Chiropractic Care & Your Immune System: Beating the Flu Season
Can you believe the Arizona flu season still isn’t over? Thank goodness this year’s flu season has already peaked, but the CDC says that over half of our states are still reporting widespread flu activity, and it is expected to continue for several weeks. Since Arizona is such a popular travel site, travelers can unintentionally bring more flu virus from every state.
Your Mesa chiropractor isn’t only interested in your spine, chiropractic care seeks to establish health and balance in all areas. Let’s take a look at how visiting an Arizona chiropractic clinic can improve the immune system.
The brain and the spinal cord control your central nervous system, which controls every function of your body. The lymphatic system, which consists of lymph nodes, lymph vessels, lymph ducts, and organs, circulates lymph from your body tissues into your blood stream. The lymphatic system depends on the motion of the musculoskeletal system to move lymph throughout your body. Lymph fluid contains white blood cells and other immune cells to help fight disease and infection. The connection is that your lymphatic system is controlled by your central nervous system.
Your body also utilizes physical barriers, like mucus, and digestive juices in your digestive tract to ward off viruses. Once again, these systems have to be functioning optimally in order to do their job.
Your nervous system is what controls all these things, and these nerves are encased in your spinal column. That is why a visit to a Mesa chiropractic clinic can improve the immune system. When your chiropractor adjusts your spine, returning your vertebrae to their correct position, this restores proper communication within the central nervous system.
Pain relief is one more way that chiropractic care can strengthen your immune system. When you are in pain you are under stress, and stress has been shown to compromise the immune system.
Some other things you can do to stay healthy include:
Thorough handwashing is one of the best means to prevent contracting or spreading the flu virus. We often think of the flu virus as being airborne and is spread through coughing and sneezing. While that is one method of transmission, any time a sick person coughs into their hand or blows their nose and then touches any surface, they leave behind the virus, which can live outside the body for up to 48 hours. Then, when you come along and touch that same surface, such as a doorknob, you pick up the virus upon your hands. Try to get in the habit of simply not touching your face, since you can easily allow the virus to enter your body through your eyes nose or mouth. Now you can see why frequent hand washing should be utilized both by those infected with the virus and by those hoping not to become infected. Also, remember to wash children’s hands frequently, since they often put them in their mouth.
Healthy eating plays a major role in keeping your immune system functioning at its peak. Aim to eat a rainbow of colors, since fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which are both known to boost the immune system.
Supplement with Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3, taken along with vitamin K to help ensure its utilization, has also been shown to boost immune function. This can be especially important during the winter months when you get less of the sunshine your body needs to make vitamins D. The widespread use of sunscreen also contributes to the need for a vitamin D3 supplement. In addition, if you know you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, add a vitamin C supplement. Yogurt and green tea have also been shown to help protect against sickness.
Don’t be a Couch Potato
Many people become less active in bad weather. One half hour of exercise three times a week is another proven immune system booster. You don’t even have to do the entire 30 minutes all at once, take your dog for three 10 minute walks and there you have it!
Don’t Spread the Virus
Flu symptoms usually differ from cold symptoms in their severity. The flu often comes on quickly, and along with cold symptoms, it can bring a high fever and body aches. If you suspect you may be coming down with the flu, stay at home and see your doctor. Do your best to avoid exposing others! Get into the habit of coughing and sneezing into the crook of your elbow instead of your hands. That can cut down the spread of the virus a great deal.
Although the flu can make you miserable, most healthy individuals recover without complications. Those at the greatest risk of developing complications include the elderly, infants, and those with a compromised immune system.
BodyWorkz, Your Local Chiropractic Clinic
While prescription medications save lives every day, many are also overprescribed, and all have possible side effects. If you prefer a more natural approach to maintaining your health you may want to explore BodyWorkz approach to wellness through Mesa chiropractic care, Mesa acupuncture, and Mesa massage.