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By: Gabriel Smith, D.C.

With cold and flu season underway it is important that we do everything we can to stay healthy and seeking chiropractic care is one of them. Chiropractic has been known to show improved immune function dating all the way back to the 1918 flu pandemic. During the flu pandemic it is estimated that around 50 million people died to the flu, but patients under chiropractic care fared well in comparison to the general population. Flu patients who sought chiropractic care had a 20-fold reduction in fatality from the general population with the flu. Flu patients under chiropractic care had a fatality rate of .25% (1in 400) in comparison to the 5% (1 in 20) rate of general population that sought other treatment options(1).

Chiropractors get results like this by working with your body to allow it to heal itself. When you get an abrasion or a cut there is nothing needed to heal the body. The body recognizes this situation and attracts the specific cells and nutrients to the area that repair the damage. The same goes for most infections /illnesses in the body. You are able to get well due to all of the communication that is happening between the various organs and systems throughout the body that are controlled by the nervous system. Chiropractors work with this system by taking pressure off the several nerves that exit the spine. When there is a misalignment in the spine it can irritate or impede the messages traveling throughout your body that are trying to regulate and heal the body(2). Chiropractors remove this misalignment by finding the specific bone that is out of alignment. To find the misalignment they analyze your posture and gait, run an instrument down your spine, feel for tissue changes and heat, motion the joints in the spine, and look at an X-ray to see the overall condition and alignment of the spine. It sounds like a lot, but a thorough exam allows for a more specific the correction to be given to the precise bone that is out of alignment. It is important to be thorough because when a bone is out of alignment it can impede the immune system’s ability to fight off infection. This makes you more susceptible to getting sick and makes it harder for your body to heal.

Many studies in the Journal of Chiropractic and Osteopathy have shown great results with the immune system when a misalignment is removed. One study showed that patients tested with significantly boosted production of white blood cells and other immune system molecules within 20 minutes after a chiropractic adjustment(3,4,5). In a study done by Dr. Pero, the chief of cancer research at the NY Preventative Medicine Institute, he found that individuals under chiropractic care had a 200% greater immune competence than those that were not under chiropractic care(6). In addition to the chiropractic research, chiropractic patients report several ways chiropractic has helped them when they get sick. At Betterton Chiropractic many patients report relief with their sinus congestion, cough, cold, and nausea every day. Many have seen fewer sick days a year and other improvements in their overall health.

Chiropractic is a great way to stay healthy, but diet at is also extremely important in building a strong immune system. Many think the large volume of people at holiday gatherings is what makes them get sick, but that is only part of it. High sugar consumption is also a possible cause of getting sick around the holidays. Sugar has been linked to inhibiting white blood cell function and increasing inflammation in the body(6,7). This weakens the immune system and makes you more prone to infection. If you start to feel sick after a holiday gathering make sure to get plenty of Vit D, C, and Zinc to boost your immune system; and I t is always important to drink plenty of water, get adequate rest, and get adjusted.

For more information check out our sources or call in to Betterton Chiropractic!

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