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  • Marlo Rapp

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Autoimmune Disease



Autoimmune disease is characterized by the the body’s immune system attacking healthy cells that are actually meant to protect the body. Inflammation and pain are major characteristics of autoimmune disease, although other symptoms may vary greatly as there are many different types of autoimmune diseases.

More than 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases, making it the third leading chronic illness in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Women are more than twice as likely to suffer from autoimmune disease than men.


Some of the most common ones autoimmune diseases are:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • Ulcerative Colitis

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Crohn’s Disease

  • Celiac Disease

  • Systemic Lupus Erthematosus

  • Thyroid Disease

  • Psoriasis/Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Addison’s Disease

  • Celiac Disease

  • Guillain–Barré Syndrome

  • Myasthenia Gravis

  • Pernicious Anemia

  • Psoriasis

  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

  • Type 1 Diabetes

  • Graves’ Disease

  • Sjogren’s Syndrome

  • Myasthenia Gravis

  • Autoimmune Vasculitis

  • Pernicious Anemia

Many of the symptoms of autoimmune diseases are very similar, and may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Joint Pain

  • Muscle Pain

  • Muscle Weakness

  • Rashes

  • Trouble Concentrating

  • Swelling and Redness

  • Low-Grade Fever

  • Repeated Miscarriages

  • Numbness & Tingling in the Hands & Feet

  • Difficulty Concentrating

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Heart Palpitations

  • Weight Loss

  • Dry Eyes

  • Hair Loss

  • Skin Rashes


Autoimmune disorders are very complex, and the cause is not fully understood. That said, it is thought that autoimmune diseases may be triggered by a genetic predisposition combined with factors like toxins, bacteria, viruses, and some drugs.

Unfortunately there is currently no cure for most autoimmune disorders. But there are ways you can manage symptoms, as well as prevent further development, and even promote remission! Many people are able to enjoy a very high quality of life.

How Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help Autoimmune Disorders


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, autoimmune diseases occur when there is an imbalance in the body. Acupuncture and other TCM modalities work to restore balance, going right to the root to promote health and wellbeing.


Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, thin needles at specific location of the body, known as acupuncture points. It has been found that acupuncture effects the body’s systems and functions, including the endocrine system, the immune system, neurotransmitters, blood flow, stress, pain, infertility, the gastrointestinal tract, asthma, migraines, and thyroid hormones and functioning.

In the case of autoimmune disease, research has found that acupuncture stimulates physical responses related to immune functioning, including the nerve cells, hormones, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain.


Acupuncture also impacts the parasympathetic nervous system response. This may help autoimmune disorders that are characterized by impaired parasympathetic abilities, like Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Many autoimmune diseases are exacerbated by stress, which is another area that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help. Additionally, acupuncture can help with pain and inflammation. One of the science-backed benefits of acupuncture is that it stimulates the release of endorphins, which are known as the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. Approximately 85% of patients struggling with chronic pain have reported relief from acupuncture.


Schedule a consultation now to learn more about how acupuncture and other holistic treatments can help you manage your autoimmune disorder.

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