What Is the Immune System and How Does it Fight Infection?
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that keeps a record of every microbe it has ever defeated so it can recognize and destroy it if it enters the body again. Pathogens will give out “signals,” that the immune system will respond to when it recognizes the pathogen-associated molecular patterns. It will try to beat the infection, or anything it considers foreign to the body.
Is There a Relationship Between the Colder Weather and Getting Sick?
It is important to note that viruses, like rhinoviruses and influenza, cause colds and the flu, not the weather itself. Nonetheless, whenever we expose ourselves to the cold weather we increase our risk of acquiring a virus. For example: reduced vitamin D levels during the winter months may make individuals more susceptible to a weakened defense system. People also tend to spend more time indoors, where viruses spread quickly and easily through direct contact. Breathing in cold and dry air causes the blood vessels in the upper respiratory tract to narrow and conserve heat, which could prevent the white blood cells from reaching the mucous membrane, thus making it more difficult to fight off those germs.
How Does Chiropractic Treatment Boosts Our Body’s Immunity?
Regular chiropractic treatment can help improve a person’s immune system so it can fight off infection during the harsher months of winter. The National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois, found that disease-fighting white blood cell counts had risen just 15 minutes after chiropractic manipulation was applied to the back. Another study, which investigated the immune system response in HIV-positive patients under chiropractic care, found that after six months of spinal misalignment treatment, patients had shown a 48% increase in white blood cell counts. Another group which had not received chiropractic manipulation experienced a 7.96% decrease in immunity cells. The data goes as far back as 1917 and 1918, when during the deadly flu epidemics, chiropractic patients fared better than the general population. In 1918, 1,142 chiropractors cared for 46,394 influenza patients, with a loss of 54 patients – one out of every 859. In New York City, 950 out of 10,000 cases died with traditional medical methods, while 25 out of 10,000 died using drugless methods. The chiropractic patients had an estimated .25% death rate compared to 5% percent among the rest of the flu victims who did not receive chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care is essential for a healthy spine and body. Chiropractic adjustments will aid in restoring misalignments in your spine, thus correcting the immunological response. A misaligned spine can incorrectly activate our stress response, which may adversely react with an immune system that is trying to stay healthy or to fight off disease. Terry Rondberg, president of the World Chiropractic Alliance, noted that many factors affect the body's ability to maintain optimal balance, such as: nutrition, posture, exercise, stress, but that spinal health is just as important. Many people wait until they get “sick,” before they get care, but through preventative care like regular adjustments, many health issues could potentially be avoided, especially those dealing with our immunity.
Additional Ways to Revitalize Your Immune System
In addition to regular chiropractic treatment, there are other ways that you can help increase your immune system’s health. If you live in areas with short winter days and not much sunlight, you may benefit from taking vitamin D supplements or from eating foods high in it, like fatty fish, mushroom, and eggs. Make sure to get enough antioxidants and nutrients, like vitamin C, through all kinds of berries and citrus fruits. Making sure to get enough sleep, stretches, and mild exercise will keep the body’s circulation healthy. Remember that it is crucial to wash your hands regularly, as well as sneezing and coughing into clean tissues and to use elbows rather than hands.
Book Your Appointment with Asheville's Chiropractor
If you would like to know more about how to boost your immune system through chiropractic treatment or if you are struggling to stay healthy we’d love to receive your call at (828) 277-0903. You can also request an appointment online. We would love to connect with you on social media! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. If you’re a new patient, enjoy our $25 new new patient special offer - just give us a call and let us know you’re new! For more posts on how chiropractic care helps overall wellness you can read the rest of our blog.