The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health issued a release on May 04, 2009 with the above headline urging people to include chiropractic during this most recent flu scare. “People of all ages are encouraged to add chiropractic to their strategy for warding off and fighting the flu and its effects – swine flu or otherwise. Spinal adjustments can have a positive effect on immune function according to a growing number of researchers who are exploring the common denominators in disease processes, and the role of the nervous, immune, and hormonal systems in development of immune related illnesses.”
Dr. Christopher Kent a chiropractor and past recipient of the researcher of the year award by the International Chiropractors Association stated, “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.”
Dr. Kent further explained: “A comprehensive review of the research literature reveals the current understanding that the brain and immune system are the two major adaptive systems in the body. During an immune response, the brain and the immune system ‘talk to each other’ and this process is essential for maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body.”
According to the release, chiropractic holds that viruses and microbes don’t threaten us all equally and that a healthy immune system easily repels most invaders. The immune system protects us from the flu, as well as any other infectious disease, and strives to get us well again when we do fall ill. Our immune system, like every other system in the body, is coordinated and controlled by the nervous system. Helping the nervous system function at its optimal level is accomplished by removing any interference caused by spinal subluxations.
The release noted that Chiropractors helping patients battle the flu has historical roots. During the 1917-18 influenza epidemic, it was estimated that 20 million people died throughout the world, including about 500,000 Americans. During that time it was chiropractic’s success in caring for flu victims that led to the profession gaining recognition and official licensure in many states. Researchers note that historical data in Davenport Iowa showed that out of the 93,590 patients treated by medical doctors, there were 6,116 deaths — a loss of one patient out of every 15. Chiropractors at the Palmer School of Chiropractic adjusted 1,635 cases, with only one death.
Matthew McCoy DC, MPH, Editor of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, commented, “These results are not so surprising given what we now know about the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system. Through research we know that chiropractic has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes (white blood cells), pulmonary function and other immune system processes.”
Dr. McCoy summed up his recommendations by saying, “In addition to the passive recommendations regarding hand washing, avoiding large gatherings, coughing and sneezing into your hands – it makes a great deal of sense to do everything you can to ensure that your immune system is functioning at its best. And that strategy should include chiropractic care.”