by Dr. Michelle Krenek
Chiropractic care to ward off the flu? It may surprise you that chiropractors have quite a bit of experience helping patients prevent and battle the flu and other viruses and diseases. According to the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), chiropractic played a large role in helping to treat patients during the 1917-18 influenza epidemic, which caused the death of an estimated 20 million people throughout the world, including 500,000 Americans. Chiropractic’s success in caring for flu victims during that epidemic led to the profession’s licensure in many states.
“I would recommend to any person concerned about the upcoming flu season to add chiropractic to their list of things to do to remove interference to their nervous system, enhance immune function and give their body every bit of extra security it needs,” says Dr. Terry Rondberg, president of WCA.
Nervous System Function
Many people do not understand how chiropractic can help protect them from the flu. To understand, you must first remember that your nervous system, which includes your brain and spinal cord, controls everything in your body, and it works properly when your brain can send information down to your spinal cord without interference. Your immune system is, of course, controlled by your nervous system, and during an immune response your brain and immune system talk to each other while working to maintain homeostasis and keep your body in balance.
When communication between your brain and spinal cord is not happening at 100 percent, your body can’t function at 100 percent capacity, which makes your body susceptible to dysfunction and disease. Chiropractors can find these interferences (called subluxations) and resolve them.
When it comes to viruses like the flu, and other diseases, chiropractic provides help and relief, and research is beginning to back that up. “Contemporary research is beginning to shed light on the neurobiological mechanisms which may explain the outstanding clinical results chiropractors have experienced when managing patients with viral and infectious diseases,” says Dr. Christopher Kent, WCA vice president.
A large retrospective study conducted by Dr. Robert Blanks and colleagues examined 2,818 individuals undergoing chiropractic care. These individuals reported an average overall improvement, ranging from 7-28 percent, in a battery of physical symptoms including stiffness/ lack of flexibility in the spine, physical pain, fatigue, incidence of colds and flu, headaches, menstrual discomfort, gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, dizziness and falls (Blanks et al., 1997, Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research).
“When communication between your brain and spinal cord is not happening at 100 percent, your body can’t function at 100 percent capacity, which makes your body susceptible to dysfunction and disease.”
In addition, the incidence of colds and flu fell by an average of 15 percent in the group receiving regular chiropractic care.
Of course there are many things chiropractors recommend to maintain and improve your health including decreasing your stress level, getting more sleep, staying properly hydrated, a healthy diet that includes vitamins and minerals and a regular exercise regimen.
But also high on the list is adding chiropractic to your preventive care regimen. When nervous system interference is removed, your immune system functions optimally and your body can best fight the flu and other diseases to keep you well.
Dr. Michelle Krenek owns Back to Life Chiropractic, which opened in 2010. Krenek is a graduate of UTSA and the Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas. She is currently the chiropractor for the WNBA San Antonio Silver Stars. For more information about Krenek and her chiropractic practice, visit www.backtolifesa.com or call 210-494-3000.