Summer is an amazing time of year. But with warmer weather comes allergies. The pollen count is high with flowers in bloom and we are outside more than other seasons. If you like picinics those flower blossoms can create stuffy noses, asthma-like symptoms and watery eyes. Allergies affect roughly one out of every 10 Americans over 18 and this chronic disease is responsible for $18 billion dollars in healthcare spending. Another similar and common chronic respiratory disease, asthma, is also on the rise and can also be triggered during the spring season.
When people ask me about these conditions, and what they could possibly have to do with chiropractic I simply ask these questions: “Why do some people get a runny nose and puffy eyes around pollen and dust, but others seem completely fine? Is the problem really the environment, or could it be within each individual immune system?”
This is essentially asking the question chiropractors have been asking for ages: Why does one person get sick, but the person sitting right next to them doesn’t? Was it truly the germs that caused the sickness, or was it the body’s reaction, or lack of it, to them? My proposal to you is that it’s often not the environment (germs, dust, pollen, etc) that gets you sick, but the type of reaction from the immune system.
In most people suffering from allergies, for example, their immune systems are responding with much more inflammation than necessary. Research has actually shown that the chiropractic adjustment can actually improve the performance of the immune system through neuroimmunemodulation. In fact, the case for chiropractors to become licensed in the early 1900’s was strengthened during the 1918 flu pandemic. Statistics from Iowa, the birthplace of chiropractic, showed that doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 deaths - a loss of one patient out of every 15. In the same state, excluding Davenport, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases - a loss of one patient out of every 789.”
Chiropractic works by restoring balance and communication within the nervous system. Stressors in life, including physical, mental, and nutritional, can cause the nervous system to trigger the sympathetic (fight/flight) response in the body. Because this behavior is meant to sustain the body in survival situations, it should only be expressing for short periods of time. What happens in most cases I see is that the sympathetic response becomes a chronic behavior. This can lead to the build-up of inflammation and a hyper-reactive immune system. As I mentioned above, a hyper-reactive immune system will start attacking things it shouldn’t and neglecting things that should be eliminated. The chiropractic adjustment gently helps the body tap the brake pedal, restore balance, and eventually the body reduces inflammation (heals itself). Chiropractic itself is not the cure for allergies, asthma, or any other conditions chronic inflammation causes, but simply the help the body often needs to begin healing itself. This is why, in my office, I test and examine the function of the nervous system through computerized technology. If you or your child are interested in getting an assessment of your nervous system, I would love to be of service to you. You don’t have to fear spring and summer, in fact, I hope you can once again get excited to go outside, see the flowers bloom, and enjoy the season! Please feel free to email me with any questions.