Bulletproofing Your Immune System This Winter

Chiropractic care helps the immune system function at its highest level by removing stress and interference on the nervous system which controls all body functions. Having a healthy nervous system supports the body in its ability to handle stress and fight off sickness.

Dr. Luke Stringer: Yeah, absolutely. Your immune system is the body’s ability to essentially handle the stress which we deal with day-to-day. And then obviously, the sickness and disease that comes with the day-to-day stress of everyday life. Essentially your nervous system controls everything the body does, how it feels, how it functions. So, in order for us to handle sickness and disease, we need a nervous system that’s not under stress, because if it’s under stress, it’s not going to function well, which obviously increases our propensity to break down, become sick and ill.

So essentially, the nervous system gives you the ability to handle stress, and having a nervous system that’s stress-free allows us to function at a high level. So then, that allows our immune system to be functioning at a high level. 70% of your immune system actually functions in the gut, so obviously those spinal nerves in the lower thoracic, upper lumbar area, they’re part of the autonomic nervous system, the nerves that don’t have the ability to send pain signals. They actually relay information brain to organ, organ to brain in regards to how to handle or how to function.

So for example, if your nervous system is stressed due to a subluxation, a joint or a bone being out of alignment and compressing a nerve in that area while the nervous system’s ability to send signals to the gut (which 70% of your immune system is in the gut) and then obviously back is hindered then obviously it’s going to limit our ability to handle stress, sickness and disease. So, by having a healthy nervous system that’s not under stress, it allows us to function at high rate, which directly relates to our ability to stay healthy, fight sickness and disease. Think we’re talking about what we’re dealing with this winter, colds, flus, things of that nature.

Dr. Luke Stringer: Yeah, chiropractic care essentially is based on the premise of having the spine in alignment and by it being in alignment, it’s going to create minimal to no stress on the nervous system. If the nervous system’s not under stress, then we should be able to function as intended, which is optimally live without pain, without dysfunction, without breaking down essentially. So, chiropractic care can specifically get the spine in alignment, take stress off the nervous system. And by having a nervous system not under stress, it allows the function, what we call that parasympathetic nervous system, which we’ll get into here in a little moment, that gives the body the ability to rest and digest. So, chiropractic essentially de-stresses the nervous system which gives us the ability to process stress and obviously a body and a nervous system that’s not under stress gives more ability to process the stress and deal with it and essentially not break down. So, continue to be healthy and function as we should optimally.

Dr. Luke Stringer: Yeah, exactly. So, several types of inflammation, right? So obviously you’re bent over and you had a lifting injury and you had a disc injury. There’s going to be a lot of inflammation that comes with that. So obviously chiropractic care can absolutely use modalities, E-stim, ice, adjustments, therapy to reduce that inflammation. However, the inflammation that’s internal is critically important. If we’re inflamed and we have inflammation in the gut for example, then obviously that isn’t going to allow our immune system to function as well.

Now chiropractic care can essentially take stress off the nerves that allow the nervous system to function at a high level, and by doing that we’re going to have less stress in that organ system. So yeah, chiropractic care is going to essentially allow the body to function at a higher rate, which obviously allows the immune system to function as it should, ability to fight sickness and disease and allows it to function as we should optimally without breaking down.

Dr. Luke Stringer: Yeah, great question. There are several forms of stress, right? In the chiropractic world we call them the three T’s. You’ve got traumas, which can manifest as a big trauma like getting in a car accident or it can be a microtrauma like being pinned to your desk 50 hours a week. And then you’ve got traumas that come through thought, stress, deadlines, weddings, family grievances. And then you have toxins. So, diets that are high in inflammatory foods, or medications, things of that nature. So essentially what happens is when you are in a stress state, so it could be from poor posture, it could be from poor dietary habits, could be from lifestyle decisions, then that puts us in the sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic nervous system, essentially our flight and fight response. So, for trauma situations like being rear ended on the freeway while we’re consistently in the flight or fight nervous system, sympathetic nervous system, what it does it increases our cortisol levels.

So, we’ve got increased cortisol levels, and it affects the body’s ability to process hormones, particularly insulin sugar essentially. So, if the cortisol is blocking insulin, then obviously that raises our blood sugar and it’s just what I call a hamster wheel, just that consistent negative effect. So, if you are consistently stressed out from poor posture or poor dietary habits, and it increases our cortisol, which puts us in the sympathetic nervous system, which essentially doesn’t allow us to absorb our blood sugar as well and then that increases blood sugar, that creates inflammation, puts us on that kind of negative pattern essentially.

So stress, we call the silent killer, absolutely the underlying cause of sickness and disease. If you’re listening, if you ever got to a holiday where you feel great and as soon as you put your feet up, you break down and you’re sick, I know it happens to a lot of people this Christmas period, this holiday period.

So, with that, essentially how chiropractic care can help the body handle stress, well chiropractic care can take stress off the nervous system. By having a nervous system less stressed, that’s going to allow us to enter that parasympathetic nervous system, which is where we sleep, enter rapid eye movement, the body cleans the cells of inflammation, it’s how we essentially rest and digest. And obviously if we’re in that parasympathetic nervous system, we’re going to clean out the inflammation, and we’re going to handle and work with a less stressed nervous system. That’s obviously going to allow us to feel good, function good, fight sickness and disease. All these cold and flus that we get this wintertime.

There’s a bunch of research out there, specific studies done in and around the immune system, inflammation, how it affects how we feel and function. They all essentially state that chiropractic care can take stress out of the nervous system, which relays into better immuno system function.

Dr. Luke Stringer: Yeah, great question. Regular chiropractic adjustments are key to us feeling and functioning as well as we can optimally. So weekly, biweekly adjustments, regardless if you’re in pain or not, be more proactive in your health. 80% of stimulation in the brain comes from movement of the spine. So, if the spine is moving, it stimulates the brain. Obviously 80% of stimulation in the brain is going to relay back into the nervous system. As we discussed, when this joint moves it takes stress off the nervous system, allows that nerve and/or that organ to function optimally.

And then you want to supplement that with just good habits. So good spinal mobility, make sure we’re taking the spine through movement, motion is lotion. Help discs get aligned and how we stimulate all the mechanoreceptors in the joint, which creates stability in the spine. Do some good postural education or work throughout the workday. Make sure engaging all those key posture muscles in the core and the front of the neck between our shoulder blades. Because obviously like we just discussed, if we’re in poor posture, we’re chronically stressed. Chronically stressed, obviously has a negative effect on our ability to function at a high level.

And then also just obviously practicing through on good lifestyle habits. So, a diet that’s low in inflammatory foods, high in antioxidants, good balanced diet, protein, carbohydrates, lots of dark green, leafy vegetables, dark fruits that help the antioxidants deal with inflammation in the body. And obviously regular exercise is a great way for us to continue to feel and function good and give the immune system a boost.

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Luke Stringer visit www.southloopchiropractor.com or call (312) 987-4878 to schedule an appointment.

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