A strong immune system protects your body in multiple ways. Today, some people rely on chiropractic care to support the immune system.
One three-year study found that chiropractic patients had a 200% stronger immune system than people who had not received chiropractic care, and they had a 400% stronger immune system than people with cancer and other serious diseases.
A good immune system is always important, but it’s extra important during a pandemic.
Today, we’re highlighting the connection between chiropractic care and your immune system.
How Does the Immune System Work?
You could write a textbook on how the immune system works. We’ll provide a basic explanation.
Your immune system protects your body against invaders. The immune system detects when an intruder has entered your body, then cells to attack that intruder.
The immune system uses white blood cells, proteins, and other compounds to repel invaders from your body. Ideally, your immune system recognizes these invaders, attacks the invaders, then creates antibodies to protect your body from further infection.
Unfortunately, the immune system doesn’t always work as intended. Some conditions create a malfunctioning immune system, for example. Or, your immune system may not properly recognize an invader. Some immune systems overreact to invaders, while others underreact.
The immune system isn’t perfect. However, there are ways to boost the immune system.
Problems with the Immune System
Ideally, our immune system protects the body against invaders. However, there can be problems with the immune system, and these problems can create serious health concerns.
All of these things can impact the immune system:
- Autoimmune disorders, which are diseases where the immune system starts to attack the body because it sees normal cells as foreign invaders that need to be destroyed
- Immunodeficiency disorders, which is a general term for any disease that weakens the immune system
- Allergies or allergic responses, which can cause the immune system to overreact
- Certain medications (including chemotherapy and other drugs used to treat cancer)
- Certain infections (like the flu virus, mono, or measles)
- Smoking, alcohol, and poor nutrition
Some people develop immune problems with age. Others are born with a weak immune system, which is called primary immune deficiency. Common immune disorders include severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), which is present at birth. Some develop temporary acquired immune deficiencies – say, if the body is weakened by certain medications.
AIDS and HIV are two well-known conditions that impact the immune system. HIV, which causes AIDS, is a viral infection that destroys important white blood cells and weakens the immune system.
When you have an immune system problem, it means you could be affected by a disease that someone else can easily fight off. You could become seriously ill from a cold or flu virus, for example. These are called opportunistic infections because they take advantage of weak immune systems.
How to Strengthen your Immune System
Search Google for ‘boost immune system’ and you’ll find thousands of results. Boosting immunity is a trendy topic.
Boosting the immune system is more complicated than it seems, however. Your immune system isn’t a single entity or organ: it’s a collection of cells and systems throughout your body. You can support certain aspects of that system but not others.
Generally, any practice that supports good health will support your immune system.
According to Harvard, practices that support a good immune system include:
- Don’t smoke
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly
- Lose weight and maintain a healthy weight
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Get adequate sleep
- Take steps to avoid infection; wash your hands frequently and be extra cautious in shared public spaces
- Reduce stress
By implementing these tips, you can support good immune efficiency, making it easier for your body to fight infections, diseases, and illnesses.
Some supplements claim to support immunity. Some supplements are rich with antioxidants or anti-inflammatory compounds, for example, which can make it easier for your immune system to fight infection. These supplements are often unproven, however. A balanced diet and moderate exercise can support immune system more effectively than a nutritional supplement.
How Chiropractic Treatment Could Support Immunity
There’s some evidence suggesting that chiropractic treatment can support a good immune system.
In 2020, researchers from the World Federation of Chiropractic published a study examining all available literature on chiropractic care and immunity. The study specifically mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic, examining how chiropractic care may help people deal with the coronavirus.
After analyzing available research, researchers concluded that there was some small evidence supporting the connection between the immune system and chiropractic care, although more largescale evidence was needed to confirm the connection between chiropractic care and immunity.
In this study published in 1991, for example, researchers in Illinois analyzed the effect of spinal manipulation on respiratory immune cells. Researchers gave a group of people two different treatments, including valid spinal manipulation therapy or a sham treatment. Researchers found there was higher immune cell activity in the spinal manipulation group and no change in the sham group:
“The CL responses of both PMN [polymorphonuclear neutrophils] and monocytes from subjects who received spinal manipulation were significantly higher after than before treatment, and significantly higher than the response in sham or soft-tissue treated subjects.”
In 2008, researchers analyzed immune production in subjects before and after receiving spinal manipulation therapy. Researchers found there were higher levels of IL-2 synthesis in patients who underwent spinal manipulation therapy. The study concluded that, “SMT [spinal manipulation therapy] might influence IL-2-regulated biological responses”.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that osteopathic manipulation may reduce symptoms in influenza patients. That study also explained the role of osteopaths during the 1918-1919 Spanish influenza pandemic, when osteopaths reduced mortality and morbidity using lymphatic treatment techniques.
These studies and others suggest that physical manipulation – including chiropractic treatment – could impact immunity. However, we need more largescale research on humans to verify a connection between chiropractic care and immunity.
Final Word On Boosting The Immune System
A healthy lifestyle is the best way to support your immune system. Research shows that a balanced diet, moderate exercise, and reduced stress can all support a healthy immune system, for example.
Some research shows that chiropractic care can support immunity. Chiropractic care could increase the activity of certain immune cells, although more research is needed to verify these benefits.
Renew Chiropractic is the leading chiropractor in Lakewood, Colorado.
With 20+ years of experience serving the Denver area, Renew Chiropractic has built a reputation for effective chiropractic results. Contact Renew Chiropractic today for a free consultation.