Most people are aware of the benefits of chiropractic care for back and neck care, however there are many other advantages that are not so common. One of the great benefits of chiropractic care includes improvement of the immune function. Our immune system is the body’s line of defense to fight viral and bacterial infections and it relies on many factors in order to maintain optimal health including nutrition, exercise, posture, being well rested, and having a healthy spine.
Our nervous system runs through the spine, and it works with the immune system in order for the body to adapt to various conditions and heal appropriately when required. A misalignment of the spine cause compression and irritation of nerve pathways, which affect organ systems of the body and the misalignment can also cause neural dysfunctions, which are stressful and could lead to a weak immune response.
Our organs have a strong relationship with the immune system, such as the lymph nodes and the spleen which communicate with your brain and nerves. If your nervous system isn’t functioning at an optimal level, a communication breakdown can occur.
- Getting a chiropractic adjustment is a great place to start so you can get any spinal misalignment you may have corrected. Even one adjustment can bring about an immediate immune boost. Some studies show increased levels of antibodies and other essential cells in the immune system following an adjustment. In some cases, patients who were sick with colds, sore throats, and sinus congestion reported accelerated recoveries after their adjustments. Along with adjustments, chiropractors encourage and help to keep you on a regular exercise routine, which is a great way to boost your body’s immune system.
- Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC), which are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly when you exercise because of the increase in body temperature, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may also help prevent bacteria from growing and may help the body fight infection better (S similar to what happens when you have a fever). Lastly, exercise slows down the release of stress hormones which have the ability to increase the chance of illness if they get out of hand. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
There are other ways outside of chiropractic care that can help you keep your body healthy and strong, and boost your immune system too.
- Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins when it comes to boosting your immune system and keeping it at its best. Vitamin D is a key player in a healthy immune system and the best way to get it is from the sun. On average, it is suggested to get a minimum of 15 minutes of sun with 40 percent of our skin being exposed in order to meet daily requirements. Another way you can get Vitamin D is through the food you eat! Spinach is an excellent vegetable to eat because it contains other nutrients which increase the absorption of vitamin D3.
- Vitamin C is also known to aid the body while you are fighting off a cold or flu. Although citrus fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C, they are acidic and the more acidic our body becomes, the more opportunities for illnesses to creep in. If you increase citrus consumption then it is critical to eat lots of alkaline vegetables to help keep the body’s pH level balanced. Red peppers are a good source of vitamin C and are alkaline.
- Keeping away from sugar is another option to help keep your immune system strong. There is no shortage of information that indicates sugar is a contributing cause to many diseases and in the case of cancer, it feeds cancer growth. Stay away from simple sugars and refined grains, especially if you’re feeling rundown.
- Finally, make sure you get plenty of much needed sleep and rest because this is the time your body takes to heal. Getting a minimum 7 hours of sleep is recommended by many doctors but this may vary between individuals. Bottom line, listen to your body.
For more information on chiropractic care or to book your visit call Duncan Chiropractic today.