Our body is equipped with many aids to survival. Reflex responses help us to escape when we sense danger; sneezing, coughing and vomiting can get rid of harmful matter; blood clotting prevents haemorrhage; and instinctive drives keep us fed, watered, and sheltered from extremes of heat and cold. The sexual drive ensures the survival of our species. Most ingenious of all are our defences against infection.
Frontline defences ; The first barriers against invaders are healthy,unbroken skin and lining membranes. It plays a major role in preventing disease by protecting all the organs, blood vessels, and the lymph system. Without the skin, bacteria and viruses could easily enter the blood system. The skin also houses many lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are a part of the lymph system, a network of vessels,which transport white blood cells, or phagocytes, throughout the body to combat disease. The tough surface of skin keeps most germs out. Lining membranes are bathed by secretions such as tears and saliva, which wash away bacteria and kill some of them. Mucus coated hairs in the nose filter inhaled air, trapping microbes and dust. Mucus in the bronchi does a similar job, and hair like projections called cilia on the surface of their lining cells sweep the mucus towards the throat to be swallowed or coughed up. Mucous membranes are cells that line all openings of the body. When dust particles enter the body, they get caught in the mucous membranes and are then digested. Nose hair is the body’s natural air filtration system. Nose hairs capture dust particles keeping them from accumulating in the lungs. A sneeze is the body’s way of ridding itself of accumulated dust particles. Mucous membranes produce a large variety of protective chemicals, which serve to either, destroy the pathogen, or to trigger a stronger immune response. The functions of the protective chemicals are, the pH of skin secretions inhibits the bacterial growth. Skin secretions produce sebum, which contains chemicals, which are toxic to bacteria. The stomach mucosa secretes hydrochloric acid (HCL) as well as other protein digesting enzymes. Both of these substances, hydrochloric acid as well as protein digesting enzymes destroy pathogens. Mucous proves to “stick” microscopic organisms, which may have entered the respiratory and digestive passageways. Lacriminal fluid and saliva contain lysozyme, a type of enzyme which is known to destroy bacteria. Acid and enzymes in stomach secretions kill many micro organisms and the normal acidity of the vagina prevents excessive growth of unwanted bacteria.
Deeper defences ; If germs do penetrate our outer defences, a second force of defenders awaits them. Antibodies in the blood and tissues may destroy them, and white blood cells join the battle. First to arrive are the granulocytes, natural germs-killers. Then come the monocytes, which become macrophages able to gobble up bacteria and foreign matter. A macrophage that has digested disease causing agents sends fragments of their proteins to its surface membrane to act as antigens that can evoke an immune response.
The immune response ; This is the most specific defence against infection. Its two major weapons are antibody production and cell mediated immunity, tasks of B and T lymphocytes respectively. B lymphocytes develop in bone marrow where each is primed to make a specific antibody. When a germ enters the body, some B cells recognise and attach to its antigen, which makes the cell divide and produce many identical offspring cells. After millions of copies have been made, most B cells stop dividing and become plasma cells that produce the anitbody. Some activated B cells continue to divide, to ensure a supply for maintaining long term immunity.
T lymphocytes mature in the thymus where they learn to distinguish self from non self. Killer T cells lock with a cell that has been invaded by viruses and release chemicals that destroy it. Helper T cells attach to specific antigens and release lymphokines which travel in plasma. Some lymphokines can protect cells from virus invasion;others summon more T cells, macrophages and granulocytes to the attack. Suppressor T cells can slow down parts of the immune response.
The immune response operates against not only microorgannisms but also other foreign non self matter within the body, such as allergens, transplanted tissues and cancer cells. Occasionally the immune system mistenly identifies a body protein as non-self. The result is autoimmune disease in which antibodies are formed against one or more of the bodys own tissues.
