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Chiropractic Care and the Immune System

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When it comes to our health, there’s a common belief that we always get sick because of germs. This idea all started in the 1800’s with Louis Pasteur and his Germ Theory which states that the microbes (e.g. bacteria, virus, fungus, parasite), are the ones directly responsible for causing disease, wherein a specific germ is responsible for each disease. Pasteur also elaborates the idea that the human body is sterile, and free of any germs [1]. With these two ideas in mind, we could conclude that we should never allow microbes to enter the body and we should always eliminate them to keep our system clean and healthy. Otherwise, if we don’t do these things we are doomed to get sick.
 
The nervous system controls all functions of the body, including the immune system. During an immune response, the brain communicates to the immune system and this process is essential for maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body. If the Nervous System is not functioning properly, then the Immune System cannot function at 100%, thus the body becomes fertile ground for bacteria, viruses and illness.

 
One of the goals of chiropractic is to have your immune system function at an optimal level so that you don’t get sick very often. When you do get sick, your body lets you recover more quickly because of more efficient brain-body communication that is brought by chiropractic adjustments.These gentle adjustments help correct subluxation that interferes with the nerve signals from the brain to the immune system and the whole body. When subluxations are corrected, the brain will have a better communication with endocrine and immune tissues, modulating chemical reactions that will keep you healthy and away from sickness [1,2].
 
Several Studies linking Chiropractic and Immunity
The idea that chiropractic care can help the immune system work better is actually not a new one. In fact, this concept has been supported by many studies. One example is a series of studies published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) lead by Patricia Brennan, Ph.D., which showed that several types of immune system cells, including phagocytes, neutrophils, and PMNs (polymorphonuclear neutrophils), showed increased biological activity after chiropractic adjustment [3].
 
The same result has been shown in an incredible study produced by Life Chiropractic University from the Sid Williams Research Center. The researchers took a group of HIV positive patients and adjusted them over a six-month period. What they found was that the “patients that were adjusted had a forty-eight percent (46%) increase in the number CD4 cells (an important immune system component).” These measurements were taken at the patient’s’ independent medical center, where they were under medical supervision for the condition. The control group (the patients that were not adjusted) did not demonstrate this dramatic increase in immune function, but actually experienced a 7.69% decrease in CD4 cell counts over the same period. [4].
 
Furthermore, a New York study also found that people under chiropractic care demonstrated greater immune function that those who had not. Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute and his team measured 107 individuals who had received long-term Chiropractic care. The chiropractic patients were shown to have a 200% greater immune competence than people who had not received chiropractic care, and a 400% greater immune competence than people with cancer or serious diseases. Interestingly, Pero also found that the immune system superiority of those under chiropractic care did not diminish with age. He concluded, “Chiropractic may optimize whatever genetic abilities you have so that you can fully resist serious disease” [5].
 
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By far, Chiropractic care is the only way to detect and eliminate subluxation that causes interference in the brain and body connection. If you or someone you know always seems to be sick, subluxation could be at the root of the problem. The only way to find out, is to have your spine checked! Call us for an appointment at North Shore Chiropractic so we can help you to determine whether subluxation is interfering with your immune system.
 

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References
[1] Elenkov IJ, Wilder RL, Chrousos GP, Vizi ES. The sympathetic nerve-an integrative interface between the two supersystems: the brain and the immune system. Pharmacol Rev. 2000; 52:295-63.
 
[2] Murray DR et al. Sympathetic and immune interactions during dynamic exercise. Mediation via a beta 2 – adrenergic-dependent mechanism. Circulation. 1992; 86(1):203.
 
[3] Brennan PC1, Kokjohn K, Kaltinger CJ, Lohr GE, Glendening C, Hondras MA, McGregor M, Triano JJ. Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation: potential role of substance P.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1991 Sep;14(7):399-408.

 
[4] Selano JL, Hightower BC, Pfleger B, et al. The effects of specific upper cervical adjustments on the CD4 counts of HIV positive patients. Chiropractic Research Journal. 1994; 3(1): 32-39.
 
[5] Pero R. Medical Researcher Excited By CBSRF Project Results. The Chiropractic Journal. 1989; 32.
 

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