Over the years, chiropractic physicians have reported success in treating a variety of conditions associated with bacterial and viral infection. Manipulation of the vertebrae has an influence on neurologic function, lymphatic drainage, blood flow and muscle tension. Recent research by Patricia C Brennan, Ph.D., suggests that manipulation may also have a great effect on certain aspects of immune function. Her group showed that when the thoracic spine (mid-back) was adjusted, the respiratory burst cycle of white blood cells was enhanced. Manipulation is thought to stimulate immune function, in part by promoting the release of endorphins long associated with improving immunity.Source: Gregory R. Salmond, D.C.
Understanding the Link Between Chiropractic and Your Immune System
by Dr. Paul Newton
It’s usually about this time of the year when I start hearing comments like “Gee, I haven’t been sick yet this year!” or “Our family hasn’t had any colds this winter!” People are quite surprised by how much better their immune system is working since they’ve been under chiropractic care. These people understood that the nervous system controlled and coordinated every other system in the body but they didn’t believe it until they experienced it first hand.
When a new person begins chiropractic care, we spend a great deal of time and effort to educate him/her about the body’s capabilities when the nervous system is free of stress. We explain how every system in your body requires non-stop direction and feedback from the brain and spinal cord to make sure it is doing its job perfectly. This includes the immune system.
Most grasp this concept rather enthusiastically because they realize that their body wants to be healthy and it just needs a chance to do it on its own. The problem we encounter occurs when this new person comes down with something, runs to the doctor and gets put on antibiotics. The old belief system overrides all concepts of self-healing because aninfection made them sick.
Oddly enough, many people do get sick shortly after beginning chiropractic care. As discouraging as this is to most, this is a very positive healing response. Have you ever, in a moment of inspiration, decided to clean up your desk, your office, your basement etc. because you felt it would have a positive impact on your life? You didn’t like the way you were operating and decided that things needed to change. Your body does the same thing.
When you get adjusted and your body releases stress that has been preoccupying most of its systems, your body gets inspired and decides to change the state of affairs. It doesn’t like all the critters that have taken up residence so it mounts an immune response to kill them all. This makes us feel discomfort and we have been taught through experience that this means we are sick. Most of us just want the discomfort to stop so we ask our doctor for something to make it go away. We take some medicine and demotivate the body, forcing it to return to its original state.
Chiropractors have been telling people this for years and it is very exciting for us to finally see some scientific proof. New research in the area of neuroimmunobiology has shown that there are nerve endings in the body’s immune tissues. Scientists now believe that the nervous system and the immune system may be connected. It’s always nice to have some scientific validation!
So do I think all medicine is bad? No. Sometimes when we let our bodies get so run down that many of our immune responses are ineffective, life-threatening infections can take hold in places where bacteria can never get in a healthy person. Take pneumonia for example. This disease that used to affect and kill only very sick people is showing up routinely in the public. Antibiotics may be necessary to remove the immediate threat but once the infection is under control, is that person really healthy?
If you’re sick of your yearly bout of bronchitis or afraid of what your kids bring home from school, it’s time to build up your defenses. Regular chiropractic care is an integral step towards perfect health. You and your family need regular adjustments to keep your systems in perfect working order.
Source: 2002-2001 Filosofi Health Management Corporation
Chiropractic works on the body’s immune system and its cells through the nervous system, because the CD4 (T4) cells of the immune system have tiny nerves going to them. Chiropractic adjustments correct for interference to our main nervous system (brain and spinal cord), which then has a positive effect on the rest of our nervous system and body.
Source: Life College, Atlanta, GA, USAResearch on Upper Cervical Adjustments and CD4 Cell Count
Did you know that the nervous system directly and indirectly controls the immune system. It’s called – psychoneuroimmunology.
Source: Dr. Christopher Kent ICA Convention Atlanta Georgia, 1999
There is an increasing body of evidence that the nervous system is capable of modulating the immune response. It is theorized that spinal fixations may adversely affect the immune response through somatosympathetic reflexes.
Spinal manipulation can correct the spinal fixations and may eliminate
the adverse affects of somatosympathetic reflexes.
Source: Fidelibus JC. An overview of neuroimmunomodulation and a possible
correlation with musculoskeletal system function.J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1989;12(4):289-292 / Medline ID: 89361050
Psychological stress can produce physiological changes that suppress
the immune system making us prone to illness.
Positive feelings and states of expectancy, can work not only to
enhance our health but to eliminate disease
Source: David S. Sobel, MD, MPH, The Healing Brain, A Scientific Reader,
Edited by Robert Ornstewin, PhD and Charles Swencionis, PhD The Gilford
Press, New York, 1990