Can Chiropractic really Boost my immune system?

Chiropractic believes the best way to prevent many illnesses is to develop a robust immune system. We believe in hygiene of course, but our philosophy is:

  1. Germs to not cause disease on their own,
  2. Lowered resistance allows germs and disease to over-power the body,
  3. Germs attack areas of lowered resistance.

The nervous system and immune system are "hardwired," in other words there are direct nerve connections between the brain and the immune glands and organs. The brain and the immune glands and organs work together to create optimal responses for the body to adapt and heal appropriately. 

A number of studies have shown that Chiropractic adjustments boost the responses of the nervous system and immune system. 

It was once believed that the brain was not connected to the actions of the immune system, shielded from the outside forces of nature. But that's not how it is at all. In fact, thanks to the scientific detective work of Kevin Tracey, MD, it turns out that the brain talks directly to the immune system, sending commands that control the body's inflammatory response to infection and autoimmune diseases. Understanding the intimate relationship is leading to a novel way to treat diseases triggered by a dangerous inflammatory response.  Dr. Kevin Tracey, MD, director and chief executive of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, highlighted the discoveries made in his laboratory and the clinical trials underway to test the theory that stimulation of the vagus nerve could block a rogue inflammatory response and treat a number of diseases, including life-threatening sepsis. 

With this new understanding of the vagus nerve's role in regulating inflammation, scientists believe that they can tap into the body's natural healing defenses and calm the sepsis storm before it wipes out its victims. Each year, 750,000 people in the United States develop severe sepsis, and 215,000 will die no matter how hard doctors fight to save them. Sepsis is triggered by the body's own overpowering immune response to a systemic infection, and hospitals are the battlegrounds for these potentially lethal conditions.  The vagus nerve is located in the brainstem and snakes down from the brain to the heart and on through to the abdomen. Dr. Tracey and others are now studying ways of altering the brain's response or targeting the immune system itself as a way to control diseases. 

Research is now underway to see whether tweaking the brain's acetylcholine system could be a natural way to control the inflammatory response. Inflammation is key to many diseases -- from autoimmune conditions like Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis to Alzheimer's, where scientists have identified a strong inflammatory component. . For more information, please visit the Feinstein center weblog here

In another study, white blood cell count – the very body mechanism that fights infections – was significantly higher just 15 minutes after a chiropractic adjustment. "Respiratory burst" plays an important role in the immune system - this is a crucial reaction that occurs in White Blood Cells to degrade internalized particles and bacteria.  It is the name of the release of a variety of healing  chemicals from immune cells (white blood cells) as they come into contact with different bacteria or fungi.  In this study, the response of the white blood cells (which fight infection) was significantly higher 15 minutes after an adjustment!  J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1992 Feb; 15(2):83-9. 

 This effect has been tested and retested in with a variety of different variables, only to draw the same conclusion: chiropractic adjustment leads to measurably increased white blood cell count.  See also:  Enhanced neutrophil respiratory burst as a biological marker for manipulation forces: duration of the effect and association with substance P and tumor necrosis factor.

(Brennan PC1, Triano JJ, McGregor M, Kokjohn K, Hondras MA, Brennan DC. Research Department, National College of Chiropractic, Lombard, IL 60148-4583.  In another study, 3 groups were examined. 1) Fake adjustment, 2) Real spinal adjustment, and 3) Muscle work. The white blood cells increased only in group 2 that received the real spinal adjustment. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1991 Sep;14(7):399-408. Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation: potential role of substance P. Brennan PC1, Kokjohn K, Kaltinger CJ, Lohr GE, Glendening C, Hondras MA, McGregor M, Triano JJ. Research Department, National College of Chiropractic, Lombard, Illinois 60148-4583.

In conclusion: Chiropractic adjustment can boost your immune system. What are you waiting for? Schedule your adjustment today!  Check out the Locations tab at the top and find the nearest Simply Chiro to your location.