Welcome to the Family Chiropractic & Massage blog! Here, we will discuss anything and everything that has to do with chiropractic care and wellness. We will share helpful information and hopefully answer any questions you have through our articles. We are a chiropractic clinic that began in 1997 and has since grown to locations in North Charleston, Summerville, and Moncks Corner, South Carolina. We are dedicated to providing tailored care and treatment with traditional and new techniques to help our patients reach their wellness goals. We treat a variety of conditions including neck pain, back pain, injuries, sciatica, scoliosis, and more. Besides chiropractic care, we also offer physiotherapeutic care, rehabilitative care, and massage therapy. Our licensed massage therapist offers all types of massage from deep tissue to compression massage and more. We are strong believers in natural healing! Check out our website to find out more information about the services and care we offer, and contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced doctors!

Our last post talked about neck pain and its possible causes, as well as treatments. Neck pain is extremely common. In fact, about 1 in 3 people are affected by neck pain once a year, with women being more affected than men. It is likely that you will experience neck pain at some point in your life, so it is important to understand the causes and how pain can be treated. Chiropractic care is one of the best treatments for neck pain! If you are interested in learning more, we encourage you to check out our last post.

Today, we’ll be discussing ways that you can boost your immune system. The immune system protects the body from outside invaders, such as germs, bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The body has a natural ability to heal itself, but if the immune system is not working properly, there can be interference with that process. Chiropractic care promotes natural healing, but patients can see optimal results with a healthy spine, nervous system, and immune system. If you are interested in learning about things you can do to benefit your immune system, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.

First, let’s take a closer look at the connection between chiropractic care and the immune system. The immune system is made up of cells, organs, tissues, and the substances they produce that help the body fight off diseases and infections. Included in the immune system are white blood cells as well as organs and tissues of the lymph system, such as the spleen, tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and bone marrow. While the immune system serves to protect the body, sometimes it may not work properly. This can be due to autoimmune disorders, in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. However, a common cause of immune system issues is subluxations. 

A subluxation is a term used to describe a partial dislocation of vertebrae within the body. This typically occurs within a joint, usually in the spine. The misaligned vertebrae put pressure and stress on spinal nerves, blood vessels, and surrounding muscles. Our immune system is directly related to our spine– The spinal cord is an extension of the central nervous system and delivers messages from the brain to other parts of the body. So, when a subluxation occurs, this can cause an interference in the body’s normal processes, including immune system function. Chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulation seek to remove subluxations so that the body can function at its optimal best. The removal of these interferences can, in turn, boost the immune system.

While routine chiropractic care can prevent and remove subluxations and simultaneously  promote a healthy immune system, there are things you can do at home as well. A healthy lifestyle and chiropractic care go hand-in-hand! 

Maintain A Healthy Diet 

We have all heard about the benefits of a healthy diet, but did you know that it can boost your immune system too? Eating certain foods can help prevent colds, the flu, and other infections. One of the most well-known vitamins that promote a healthy immune system is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a nutrient that helps your body form muscles, cartilage, and collagen in bones, and it is essential to the body’s healing process as well. Vitamin C can increase the production of white blood cells, which help fight off sickness. This is why many people opt for this vitamin in hopes of recovering from a cold quickly. It can be found in many citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, and limes. Some vegetables contain Vitamin C as well, such as red bell peppers, sweet yellow peppers, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. 

Some herbs and spices can also promote immunity and have been used for hundreds of years in Eastern medicine. One particular herb is ginger, which originates from Southeast Asia. Ginger has a long history of use in medicine and has been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold. It contains a natural oil known as gingerol, a bioactive compound with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. While garlic is botanically considered a vegetable, it is widely used as an herb or spice. Garlic has been used in medicine for centuries because it contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs. Multiple studies have shown that garlic can reduce your risk of getting sick, as well as how long you stay sick. 

Get Adequate Sleep

It may surprise you to find that the immune system and sleep are closely linked. A study found that sleep improves immune cells known as T cells. T cells are a major component of the immune system– They develop from stem cells in bone marrow and are designed to fight infections. T cells are processed by the thymus gland, a lymphoid organ in the neck. Additionally, while we sleep, our bodies produce and release proteins called cytokines, which target inflammation and infection. When you encounter infection or inflammation, certain cytokines need to increase. Sleep deprivation can decrease the production of these proteins. And in case you need another reason to get a good night’s sleep, studies have shown that infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced when you don’t get enough sleep. 

Engage In Moderate Exercise 

Just like a healthy diet, we have all heard how important exercise is. Among its many benefits is immune system support! Moderate to vigorous exercise intensity is vital for optimal results. A 2019 research review found that moderate exercise stimulates cellular immunity by increasing the circulation of immune cells in the body. Exercise also reduces inflammation, keeping your immune response balanced. Inflammation is an immune system response used to address toxins and pathogens. Without moderate exercise, acute inflammation can turn into chronic inflammation, which can lead to inflammatory diseases. Again, the intensity of the exercise matters– Moderate intensity exercise works best, but prolonged high-intensity exercise can actually increase inflammation. Some examples of moderate-intensity exercise are brisk walking, water aerobics, biking, and dancing. Anything that gets your heart rate up to 50 or 60% higher than your resting heart rate is excellent! Be sure to speak with your doctor to determine which exercises may be best for you. 

These are just a few of the ways that you can promote a healthy immune system. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in moderate exercise are great ways to boost the immune system, especially when coupled with chiropractic care! We hope you found this article informative, and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any further questions or concerns. It would be a pleasure to assist you. Here at Family Chiropractic & Massage, we offer chiropractic care as well as massage services and heat and cold therapy. We have doctors who have studied a variety of chiropractic techniques to render care to patients with different types of conditions. As people vary, so do the techniques chosen to help each patient get well. We use evidence-based treatment methods to help patients get better faster. If you are suffering from any type of back pain, contact us today to set up an appointment so we can assess your needs and create an effective treatment plan. One of our experienced doctors would love to help get you on the right track to living a healthy, pain-free life! Thank you for reading, and we hope you’ll check back for more articles about chiropractic care and all it has to offer!