Immune System Overview
Our immune system is a beautifully intricate system that is constantly working and caring for us. Our immune system adapts, fights and functions autonomously - we do not have to consciously remind it to work for us. Despite having an amazing immune system, we sometimes get ill. When we get ill, our immune system begins working in high gear - it wants to recognize the illness, fight the illness AND prevent the illness from returning. During illness, our immune system uses a lot of energy, which is why a common symptom is fatigue and even increased appetite - our body is asking for fuel to help fight.
Innate vs. Acquired Immune System
Our innate immune system is the autonomous system present at birth. When triggered, this system reacts quickly and broadly as possible to fight off offending intruders. In its swift action, the innate immune system can be very non-specific and resorts to unpleasant responses, such as inflammation that leads to hives, fever, cough & runny nose, to name a few. This is the system that is responsible for allergic responses. While innate immune system reactions are important in the body's defense mechanisms and are critically important in the first few hours of exposure to a pathogen, the acquired immune system is the main system working when it comes to ridding your body of unwanted disease. The acquired immune system is more sophisticated in its fighting action. This system uses knowledge (immunological memory) to fight illness - it identifies previously encountered bacteria and viruses to attack the new infection with precision and efficiency. These strategic attacks of the acquired immune system are why most common bacteria and viruses are ultimately cleared from the body.
Boost vs. Support
Boosting our immune system is a misnomer. A boost is a surge, and it is what our immune system does when we are ill. We only want our immune system in a boost when we are ill - otherwise, we have an overactive immune system (autoimmune diseases & allergies). Instead of envisioning a boosted immune system, practice a lifestyle that supports your immune system. Our immune system wants to work efficiently, and there are things we can do to support the system that works so hard for us.
Immune System Support
Our acquired immune system is one that has been cultivated over time and with exposure. Aside from vaccines and antibodies from breast milk, this system relies on exposure and memory to keep us healthy (and often times why children get sick more frequently than adults). There are steps we can take to keep our immune system working in harmony and efficiently. Eating well, getting enough sleep, consistent exercise and proper hydration are great ways to help support your immune system.
Chiropractic Care & Our Immune System
Chiropractic care is an amazing way to support your immune system. Chiropractic adjustments are not just for symptoms of the spine and joints, but adjustments can help heal us from the inside out. Immune response is contingent on proper neural function. Neural dysfunctions due to spinal misalignments (subluxations) are stressful to the body and cause abnormal changes that lead to a poorly coordinated immune response. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to improve the coordinated responses of the nervous system and immune system. Every system in our body including the immune system is coordinated and controlled by the nervous system. Immune organs include the spleen, lymph nodes and the thymus are all in communication with the brain and nerves connect them all. This communication process occurs so that they all talk with one another to coordinate the body’s response to what may be happening in the body; without this process we fall ill. If our nervous system is not functioning properly then the immune system cannot function properly; this makes our body susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and other illnesses that it can normally fight off.
Schedule your check-up with Dr. Mary or Dr. Kevin today to support your immune system!