Immunity and Health
By Judy Soborowicz DC CCN, Active Health Chiropractic
The science of the immune system as widely accepted today has had a wild ride over the last twenty years. It was once believed that immune function balanced on the ability to produce antibodies to fight off invading viruses, bacteria, and foreign toxins–meaning if antibodies were present, we were considered protected from select diseases. However, this theory has been turned on its head as research continues to demonstrate a far more complex system at work.
Past understanding of the immune system was limited to the Adapted and Innate Systems as the only players in immunity, dominating the foundational approach to infections such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, influenza, hepatitis B and chicken pox. However, research over the last thirty years has led to a better understanding of the Interferon, Microbiome and Neural Immune Systems. Together, these make up five parts of the immune system that work as a whole. These five systems both promote immune function in general, as well inhibit immune response in cases of autoimmune diseases such as asthma, eczema, allergies, Rheumatoid arthritis, ALS, MS, Guillain-Barré and Lupus.
How does this affect your child who has an ear infection, asthma, allergies, measles, or even the flu? Once a child has an infection, or any allergic response, the body will display the actions of the Neural Immune System at work. The most obvious of these responses is the initiation of energy-conserving movement patterns: forward flexed posture, body aches, stiff neck/spine, fatigue.
It is of the utmost importance to understand the influence we have on the healthy interplay of our immune system, as well as the effect of appropriate nerve tone on the adaptability necessary to maintain and recover health.
The Vagus nerve, a part of the Neural System, directly promotes or inhibits immune action from the head-brain to the gut-brain. The Vagus also connects the brain to other vital organs and multiple immune tissues in the body and upper spine and neck area. A healthy nervous system constantly monitors the appropriate promotion and inhibition of the coordinated immune response, and the hierarchy of energy expenditure of the body. Recent trials at Arizona State University show significant reduction in autism symptoms brought about by balancing the gut microbiota. Influence on this one system, the Neural System, changes the interplay and response of the brain itself, primarily due to the direct link of Vagus.
The premise of chiropractic is built upon the concept of the body as a whole being of interconnections and innate wisdom capable of expressing greater health by maintaining nerve tone. Restoring and optimizing nerve tone influences the interplay of the five known parts of the immune system. Trauma, toxins, and stress, all cause spinal irritation and can alter the function and ability of the immune system to appropriately inhibit or promote an immune response.
Specific chiropractic adjustments remove the cause of spinal irritation influencing the interplay of the immune system and the whole being. For over one hundred years, millions have experienced the benefits of chiropractic care on their wellbeing. These new discoveries in science are beginning to illuminate ideas that have stood the test of time, and may explain the reason Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, stated: “Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.”