As the leaves begin to fall and the air grows more brisk, all signs indicate that the cold winter months are coming right around the corner, along with the dreaded cold and flu season. Yes, it is nearly that wonderful time of year again when sneezes become just as abundant as holiday decorations and shopping sales. If you are like the millions of others who are prone to catching a cold or flu each season, right now is an excellent time to start arming your immune system to fight against the onslaught of viruses coming your way. Instead of clogging the pharmacy aisles in search of over-the-counter medications, there are plenty of natural remedies that will prepare your health for battle. One of the best ways to build a solid defense system to naturally fight pesky cold bugs is through the healing powers of chiropractic care.
What is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care is a medical field that focuses on treating disorders within the nervous and musculoskeletal system. Often referred to as “Doctors of the Nervous System,” chiropractors specialize in helping alleviate pain in the back, neck, joints, arms, legs, and head through a purely hands-on approach. Without the assistance of drugs, chiropractors perform a spinal alignment or adjustment by manually applying controlled force onto the targeted joints and tissues to improve functioning. Despite popular belief, chiropractic alignments are normally not a source of discomfort for patients and any mild soreness following the treatment is quickly fleeting in hours. The manipulations are effective at restoring mobility, alleviating discomfort or pain, reducing muscle tension, and enabling the tissues to heal properly.
However, chiropractic care is more than treating a specific ailment; it is about helping patients achieve the highest possible level of care for mind, body, and spirit. With their holistic training and experiences, these specialized doctors are able to educate patients on all-natural methods to improve overall wellness for a broad range of health topics. Chiropractors can provide nutritional guidance to create a more healthy diet, full of all the nutrition-packed foods that will support your system through the winter. Since getting enough shut eye is imperative to staying cold-free, chiropractors can also inform you of excellent tips to maintain proper sleeping habits. Depending on their specialties, they may also be able to provide more information on how to effectively reduce your stress levels through guided imagery or meditation too.
How Chiropractic Care Helps Fight Colds
Although chiropractic care is often used as a means to reduce pain or discomfort in various regions of the body, it is also intended to keep the spine aligned appropriately. When the spine is adjusted into a proper position, the nerves housed in the human nervous system will benefit from dramatic boosts in functioning. Since the fragile network of tiny signals can easily be scrambled, it is vital that the back is aligned to remove any subluxations and improve the effectiveness of the spine sending messages to the brain. Therefore, when your nervous system is well-supported, your entire body will be strengthened to take on the war against the common cold.
A recent study that was published in the Chiropractic and Manual Therapies journal, researchers discovered that chiropractic care may have an even stronger positive impact than previously hypothesized. The study found that participants who received just one single chiropractic spinal alignment experienced significant improvements in immune system functioning. After the very first manipulation, the participants’ production and overall count of white blood cells increased. Since these specialized cells are responsible for fighting off all the viruses and creepy crawlies our immune system encounters on a daily basis, this is statistically significant support that chiropractic care can help fend off a cold.
Significant evidence has also demonstrated that upper cervical neck adjustments during chiropractic care can also help chronic sinus infection sufferers who experience a flare-up multiple times a year. Excess tension in the neck interferes with the nervous system’s natural ability to communicate with the sinus passages. As a result, there is a buildup of pressure in the sinuses and a decreased outlet for the fluids to drain from the cavity. With the fluids stagnating in your sinuses, it creates the ideal breeding ground for the bacteria that cause sinus infections. Although antibiotics will help to kill the bacteria, the remaining fluid in the sinuses will cause the problem to keep reoccurring. Upper cervical neck alignments ensure that the tension is properly relived on your brain stem, thus enabling the sinus passages to naturally clear. Many patients with a sinus infection will feel their sinuses begin to drain within five to ten minutes.
Although the medical research and science supports the claim that chiropractic care boosts the functioning of the immune system, the best evidence comes from patients who have experienced this phenomenon for themselves. After being aligned, it is very common for chiropractic patients who are feeling under the weather to report feeling a clear decrease in their symptoms. Patients often notice reduced sinus pressure, headaches, nasal drainage or runny nose, sore throat, body muscle aches, and even overall fatigue or malaise. In addition, patients who maintain routine chiropractic treatments also tend to become ill less often and experience less severe symptoms than those who do not receive the care.
If making it through the winter season without missing days at work or school and scheduling expensive trips to see your physician sounds appealing, start taking charge of your health by consulting with a trained chiropractic team. While there is no silver bullet to treating all common colds, receiving chiropractic care is proven to be an effective way to support the immune system and minimize the risk of catching the viruses in the first place. So, along with preparing your home and vehicle for the long winter ahead, be sure to keep your health in mind by making a visit to your local chiropractor to have a cold-free season!