What Does Chiropractic Have to Do With the Common Cold?

Posted by: | July 23, 2010

Chiropractic may be the most misunderstood alternative health care discipline out there. I was once guilty of believing it was solely a cure for back pain, though have discovered the preventative health benefits this complementary medicine offers stretch far beyond the lower back.

Think of your body as a running car for a moment. In order for this vehicle to run properly and perform the way it’s designed to, there needs to be a functioning control system present. This system constantly sends information to various parts of the car, asking it to do things like speed up when the gas pedal is pressed or switch to high beams with the turn of a button.

Let’s say for instance, one of these connections comes loose, and you’re stuck having to drive with nothing but your low beams on a dark, winding road. We would all agree the car would continue to run just fine mechanically, though would not be considered 100% functional (or ideal) without those high beams.

Much like a car, our bodies are equipped with a very intricate control system of their own: the central nervous system. This network of nerves, housed within the spinal column, supply organs, muscles and other living tissue with messages from the brain, allowing them to function and perform as intended by the body. It’s only when the vertebrae begin putting pressure on the nerves of our control system (known as subluxations) that we loose those connections and begin functioning at less than 100%.

So, what does chiropractic have to do with the common cold? Everything!

The human body is an extremely intelligent system with the innate ability to heal. When the nervous system is free of interference, or subluxations, the body receives clear messages from the brain which allows it to function at its optimal potential. It’s when there is some interference in the system that the immune system becomes compromised, allowing things like the common cold to infiltrate our bodies much easier.

I recently returned from a three week vacation, where I was constantly on the go, eating out and perhaps being less mindful of my body than usually. When I returned, a cold hit me like a tonne of bricks and literally knocked me dead for a couple days. Although I had eliminated the habitual stress during my time off, the strain of abandoning my everyday eating and exercise routine certainly contributed to my compromised immune system.

Supporting the system as a whole is always key. Just as a car would not function with an empty tank and low oil pressure, our bodies cannot maintain health without proper nutrition and adequate exercise. Our immune system relies on these elements to maintain clear connections and to keep our bodies operating the way they were designed to. These things combined help battle viruses like the flu and even fight disease throughout our lives. With a clear nervous system our bodies are able to effectively use the fuel we provide and function optimally to protect us from pesky seasonal bugs.

Tips for keeping a clear nervous system and boosting immunity:
1. Have your spine checked for interference. Talk to you doctor about visiting a chiropractor and don’t forget to check out your benefits.
2. Reduce the stress. Stress on the body can often present itself as a subluxation, which we know has the potential to reduce neural functioning and compromise immune efficiency.
3. Eat as we were designed to. The best way to support the healing process in the body is to properly nourish it. Fill your plate with loads of fresh, natural foods and avoid meals that are processed, high in fat or sugar.
4. Move! Incorporate frequent movement into your day to increase blood flow to body tissue and encourage mobility in your joints (and yes, your spine is a joint). Start by stretching or walking around the office for a few moments every hour.

How else are you naturally supporting the healing process in your body?

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4 Responses to “What Does Chiropractic Have to Do With the Common Cold?”

  1. Suzanne says:

    I know you’re such a huge fan of chiropractic (and you know I go to one occassionally) but I don’t think it’s for everyone! I know some folks haven’t found success in a chiro’s office…but you certainly seem to have found what works for your body!

  2. Thea says:

    You’re right! As I mentioned, the body is a very intricate system which depends on all sorts of things to maintain health. The more support we give our bodies through proper nutrition, adequate movement, rest, etc (the list goes on) the closer we are to health on the disease spectrum.

  3. Eastwood says:

    Interesting post, Thea. What are your thoughts on the following, written by Harriet Hall, MD:

    “D.D. Palmer, a grocer and magnetic healer, invented chiropractic on September 18, 1895. He did something to a deaf man’s back. The man said he could hear again. This
    is particularly ironic, because the nerves to the ear don’t go anywhere near the spine, and no chiropractor today
    claims to be able to cure deafness.

    Chiropractic theory is based on three principles: (1) bony displacement causes all disease; (2) displacement interferes with nerve function; (3) removing the interference allows Innate (a vitalistic force) to heal the body. All three of these principles are false. (1) Chiropractic subluxations have never been demonstrated; (2) No impairment of nerve function has been documented; (3) No
    such vitalistic force has been detected.”

    A cursory search through Google Scholar led to a few peer-reviewed articles demonstrating the efficacy, with varying degrees of significance, of Chiropractic treatment on lower back pain.

    Were you able to find peer-reviewed articles demonstrating a relationship between the use of Chiropractic treatments and the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections?

  4. Thea says:

    Eastwood, thanks for your post!

    I can only speak to my own experiences with chiropractic and have found it to be very beneficial for me. There are millions of people who remain skeptical about chiropractic and other holistic practices, though there are millions who have found success in alternative medicine as well.

    As I mentioned, our bodies are extremely intricate; no two are alike. All we can do is find what works for us!

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