Chiropractic and Your Immunity

If your family is anything like mine, there’s often the ever-present threat of someone bringing home an illness. Especially while we have young kids who are still developing their lifelong immunity. As the weather changes and the temperatures drop, it seems to be a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ one of us will get sick. Then we move on to the threat of everyone else in our household succumbing to the same bug over the next few weeks. My wife, Chelsea, is a school teacher and our family is often exposed to bugs through our various activities. We can’t live in a bubble! To stay ahead of these pesky illnesses, everyone in our family is on a regular regime of vitamins and minerals to support our body’s response to sickness. We’ve also seen in our family, and across my patients, that regular chiropractic care does a great job at keeping the body well and boosting it when we do get caught by illness.

Think about this for a moment, if you have a case of a runny nose, fever, vomiting or diarrhoea – are you sick or are you healthy? Keep reading to find out…

The idea that chiropractic care helps to strengthen your immune system is not new – but we are continually discovering more about what happens at a cellular level following a spinal correction. Your immune system is comprised of organs and cells which resist toxins and infections, but require efficient communication with your brain to do their jobs. It’s an incredibly complex network specifically designed to protect your body from different attacks.

Your immune system contains two main types of white blood cells, which then perform a number of different functions. Some cells have the role of raising an alarm to other cells, some cells attack bacteria, others attack viruses or heal wounds etc. When you receive a chiropractic correction, several types of these immune system cells increase their activity. Your phagocytes, neutrophils, and other PMN (white blood) cells all experience enhanced productivity following a chiropractic correction. These cells work to attack bacteria and fight infections. So, it’s worth thinking twice before you postpone your upcoming chiropractic visit if you’re under the weather!

There have been numerous studies on the effects of chiropractic on immunity. A study on HIV patients discovered that six months of regular chiropractic care resulted in a 48% increase in the number of cells which stimulate the immune response. Another study looked at the survival rates during the influenza epidemic in 1918. It found that people who were under chiropractic care had significantly higher survival rates (99.94%) than those who were solely under medical care (94.5%). Including a case in which chiropractors treated 233 patients who had been labelled as ‘lost causes’ by physicians, and all but 25 recovered!

When your immune system is under strain, a chiropractic correction can assist with enhancing some of your key protection cells in their roles throughout your body. An increase in immune function is important for everything from the common cold to the flu, cancer, and heart disease – not to mention the great enhancing effects on a healthy individual. When it comes to kids, this could even help with ear infections. This is why we encourage you all to come in and get checked even on the days when you’re not feeling the best. An adjustment can give your immune system that boost to help you recover!

Talk with us at your next appointment about any immunity or health challenges you may be facing. If you have friends or family who could use our help to boost their body’s immunity, or a child who is prone to ear infections, bring them in for a Complimentary Chat or contact us through one of the options below. We’d love to help!

…and to answer that earlier question – runny nose, temperature, vomiting, diarrhoea etc. are usually a healthy response from your body to rid you of bad bugs as fast as possible!

References:

  1. The Effects of Specific Upper Cervical Adjustments On The CD4 Counts of HIV Positive Patients (1994)
  2. Enhanced neutrophil respiratory burst as a biological marker for manipulation forces: duration of the effect and association with substance P and tumor necrosis factor. (1992)
  3. Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation: potential role of substance P. (1991)
  4. Enhancement of in vitrointerleukin-2 production in normal subjects following a single spinal manipulative treatment (2008)

  5. Interleukin-2 and Its Effects in the Central Nervous System (1998)

  6. The 1918 flu pandemic and chiropractic

About the Author Dr Edward Roper

Ed has been practicing in Tauranga since 2009, and established Precision Chiropractic in 2012. Prior to this, Ed spent several years in a chiropractic practice in Albany, Auckland.