is the archetypical point used to disperse excess dampness from the Stomach channel, helping to resolve such symptoms as lethargy, foggy thinking, heaviness of limbs, and aching joints. All of these symptoms are typical of Lyme disease. When I stimulate this point I ask my clients to imagine that a gentle gust of wind comes in and blows away the fog that obscures the “abundant splendor,” which has existed all along. Stomach 40 is located between the ankle and the knee, on the outer side of the lower leg, two inches laterally backward from the shinbone, in the bulge of the calf muscle.