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DoctorGetWell's Monthly Column
Dr. Alex Tatevian has maintained a monthly acupuncture column in the health section of the Federal Hill Gazette since 1999.      
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  Federall Hill Gazette; July 2002

Can acupuncture bolster the immune system?

Question:
I frequently get colds, viruses, and generally feel run-down much of the time. I have read numerous articles on the Internet that say acupuncture can bolster the immune system. Is this true?

Answer:
   Yes, acupuncture can help modulate the immune system. My personal experience goes back to 1983-85, when I used acupuncture on polar stations in Antarctica during my 2-year appointment as a primary care physician with the Antarctic expeditions. I provided the total health care for the staff, including dentistry, using conventional medicine and acupuncture for the expedition participants.
   We all know that Antarctica is very cold and there is a lot of snow. However, it is also a sterile environment with no dust, pollen and germs. After a year of such isolation, your immune system becomes reluctant to do the job – to protect you from infection.
   In 1985, I presented a report with the lengthy title “Acupuncture for non-specific stimulation of immune system and incidence of bacterial and viral infectious diseases upon exposure to urban environment among participants of long-term Antarctic expeditions”.
    The study results showed acupuncture to be a very effective and safe method to support the immune system. In the subsequent years, a number of studies have confirmed that acupuncture can positively influence the immune system. Acupuncture can cause a significant rise in serum levels of interferon, one of the immune system's messenger hormones. Acupuncture can assist antibiotics in the treatment of chronic infections; it can support the immune system during chemo- and radiation therapy.
    If you are vulnerable to the common cold and other infections, acupuncture will help you to optimize your body’s defense mechanisms and normalize your body's immune response.
   
   Alex Tatevian, DA
   
   We welcome all questions that you may have.
   You can ask your questions on-line at DoctorGetWell.org, e-mail them to getwell@doctor.com , or send them to:
   
   Alex Tatevian, DA
   Acu Well Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
   141 Airport Road, Warwick, Rhode Island (RI) 02889; USA
   Phone (401) 738-9355
 
 
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getwell@doctor.com 141 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889 Tel (401) 738-9355   Fax (401) 679-0038