Chiropractic and Immune Support: What’s the deal?
Ok, let me be clear. I am not in any way advocating chiropractic care as a cure or treatment for COVID-19 AKA the Coronavirus.
The numbers are changing by the day and as I write this blog there are no proven treatments, vaccines or cures for COVID-19. The people most at risk are people with underlying health conditions. If you have any questions or concerns about the virus the best source is the CDC.
This map is really interesting to look at some unbiased stats and trends.
What the science shows us is our immune system is intrinsic, meaning it comes from within, some of its abilities to protect us are natural, some are acquired, but even that is an intrinsic process to external stimulus. There are no ways to “BOOST” your immune system, but rather support it in the functions it undergoes constantly to protect our bodies.
Chiropractors, including myself in the past, and especially during the current crisis and the regular cold and flu season promote to our patients to “come in a get your immune-boosting adjustment.” I must apologize because while it is just semantics, again the word “boost” is inappropriate and I have used it in the past. As Chiropractors, we can support the body and immune system.
The immune system just like any other organ system in the body is affected by stress, especially chronic stress. Chiropractic care, to be specific neurologically-based upper cervical corrective care, is the best option for immune support when it comes to chiropractic care.
Active research at the frontiers of immunology and neuroscience has identified multiple points of interaction and communication between the immune system and the nervous system(1)
Alterations in the state and function of the nervous system influence the immune response.(2)
The nervous system regulates innate immune responses through the release of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and neurohormones. (2)
Activation of the vagus nerve modulates leukocyte cytokine production and alleviates experimental shock and autoimmune disease, and recent data have suggested that vagus nerve stimulation can improve symptoms in human rheumatoid arthritis (3)
The vagus nerve and therefore the Parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated with specific upper cervical adjustments, as researched here. We use Heart Rate Variability (HRV) in the office to evaluate how your autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that affects the immune system and all other organ systems) is functioning and if the parasympathetic and sympathetic functioning optimally. We then track that throughout care to ensure your nervous system is functioning optimally and therefore supporting the functions of your other organ systems as well.
During times like these, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to lower our stress, breathe deeper, eat healthier and do anything possible to allow your body to function more optimally. Stay safe, and sane out there!
Ps. During the current situation I’m still seeing patients for emergency or what is deemed an “essential visit” If you have any questions or concerns please email us and I’d be happy to set up a time for a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if there is any way I can help you.
(1)It takes nerves to fight infections: insights on neuro-immune interactions from C. elegans
Trupti Kawli, Fanglian He, Man-Wah Tan
Disease Models & Mechanisms 2010 3: 721-731; doi: 10.1242/dmm.003871
(3)Welch, A., & Boone, R. (2008). Sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to specific diversified adjustments to chiropractic vertebral subluxations of the cervical and thoracic spine.Journal of chiropractic medicine,7(3), 86–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2008.04.001