Whether it’s just feeling like you’re fighting something off, a nagging cold, or the full on flu has you bedridden, it’s no fun to get sick. In fact, each year, between 5 and twenty percent of Americans come down with a case of the flu, which adds up to 15 to 60 million people, directly or indirectly causing thousands of deaths.
If you’re like most people, you get sick as a dog at least once during the cold weather months, and sometimes feel like you’re not fully well most of the season! So imagine how amazing it would be if you stayed perfectly healthy this winter?
Chiropractic care is your best chance of making that happen, along with other preventive health and lifestyle measures we’ll cover here.
But what does chiropractic have to do with fighting off colds and the flu?
Remember that the body’s immune system has the critical function of fighting off foreign invaders – in this case, bacteria and viruses that cause colds and the flu. Once your immune system is overcome by these attackers, you fall sick. And when your immune system is weakened, it’s far less likely to be able to fight something off, resulting in your getting really sick. So boosting your immune system and keeping it running optimally is key to staying healthy.
It’s also important to note the direct relationship between the immune system and the Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord). If your Central Nervous System is compromised or not working right, it can affect the strength and function of your immune system. Basically, as the master control system for your body, if the Central Nervous System is under stress (called Subluxations), nothing else will work right – including your immune system.
However, chiropractic adjustments remove subluxations, allowing for proper communication in the nervous system. By improving your brain and body connection you’re allowing your system to work optimally, helping every other system in your body work properly, including your immune function.
Just how effective can chiropractic adjustments be for helping you fight off the common cold or a more harmful flu?
In a recent study published in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, researchers found a direct and effective impact from just one single chiropractic adjustment. This aided their immune system, among many other systems in the body.
Even a single chiropractic adjustment allows:
- White blood cell count to increase, the specialized cells responsible for fighting off viruses.
- Sinus passages to clear naturally, which are breeding grounds for bacteria and one of the causes of infection.
- A clear decrease in most symptoms of a cold and flu.
- Reduced sinus pressure, headaches, nasal drainage or runny nose, sore throat, body muscle aches, and even overall fatigue or malaise.
- In fact, patients who regularly get chiropractic adjustments become ill less often, experience far less symptoms, and recover quicker.
So how do you give yourself the best chance to stay cold and flu free this winter?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after being in public.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible. Viruses can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours and most people touch something that a sick person did and then touch their eyes or face.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick with the flu.
- Boost your immune system by eating plenty of Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and grapefruit (in season during the winter) as well as dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. Sesame seeds, red bell peppers, and a whole host of other nutritious vegetables and foods can help keep you healthy.
- Take Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K supplements. During the warm weather months, we’re far more likely to be outdoors, giving our bodies plenty of essential Vitamin D3 naturally. So taking Vitamin D3 (along with Vitamin K to aid its effectiveness) will increase your immune system function, helping you fight off viruses and bacteria.
- Getting plenty of exercise and staying active will help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
- Cut back on coffee and drink green tea instead.
- You’ll also want to take some probiotics, like yogurt, with natural bacteria that will help fight attacks on your immune system.
- Come visit Dr. Casazza at Active Life Team Chiropractic and get adjusted!
What should you do if you’re already sick with a cold or the flu?
Here’s what you do to recover from the common cold or fend off the flu:
- Get extra sleep.
Studies show that getting at least 8 hours sleep reduces the likelihood of getting sick.
- Take a zinc supplement.
Zinc helps your body fight off infection, reducing the duration of a common cold.
- Try a wheatgrass shot
Wheatgrass contains huge amounts of Vitamins A, C, E and zinc
- Eat healthy
A diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will boost your antioxidants and keep your immune system strong
- Drink more water
Staying very well hydrated and flushing toxins helps you recover faster.
- Once again, come visit Dr. Casazza and get adjusted – it could keep you from getting sick with colds and the flu this winter!