Did you know that your immune system works around the clock patrolling every area of your body? It attacks and destroys alien, useless or dangerous things inside you. These “things” can include bacteria, viruses, splinters, dirt, dead cells, even cancer cells.
Breast cancer cells start out as normal body cells, but they begin to grow out of control because of an abnormal gene. The immune system plays a major role in limiting the development of these abnormalities, often before cancer has a chance to grow. This gets rid of many cancerous cells before they can do any harm. Damaged, precancerous cells may be a constant presence, but an ever-alert immune system takes them out and protects us from many assaults of cancer that never get beyond the very earliest stage.” (1)
So imagine what it would be like if you could “tune” up the intensity of your immune system?
YOUR BODY’S DEFENSES
Your body has an arsenal that protects you. Among them, your skin and mucus membranes create a physical barrier to invasion; your digestive juices dissolve germs; urine cleans your urinary tract; and skin secretions kill many germs when you’re alive. Fevers fight off microorganisms; swelling helps wash the system; special cells attack and destroy intruders: macrophages (important cells of the immune system that are formed in response to an infection or accumulating damaged or dead cells), T-cells, killer cells, lymphocytes, antibodies and others, each with its own special (designed) way of defending you against the bad guys. You also have an internal defense industry that produces your bone marrow, spleen, thymus, tonsils, adenoids, appendix and lymph nodes. These all give you lots of high quality weapon systems to defend your body.
BOOSTING IMMUNE FUNCTION THROUGH DIET AND EXERCISE
Diet can have a profound effect on your immune health. It turns out that eating some pretty surprising nutrients will help keep your immune system on guard. You can ensure your body and immunity run more efficiently by adding lots of colourful servings of fruits and veggies to your daily meals, as well as taking in plenty of water. Vitamins such as A, B-6, C and E; Beta-carotene; copper; zinc and selenium have all been shown to have immune-enhancing abilities. Adding certain foods to your diet such as beef, lamb, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cashews, beans and mushrooms (especially shiitake, maitake, and reishi) can benefit you in receiving a hefty quantity of zinc to give your immunity a punch. Probiotics, or the “live active cultures” found in yogurt, are healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs while garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which also fights infection and bacteria. Oats and barley contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities more potent than echinacea. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A as are carrots, kale and squash. Vitamin C, another immune booster, can be found in yellow bell peppers, guavas, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwi, broccoli, citrus fruits and berries. Dr. Linus Pauling, a two time winner of the Nobel Prize, says this:
The potency of vitamin C and other vitamins is explained by the new understanding that they function principally by strengthening the natural protective mechanisms of the body, especially the immune system”. (2)
Doctors have also found that exercise can also stimulate your immune system by providing a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to attack bacteria. These cells appear to work more slowly in people who don’t exercise than in those who do. As a result, if you exercise, your immune system is better equipped to handle bacteria that could cause you to become sick.
CHIROPRACTIC CARE IMPROVES IMMUNE FUNCTION
While all these other immune boosters are great, there is something that many people don’t realize and that is that you can boost your immune system by up to 400% with chiropractic care!
If your spine is out of its healthy position, (what we chiropractors call a “subluxation”) it can cause a breakdown in communication with the brain and your body’s immune system, resulting in fatigue, lowered immunity and immune problems. When my patients feel run down or are feeling the onset of a cold, stomach virus, or flu symptoms, they will always schedule extra adjustments to increase their bodies defense. They often remark how they seem to recover faster after receiving more frequent chiropractic care. Recent scientific developments now lend support to the idea that chiropractic correction of the subluxation can aid the immune responses of the body by reducing nerve interference.
A study done by Dr. Ronald Pero, chief of cancer prevention at New York Preventative Medical Institute found that people who receive regular chiropractic adjustments can have between 200% and 400% stronger immune systems than those not receiving chiropractic care. What was also discovered was a massive 48% boost in immune function of AIDS patients after only 6 months of chiropractic adjustments. (3)
Another study was done to measure the effect a chiropractic adjustment has on the immune system. Blood was taken from each of the test patients 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after their adjustments. These results were compared to blood tests of patients who received placebo adjustments. The immune response from those who received the real adjustment were significantly higher after their treatments than those who received the sham adjustments. (4)
Keeping your spine healthy under chiropractic care is one of the best ways of keeping your immune system functioning at its optimum level, and restoring your health is what we here at Blaser Chiropractic are all about. So don’t just limit your chiropractic care to aches and pains. Make chiropractic a part of you and your family’s weekly wellness strategy and give your immune system some added muscle!
(1) www.breastcancer.org Your Immune System and Cancer, January 26, 2014
(2) Pauling, L. How To Live Longer And Feel Better, N.Y: Avon Books, 1986, p.22
(3) Pero, R. Medical Researcher Excited By CB5RF Project Results, The Chiropractic Journal, August 1989; 32.
(4) Enhanced Phagocytic Cell Respiratory Burst Induced by Spinal Manipulation JMPT 1991:14:399-408