Include Chiropractic Care in your Flu Season Wellness Plan
Apr 06, 2011 02:26AM
● By Dr. Daniel Weber
People of all ages should be adding chiropractic to their strategy for warding off and fighting the flu and its effects this season. Spinal adjustments – the care typically provided by chiropractors – can have positive effects on immune function. A growing number of researchers are exploring the common denominators in disease processes and the role of the nervous, immune, and hormonal systems in development of immune related illnesses.
Chiropractors have always asserted that it is not necessarily the viruses and microbes that threaten us but the body’s ability or inability to deal with these microbes that can prevent or lead to illness. A healthy immune system easily repels most invaders. It is our immune system that protects us from the flu, as well as any other infectious disease, and strives to get us well again when we do fall ill. And it, like every other system in the body, is coordinated and controlled by the nervous system. Chiropractic corrects spinal misalignments, called vertebral subluxations, which result in the interference of the nervous system by placing pressure on nerves.
Contemporary research is beginning to shed light on the neurobiological mechanisms which may explain the outstanding clinical results chiropractors have experienced when managing patients with viral and infectious diseases.
A comprehensive review of the research literature reveals the current understanding that the brain and immune system are the two major adaptive systems in the body. During an immune response, the brain and the immune system "talk to each other" and this process is essential for maintaining homeostasis, or balance in the body. Correcting spinal misalignment and reducing pressure on the nervous system allows the body to maintain homeostasis.
Chiropractors helping patients battle the flu is not a new occurrence either. During the 1917-1918 influenza epidemics it has been estimated that 20 million people died worldwide. It was chiropractic’s success in caring for flu victims that led to the profession’s licensure in many states. Researchers reported that in Davenport, Iowa, out of 93,590 patients treated by medical doctors, there were 6,116 deaths—a loss of one patient out of every 15. Chiropractors at the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenoport adjusted 1,635 cases with only one death.
"These results are not surprising given what we now know about the interaction between the nervous system and immune system," states Dr. Matthew McCoy, editor of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. "Through research, we know that chiropractic has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes (white blood cells), pulmonary function, and other immune system processes."
A large retrospective study conducted by Dr. Robert Blanks and colleagues studied 2,818 individuals undergoing chiropractic care. These individuals reported an average overall improvement ranging from 7-28% in a battery of physical symptoms including stiffness/lack of flexibility in the spine, physical pain, fatigue, incidence of colds and flu, headaches, menstrual discomfort, gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, dizziness, and falls (Blanks et al., 1997, Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research).
More importantly the incidence of colds and flu was reduced by an average of 15% in this large population who were undergoing regular chiropractic care.
Chiropractors also strive to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle (adequate rest, water, proper nutrition, exercise, stress reduction) that can also positively influence the nervous system and immune response.
This cold and flu season, remember that health, or the lack thereof, comes from within. We must be proactive in attaining and maintaining our health. It isn’t about getting the right pill or potion; it is about doing what your body needs to keep your immune system fully functioning.
Dr. Daniel Weber owns The Joint…a chiropractic place, located at 3016 Lake Washington Rd, in Melbourne. Each visit is only $20, and no appointment is necessary. For more information call 321-254-2828 or visit www.Thejoint.com