In western terms, immunity is the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitised white blood cells. Innate immunity is the body’s natural defence system, whilst adaptive immunity can differentiate pathogens and comprises two components: T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes.
In Chinese medicine theory, a healthy constitution is determined by two factors:
- Pre-natal – jing (essence) given by parents
- Post-natal – lifestyle, eating, drinking, working habits, drugs, smoking, alcohol, sleeping too little. Also where you live, climate, geographical conditions, cultural and social factors
Infections are considered to be external pathogens that invade the body through the skin or orafices entering the acupuncture channels or meridians and tendons reaching the centre and damaging the organs. Therefore if the centre or root of the body is strong then a person has a greater resistence to external pathogens such as bacteria, viruses etc.
Meridian therapy was founded in Japan in 1930s by acupuncturists who felt that under the influence of western style medicine, acupuncture was losing its traditions and theories. Returning to classical acupuncture texts dating back 2500 years, the aim of acupuncture is to to regulate the balance of qi and blood. Meridian Therapy seeks to improve circulation of qi (vital energy) in the body to restore health. In Toyohari (literally translated as “East Asian Needling Technique”) Meridian Therapy, the non-invasive needling used in the root treatment is the most important part of treatment as it works at a constituional level. It will support the overall health and wellbeing of the patient, their own self-healing capabilities and ability to recover from illness. Moxibustion, an essential part of Japanese acupuncture, has also been found to improve immunity (see Moxafrica).