Does Chiropractic Help “Boost” Immunity?
Let me start by saying that chiropractic research on this specific topic could use more research but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any research on this specific topic.
There is some…
So what did Dr. Murphy say in this interview?. He says that our bodies have many interconnected systems that all ‘talk’ to each other and depend on nerves to do the talking so they can keep each system(our body) healthy even your immune system. He goes on to cite historical scientific facts, even medical facts that are well known about how the body has an ‘innate intelligence’ that responds to the environment and at the same time is ‘connected’ to the environment. All living things are connected to each other in some fashion and we all respond to each other.
Immunity has an innate response begins with the macrophage. The macrophage is the first line of defense for immunity and goes out and ‘eats’ the invaders in a process called phagocytosis. This macrophage response to a foreign invader like a virus must occur first in order for the body to create antibodies which are used in the ‘2nd line’ of immunological defense for future attacks from this invader. The macrophage (white cell) has a nerve connections so that is can respond to an invassion when the body’s innate intelligence or warning system is triggered. It gets its orders via the nerve communication.
When the macrophage is stimulated by the nerves around the spinal joints called mechanoreceptors they ‘wake up’ and respond 120X! That means those macrophages get called into action to hunt any foreign microbes ASAP! after a spinal adjustment. All this is coordinated by the Parsympathetic Nervous System (healing nervous system) and is suppressed by the Sympathetic Nervous System (Fight or Flight- Action nervous system).
If your back is “out” and you have misaligned spinal vertebrae (chiropractic subluxations) then the sympathetic nerves are over-stimulated which INHIBITS the immune system, dialing down the macrophage response. A chiropractic adjustment not only makes the spinal joint ‘feel’ better but it increases the parasympathetic nervous system activity which stimulates your macrophages via afferent spinal neurons out to ‘patrol’ the body. In lay terms getting adjusted gives your immune system a “boost”.
There are osteopathic studies that have shown that saliva IgA antibodies increase right after joint manipulations(adjustments). Though there are no studies that say “chiropractic manipulations (adjustments)” do the same. So in this PC culture we cannot say categorically that, “Chiropractic manipulations have a positive effect on the immune system…”. But there are osteopathic papers that say it! Whether a chiropractor or osteopath manipulates the spine is irrelevant, the adjustment (manipulation) increases immune responsiveness 120X!
Now no one is saying that getting adjusted will keep you from getting sick, that is an “all or none statement” and not supportable. But based on the anecdotal and current scientific evidence of neurology and spinal anatomy concerning spinal manipulation one could say, “Being free from subluxations or spinal joint fixations would keep the immune-neuron connections working more normally vs. having spinal subluxations and NOT getting adjusted which would decrease the immune-neuron responsiveness Therefore, being adjusted to deal with the day to day back ‘stress’ means having a “better level” of immune system communication than not being adjusted regularly.” Remember chiropractors are the most skilled spinal adjusters of all doctors.
I pose it to my patients this way, “Do you want 99% nerve communication to your organs and immune system or just 60%? Then if you want the best connections all the time then you need to get checked by the chiropractor and stay ‘adjusted’ regularly so your Innate can send the messages down your spine as perfectly as possible to all your cells, even your immune cells.”
Subluxation: Vertebral misalignments or abnormal movements that negatively affect nerve and joint function causing a loss of health.
Having subluxations will decrease the neuronal pathway firing to the macrophages and other bodily structures diminishing the function and response of those systems. Chiropractic will fix this.
Seeing a spinal specialist like a chiropractor just makes good sense, keeping your body working as good as possible. When your body is at its BEST and subluxation-free it can deal with any environmental challenges that come its way much better! Even immune challenges like viruses can be handled more effectively, most of the time you never even know or “feel” like you have a viral condition. Your body’s immune system fights them off before you experience symptoms. That is how a normal body works.
See you on your next chiropractic check-up!
Dr. Demetrios Kydonieus, Chiropractic Nutritionist