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Chiropractic and the Immune System

14 Jul

Chiropractic and the Immune System

Often times people who seek out Chiropractic care are interested in a particle pain or injury.  While working to improve this injury, they often experience improvements in other aspects of their life too!  Occasionally you will hear of an improved immune system which is experienced through less severe and less often colds, better response to allergies, and quicker recover/healing times.  In this blog, I hope that you gain a curiosity into how improving your body’s ability to adapt through Chiropractic care can make it easier for you to fight those “bugs” in the world!

Chiropractic focuses on assisting your body to function at its best by reducing interference along the nerve system, which directly and indirectly impacts the immune system.  Read the excerpts from the article on Chiropractic and the immune connection below, grow your curiosity, and discuss with Dr. Peever!

Chiropractic and the Neuroimmune Connection

Chiropractic helps you connect the wires between the nerve system and the immune system!

“A person’s body repairs damage, fights or prevents infection and destroys cancerous cells through the activity of the immune system. For a number of years researchers and neuroimmunologists have described the immune system as a continuation of the nervous system and stated that immune cells are simply the effector cells for the nervous system. These claims have been made based on the fact that the nervous system plays such a crucial role in alerting and guiding immune system cells to where damage or an infection is located.”
-The nerve system is connected to the immune system.  I usually describe it as being directly connected (through nerve connections to immune organs) and indirectly (through nerve connections to glands which release hormones that impact the immune cells).

“The body has the ability to heal itself and chiropractic theory postulates that when the nervous system is free from disturbance (subluxation free) the body can respond more effectively resulting in improved overall health.”
-Chiropractic celebrates the body’s ability to overcome challenges and to adapt.  Chiropractic does acknowledge the time involved, the limitations of matter, and the importance of encouraging the body to heal through good behaviours which does include reducing any interference along the nerve system (subluxation).  With improved overall health the body works well, including the immune system.

“Recently the focus of science has shifted from viewing the nervous and immune systems as separate entities to recognizing that the brain utilizes specific pathways to the immune system for the purposes of guiding, controlling and modulating the immune response.”
-Dr. Peever in Mississauga argues that the Brain is the most important part of the body due to its job in controlling and coordinating the body’s organs and response to the environment, including the immune system!

“Allergies are an inappropriate immune response to a substance that is not harmful to the body. The sympathetic nervous system causes immune responses to be fast and localized, mobilizing mainly lymphocytes and granulocytes (neutrophils, basophils and eosinophils).” “A very powerful neurotransmitter called substance P which is approximately 100-400 times more potent than histamine in eliciting symptoms may play a role in this over reaction of the body.30 Substance P is transported through specific types of nerves and is released in response to dangerous or noxious mechanical, thermal and chemical stimuli, to elicit the appropriate defense reaction from the body. Many allergic conditions may be at least partly due to some type of nervous system dysfunction resulting in inappropriate release of substance P.”
-Chiropractic has an amazing alternative approach to allergies.

“The Role of the Chiropractic Adjustment: Nervous system dysfunction can cause immune system dysfunction, and chiropractic theory postulates that by removing the nervous system interference, spinal adjustments can help correct immune system dysfunction. Poor movement in the spine can adversely affect the immune response by causing the body to incorrectly activate a stress response, which slows the ability of the immune system to react. Subluxations are disturbances in the nervous system, which can cause increased or decreased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. A disturbance in the nervous system can affect the body in two different ways. One reaction the nervous system can have is to become hyperactive–the nervous system may bombard the periphery with excessive chemical messages that drastically alter the local homeostasis, causing abnormal changes in growth and activity.” “A second way that a disturbance in the nervous system can affect the body occurs when the nervous system becomes hypoactive; cells that are normally controlled and suppressed begin working out of control, which in some cases is hypothesized to lead to cancer.”
Thalamic neuron theory: theoretical basis for the role played by the central nervous system (CNS) in the causes and cures of all diseases. 

