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Strengthening Immune System in Time for Cold and Flu Season

Students learn how herbal medicine and other TCM treatments help boost patients’ immunity

Burnaby, BC (Vocus) October 6, 2009 -- Traditionally, fall marks the beginning of flu season in Canada, when thousands of Canadians receive vaccinations that will prevent them from becoming sick. This year, as people prepare to immunize themselves against a new flu strain H1N1, PCU College of Holistic Medicine suggests that they also consider strengthening their immune systems through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

“When TCM treatments aren’t focused on particular pathogens, they can be used to improve a person’s immune system in order to fend off pathogens, including flu viruses,” says Dr. John Yang, Dean of PCU College and director of the campus’s holistic clinic. “Exercise, acupuncture, tuina/anmo or herbal formulas can all strengthen the immune system and prevent pathogens from invading the body.”

Dr. Yang, who also teaches in the college’s TCM Practitioner program, notices an increased number of patients turning to TCM herbal remedies in the fall, at the onset of flu season. Unlike flu vaccinations, where one vaccine is used to prevent contraction of the virus, herbal formulas vary from patient to patient, depending on the outcome of the practitioner’s examination and diagnosis.

“With herbal remedies, you have a formula to suit you,” says Yang. “If the patient has another condition, something chronic perhaps, these need to be addressed first.”

Students at PCU College develop a knowledge of herbal medicine and prescription of herbal formulas. They also learn the healing art of acupuncture and develop a thorough knowledge of the meridian system and acupoints. These skills are put to use in PCU College’s on-campus Holistic Healing Centre, which offers TCM and holistic services to the general public through the on-campus Holistic Healing Centre. More information is available at

About PCU College of Holistic Medicine

PCU College of Holistic Medicine ( specializes in teaching Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and alternative health care treatments in Greater Vancouver and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Since opening in 2002, PCU College has become one of the leading TCM training and clinical institutions in Canada and has built a diverse, multi-cultural faculty from around the world. The college is also home to PCU College Holistic Healing Centre, an on-site training clinic and herbal apothecary that is open to the public.

For more information
Warren Mailey
Manager of Communications
604.915.7288, ext. 2130


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