The lymphatic system ; is made up of T cells, B cells, antibodies, and platelets. When the skin is scratched, platelets travel to the wound. They then try to mend the wound, and stop the bleeding. The T cells are the cells that attack all diseases that enter the body. B cells are the cells that manufacture antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that isolate pathogens, foreign substances, so that T cells can attack and destroy it. Lymph is watery fluid that contains dissolved substances and particles such as germs or fragments of dead cells. When lymph accumulates between cells and its pressure rises, it is pushed through valves in the walls of tiny blind-ended lymphatic capillaries and enters the lymph stream, joining larger lymphatic vessels that transport lymph to the lymph nodes, commonly called lymph glands, where it is filtered and comes into contact with lymphocytes. Further lymphatic vessels carry filtered lymph from the nodes to the thoracic and other lymph ducts that drain into large veins near the heart. Sentinel lymph nodes, these clusters of nodes located in the neck, armpits, groins, pelvis and abdomen filter lymph from major body parts before it drains into the bloodstream. Under the lymph nodes capsule is a fine network lined with macrophages. Within the network are strands and nodules of denser lymphoid tissue, where lymphocytes are produced and stored. Valves within lymphatic vessels prevent backflow.
The spleen ; About the size of a clenched fist, the spleen nestles under the diaphragm behind the lower left ribs. With a structure similar to that of lymph nodes, the spleen decontaminates blood by filtering it through a macrophage lined network ‘red pulp’ dotted with paler nodules of lymphoid tissue ‘white pulp’, which also surrounds the small arteries. The red pulp cleanses blood of dead organisms, worn out blood cells and other debris, and the spleen’s lymphocytes attack living microbes and other non self material.
In today’s world there are virtually millions of diseases. Viruses or bacteria cause most diseases. Viruses are considered non-living parasites,which enter healthy cells,release their own DNA and cause the healthy cell to begin manufacturing other virus bodies. Since viruses are not alive, antibiotics cannot kill them; therefore, most viruses have no cure. When a virus enters the body, antibodies are sent to isolate the virus, then B cells arrive to infiltrate and finally kill the virus. Bacteria on the other hand are a living parasite. It performs the same functions as a virus, but it is considered a living parasite. Since bacteria are living, antibiotics can be used to kill it. Bacteria are considered deadly due to the fact that it can reproduce very quickly.
The human body can be infected by a variety of different foreign substances. These include infections as deadly as a virus, or as common as a bacterially infected wound. Once a human is infected with anything foreign the immune system immediately begins fighting the foreign substance. However the immune system cannot usually kill the entire foreign cells, a few often survive. However this number is so few a person can hardly claim to be sick or infected. Although that person is now a carrier. A carrier is some one who is infected, or has some of a particular foreign substance in him, yet shows no symptoms. That person could pass on the pathogen or virus without even realizing it. Viral infection occurs when a virus enters a host, in this case a human host, and begins to use the host cells to replicate. The virus will attach it self to a host cell and inject its viral DNA into it. The viral DNA quickly takes over the healthy host DNA and virus replication begins. If the virus is not stopped it will take over all the host cells. Bacterial infection occurs as a pathogen enters a human. The pathogen does not use the human cells as a host as the virus does, but it begins to kill them. A bacterial infection is easier to treat because the bacteria can be killed. However for a virus to be killed the host cells must be killed also.
Acupuncture<Onnuri Medicine>, itself is a powerful medicine, which aids in strengthening the immune system and serves to prevent diseases, control pain and increase both the ability to function and the quality of peoples lives. It has been shown to promote the health and improve the bodys immune function. It has also helped many people who were not successfully treated through conventional western medicine. Several conditions can be dramatically improved or remedied in full including to enhance the immune system of the body. The beauty of acupuncture is that each treatment is catered to the needs of an individual patient. Acupuncture, the energy concept on palm will be chosen for overall well being with the objective of increasing circulation of the blood and vital energy. One must opt for ACUPUNCTURE to have total effectivness. The course of treatment is defenietly uneventful.
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