Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter
September 2015
Julee Miller AP, DOM, BS, LMT
Health Pointe Jacksonville, LLC
3840 Belfort Road, Suite 305
Jacksonville, FL 32216

Treating Autoimmune Disease with Acupuncture

Have you noticed there has been a tremendous rise in autoimmune disorders? Today over

50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease including:

rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,  thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease,

IBD (Irritible Bowel Disorder which includes Crohn’s disease and colitis) , Type 1 diabetes,

multiple  sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré  syndrome to name a few. “Autoimmune

disease” is an umbrella term for dozens of conditions, most of which do not actually even use

the word“autoimmune” in their titles, and occurs when the body’s immune system attacks

healthy tissue. Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine

solutions including Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have received much attention as

successful  therapies in their treatment. Acupuncture is specifically noted for its use in pain

relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life.
What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one’s own

body. In certain cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they

are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases. They encompass a broad

category of over 100 diseases in which the person’s immune system attacks his or her own cells

and tissue.

The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not completely understood, but bacteria, viruses,

toxins, and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who

already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. It is theorized that the

inflammation initiated by these agents–toxic or infectious–somehow provokes in the body a

“sensitization” (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.

As the disease develops, vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general

muscle weakness, possible rashes or low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss.

Numbness and tingling in hands and feet, dry eyes, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart

palpitations, or repeated miscarriages may also indicate that something is wrong with the

immune system.

How Acupuncture Treats Autoimmune Disorders

According to Oriental medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is an imbalance

within the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore this imbalance by treating the

root  of the cause, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are  unique to each individual.
Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the

pituitary  gland and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins,

hormones and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that,

by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and the immune system.

As a result acupuncture can quickly and safely manage acute and chronic pain, can alleviate

insomnia and depression, boost energy and mood, effectively treat digestive discomfort and

so much more! Because acupuncture works so well, most patients are able to decrease their

prescription drug intake as they progress with treatments.

In addition to acupuncture, your treatment program to manage your autoimmune disorder may

involve a combination of therapies, including stress reducing exercises, biopuncture, moderate

physical activity, herbal medicine, nutritional support and probiotics as well as bodywork.

To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated

into care for people with an autoimmune disorder, please call  (904) 448-0046 for a

consultation today.


Food & Nutritional Tips for Autoimmune Disorders

Emerging research shows that most autoimmune conditions actually share a common root

hiding in the intestinal lining of individuals with autoimmune diseases, even years before the
symptoms manifest. A healthy intestinal lining provides an impermeable barrier for us between
bacteria and viruses. If that lining becomes compromised we then become more susceptible to
these diseases. Therefore, improving the intestinal permeability by improving gut-health could
actually better the management of autoimmune conditions and possibly slow down the auto-
immune reaction. In fact, many nutritionists will say that reversing symptoms of autoimmune
disease depends on healing the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The most common components
of food that can  damage your intestinal lining are proteins found in un-sprouted grains, sugar,
GMOs, and conventional dairy.
The 4 step plan to healing intestinal lining and improve gut-health are:
  1. REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut
  2. REPLACE with healing foods
  3. REPAIR with specific supplements
  4. REBALANCE with probiotics
Healing Foods
A class of plant chemicals — known as bioflavonoids — has been found to dramatically reduce

inflammation and improve symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders.

Both green and black tea contain the flavonoids catechins and theaflavins, which are beneficial

in autoimmune disease.
Apples (with the skin on) contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can reduce allergic reactions

and decrease inflammation.

Quercetin also occurs naturally in other foods, such as berries, red grapes, red onions, capers

and black tea.

Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids

in the diet is thought to promote inflammation.

Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale,

butternut squash and collard greens.

Recent studies show that ginger reduces inflammation by inhibiting prostaglandin and

suppresses the immune system’s production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines,
reducing disease severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation.

Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden

on your immune system.