Can Chiropractic Help My Immune System?
The nervous system is composed of the brain, spinal cord, and spinal nerves. This “master system” controls the function of every cell, tissue, muscle and organ in the entire body. This is one of the basic premises of chiropractic, and this is why it is important to keep your spine aligned through regular check-ups and adjustments.
Two other systems which are linked with the function of the nervous system are the endocrine (hormones) and immune systems. Misalignments of the spine, or subluxations, cause compression and irritation of nerve pathways, which effects the body’s organs and muscles. Such stressful conditions lead to decreased function of the immune system, since nerves that innervate this system are involved. This in turn will lead to an increased susceptibility to a variety of ailments and conditions. If the sympathetic part of the nervous system is overstimulated due to stress and subluxations, it can lead to increased levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that inhibits, or weakens the immune system.
Doctors of chiropractic are the only doctors trained to detect and eliminate subluxations in the body. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce the stress on the nervous system, which will boost responses of the nervous and immune systems. I always advise my patients that when they feel the slightest early sign of a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, or head cold, to get into the office immediately and get adjusted! Various studies have shown that an adjustment in a certain area will increase white blood cell count significantly. These fight infection in the body and will help your immune system perform at a higher level. Other studies have shown that repeated, long-term chiropractic adjustments in HIV positive patients will result in an increase in T cells.
Remember, at the first sign of coming down with a cold/flu...go see your chiropractor! It can only help!