-Regarding cancer, the important thing to recognize is that the body constantly is searching for and killing cancerous cells.  These cancerous cells often were previously functioning normal before they go “rogue”.  The goal is to assist the body through its checking and killing of the cancerous cells but helping it function at its best.  This is not a simple or easy process for the body but is an important one as we are recognizing in a society that is experiencing higher and higher cancer rates.

-Regarding hyperactive and hypoactive.  It is a very dynamic process to maintain homeostasis or “balance” in a body (as you can imagine). We discuss and picture the process as being too slow (hypoactive) or too fast (hyperactive) in order to simplify our thoughts, learning, as well as some medical treatments.  The brain takes in an infinite amount of information, sorts it, and responds to the the environmental and internal concerns every seconds.  Because of this immense job that the brain has, Chiropractic doesn’t try to bother it or tell it what to do.  Instead, the Chiropractic approach is to reduce the interference of the information the brain is receiving and sending so that the instructions are clear and proper.  This allows the systems of the body to respond properly, quickly, and efficiently (including the immune system).

When your device is connected to WIFI, it works better. Same goes for your body when it is connected to the brain! Avoid the lag and get connected – Chiropractic can help!


“An abnormally functioning nerve which is either hyperactive or hypoactive tends to return to normal function upon proper stimulation. However, it is crucial that corrections (adjustments) are given at a frequent interval in order for the normalization to take hold to cause a permanent correction. Chiropractic adjustments correct subluxations which are disturbances in the nervous system. Vertebral subluxations are caused by an overload of either a physical, emotional or chemical stress. When these types of stress exceed the limits of the body’s ability to adapt, a cascade is initiated which leads to subluxation. Subluxations cause disturbances in the nervous system by initiating this sequence of events: 1) misalignment and/or abnormal motion of the vertebrae, 2) narrowing of the intervertebral foramina and/or irritation of neurological tissue, 3) subsequent tissue or fluid-related pressure on the nerve root, and 4) a resulting interference to the “flow of mental impulses”. Spinal adjustments are believed to correct the subluxations and eliminate these adverse effects.  Studies that have measured the effect of chiropractic adjustments on the immune system have shown that chiropractic can influence T and B lymphocyte counts, NK (natural killer) cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity and plasma beta-endorphin levels.”
The Effects of Chiropractic on the Immune System: A Review of Literature” Chiropractic Journal of Australia 1993
The Effects of Specific Upper Cervical Adjustments on the CD4 Counts of HIV Positive Patients

“Adjustment’s Reparation of Cellular Damage One study observed the effect that chiropractic adjustments have on a person’s ability to repair cellular damage and genetic mutations.” “This suggests that chiropractic could potentially optimize whatever genetic abilities these people have, so that they now can fully express immune function, which the normal individuals or diseased individuals cannot.”
-We all want to live at our best, Chiropractic can help.

Proactive Care: Unfortunately the way in which many people care for themselves is reactive. They will wait until a health problem arises before taking any actions to improve their health. Many health issues could be avoided if people took a more proactive stance on health decisions and started to take care of themselves or their children earlier in life.” “It is believed that chiropractic stimulates the immune system to combat infectious processes and not only helps sick people get well but helps healthy people become much healthier.”
Proactive care to help the body be its naturally healthy self makes sense.  It is a culture shift that needs to be made through our society, and needs to start with you.

Conclusion: The nervous system and the immune system have such a multitude of connections that they could correctly be referred to as a single system. The nervous system senses damage, infectious agents and foreign bodies with the help of chemical releasing immune cells and deals with these problems by deploying different types of immune cells to carry out specific procedures. Disturbances in the nervous system (subluxations) diminish the ability of an individual to sense and repair damage and combat infection, cancer etc. directly, resulting in diminished health.”
-This is a great conclusion summarizes this article on Chiropractic and the immune system

Below are some good references to grow your curiosity with and to learn more:

An overview of neuroimmunomodulation and a possible correlation with musculoskeletal system function. 

The Sympathetic Nerve-an integrative interface between two supersystems: the brain and the immune system. 

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