There are a few months left of cold and flu season, and as we all know, this one has been a doozy. Well before news of the novel coronavirus broke, I was seeing an alarming number of cases of pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza, and other less than awesome cases of upper respiratory infections in my acupuncture practice. Shaolin Wahnam students will tell you that they rarely get sick, and if they do, it tends to run its course pretty quickly and mildly. Grandmaster Wong, at my last intensive kungfu course, mentioned that he hadn’t had a cold in over 30 years.
Is there something to this? Does qigong actually enhance our immune system? While we don’t have a wealth of scientific studies out there that have examined this, the data that does exist seems to conclude that yes, our qigong practice does in fact keep us healthier and less likely to fall victim of the latest bug circulating around at the office.
How does this work? What is going on in our bodies that keeps the germs at bay? The studies that are out there take blood samples from practitioners both immediately after practice and at several week intervals following starting a practice regimen. Their blood was measured against control groups with no qigong practice and showed increases in lymphocytes, monocytes, as well as immunoglobulins A and G. More than 50-dollar words, these cells are just a few that make up the complex workings of our immune system that fights off infectious bacteria and viruses. One study had included an HIV positive participant that showed an increase in their T-lymphocytes, the very part of the immune system attacked by that virus. That’s pretty cool to say the least.
While it doesn’t get you out of hand washing, getting enough rest, and eating well, qigong might just help bolster your immune system and keep you feeling better all year long. Stacked up with better energy, emotional health, and pain-free living, this is one of the reasons that this practice is so important to me. Curious to find out more? Read about our local class offerings here and sign up to find out when registration opens up. Here’s to your health!