Apr 18 2017

Acupuncture and Platelet Counts

Do you have an irregular blood platelet level? If so, acupuncture and small dietary changes are easy remedies.

What are platelets, and why do we need them?

Platelets are created in our bone marrow, just like red and white blood cells are. According to Dr. Marlene Williams, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center:

“Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels . . . When you get a cut, for example, the platelets bind to the site of the damaged vessel, thereby causing a blood clot.”

A normal platelet count ranges from from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. The body can produce too many, or too few platelets, depending on someone’s health status. Low platelet counts can be caused by certain medications, cancer, leukemia, chemotherapy, kidney infections, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and drinking too much alcohol. Low platelet counts can cause fatigue, easy bruising, and a compromised immune system.

How do I increase my platelet count?
Although there are medications that can help address irregular platelet counts, one of the easiest ways to boost your platelet count is to pay attention to your diet.

  1. Eat leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, parsley, cabbage, broccoli, scallions, wheatgrass, and basil. All of these veggies (as well as soy) have high Vitamin K levels, and Vitamin K helps with the blood clotting process.
  2. Lean meat, like fish and poultry, contain high levels of zinc and vitamin B-12. These contribute to blood clotting and help bolster the body’s immune system.
  3. Legumes, quinoa, beans, and whole grains help produce the proper level of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

How is acupuncture linked to platelet counts?
Some critics claim that people who are chronically ill shouldn’t utilize acupuncture at all. But according to the University of Washington’s Guide to Integrative Oncology:

Acupuncture is considered a highly safe intervention in the hands of well-trained and licensed practitioners. Serious side effects from acupuncture are extremely rare. Minor side effects may include bruising in the needling area that usually disappears within 24 hours . . . Acupuncture is safe while receiving chemo or radiation, but you should always tell the acupuncturist if you have a bleeding problem, abnormal blood count (low platelet count) or if you are taking blood thinners or anticoagulants.

Acupuncture can stimulate both red and white blood cell counts, as well as platelet production, by focusing on acupuncture points that address blood deficiency, Qi deficiency, and spleen deficiency. Using a moxa stick in conjuncture with acupuncture can promote healing by warming meridian points to stimulate the circulation of blood and Qi.

If you’re tired of being tired and you’d like to increase your platelet count, give The Gathering Point Community Acupuncture a call. We’ll help you revitalize your cell counts while you take a nap on one of our treatment tables.

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