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My immune system, stress and chiropractic




First and foremost, in the midst of this pandemic, practice the fundamentals:


Fundamentals


1. Wash your hands. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 20 seconds with soap.


2. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. I don't know of any culture or country in the world where it is okay to cough or sneeze right in someone else's face. ;-)


3. If you feel sick, stay home. Sound advice....for centuries.


For more info and updates check out the WHO website.



Self Care- Focus on your immune system and reducing stress


The Science


Our immune system in controlled by our microbiome (the bacteria in our gut); 70- 80% of immune cells. (1) Your body is made up of some 100 trillion cells. There is 10 times that number of micro-organisms in your gut!



The proper balance and support of your healthy gut bacteria is essential to the overall performance of your bodies immune response to any pathogen.


Stress has become a normal part of our lives, unfortunately. However, in times like these, our stress levels can go through the roof. How does stress effect our immune system?

It lowers it.


When you are stressed, your body goes into sympathetic mode, a.k.a. "fight or flight." This response from your nervous system causes your adrenal glands to secrete stress hormones. These stress hormones can have the effect of lowering your bodies natural immune function. Sympathetic nervous system stimulation also increases blood pressure, heart-rate and respiration.

Studies have shown over and over again that stress will reduce your bodies ability to mount a successful immune response against pathogens. The stress related hormones effect the immune cells but also slow down activity of the probiotic bacteria that regulate your immune system.


Chiropractic


Most people think of chiropractic care for back pain. But a number of studies have shown that the spinal manipulation ( "adjustments') performed by chiropractors will stimulate the opposite part of the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic. Parasympathetic response has been shown to relax your body, reduce blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. In one study, spinal manipulation of the neck and lower back seems to have the most significant response in parasympathetic activity.

A study by MJ Kenney and CK Ganta, showed that parasympathetic stimulation improved both peripheral immune responses as well as anti-inflammatory responses.


Our favorites


Probiotics that we prefer:

  1. Klaire labs- Therbiotic complete

  2. Standard Process- Prosynbiotic

Foods: kimchi, real fermented pickles, kefir, kombucha, live culture yogurt, sauerkraut, miso. Basically every culture has a list of fermented foods.


Immune Support Supplements:

  1. Echinacea purpurea/angustifolia root (not flower)

  2. Holy Basil

  3. Goldenseal

  4. Vitamin D

Foods: COLORS. Eat a rainbow of colors with each meal. See fermented foods above.


Home care:

  1. Essential oils: Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus oil has shown to be effective against influenza virus. (no evidence with Covid-19, of course, because its "novel or new)


Be safe. Take care of each other. Be Kind.






References:

“Chronic stress may speed the rate of normal age-related immune dysregulation” (Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser, 2001(Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser, 2001; Sapolsky et al., 1986).

“…decline in the ability of white blood cells (lymphocytes) to perform their key functions” (Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser, 1991).

“Natural killer cell activity is similarly diminished…” (Kang et al., 1997).

“…can also slow wound healing” (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 1998, 1998; Marucha et al., 1998),

Perceived stress, negative affect, and reported life events are also associated with an increased risk of developing an infectious illness and objective measures of illness severity when exposed to a virus (e.g., a common cold virus) under controlled conditions (Cohen et al., 1991)

“WE HAVE ALSO SHOWN THAT STRESS, THROUGH THE ACTION OF THESE STRESS HORMONES, HAS DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS ON IMMUNE FUNCTION, INCLUDING REDUCED NK CELL ACTIVITY, LYMPHOCYTE POPULATIONS, LYMPHOCYTE PROLIFERATION, ANTIBODY PRODUCTION AND REACTIVATION OF LATENT VIRAL INFECTIONS. SUCH EFFECTS ON THE IMMUNE SYSTEM HAVE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES ON HEALTH WHICH INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, DELAYED WOUND HEALING, IMPAIRED RESPONSES TO VACCINATION AND DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRESSION OF CANCER. THESE DATA PROVIDE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OF THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON IMMUNE FUNCTION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH.” CELL IMMUNOL. 2008 MAR-APR;252(1-2):16-26. DOI: 10.1016/J.CELLIMM.2007.09.006. EPUB 2008 FEB 14. STRESS HORMONES AND IMMUNE FUNCTION. WEBSTER MARKETON JI1, GLASER R.


Review of antiviral activity of Tea tree oil: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/

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