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Immune Boost by Chiropractic Adjustments

The nerve system, the endocrine system, and the immune system are inextricably linked, like a three-legged stool. Numerous research studies have shown that chiropractic care positively impacts immune system function.

The nerve, immune, and endocrine systems share tiny messenger molecules that communicate between them. One of these messenger molecules, IL-2, used to be classically thought of as an immune system molecule; however, studies published within the past decade have clearly shown IL-2’s presence and activity in the nervous system. One recent pioneering study1, clearly demonstrated an increase in IL-2 levels and also in the function of T-cells (key players in the immune system’s army of cells), following chiropractic adjustment. The authors concluded that chiropractic adjustment can influence the biological immune response.

The idea that chiropractic care can help the immune system work better is not a new one. In fact, this concept has been supported by credible data for a century. Dr. Dan Murphy compiled some very interesting data regarding the use of chiropractic care during the Influenza Epidemic of 19182. According to the statistics compiled, influenza patients who were under chiropractic care rather than medical care during this epidemic had significantly higher survival rates. (some cite the success of chiropractic care in this epidemic as the historical turning point that allowed chiropractic care to be much more recognized as a profession.)

And let’s not forget that the endocrine system is the third leg in the stool. The endocrine system’s main players are epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), nor-epinephrine, and cortisol. These molecules are produced in the adrenal glands which have direct connections with the nervous system by way of a division called the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). Cortisol in particular is a stress hormone that inhibits the immune system (which is why stress really can make you sick!) So if the sympathetic nervous system is too “turned on” due to stress and subluxation, it can increase the adrenal glands’ synthesis of cortisol, in turn affecting lowering immune system function. Subluxation promotes this exact situation, partly because of a decrease in parasympathetic activity (rest, heal, digest).

If your immune system is working overtime, you’re feeling sick and run down, DO NOT skip your adjustment. It’s the best thing you can do to kick start your healing!

References:
1 – Enhancement of in vitro interleukin-2 production in normal subjects following a single spinal manipulative treatment, 2008
2 – http://www.planetc1.com/cgi-bin/n/v.cgi?id=1241106609

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