Does Chiropractic Help Boost Our Immune Systems?

Many times our patients that have been receiving consistent adjustments are telling us they are not getting sick as often or at all depending upon their lifestyles and adjustment frequency. This is not to say that getting adjustments routinely can be interpreted as never getting sick: rather, it can be interpreted that our patients have a stronger, more resilient immune system post adjustment.

From my own experience, previous to chiropractic, I was sick every other month and when I wasn’t sick,I was recovering from my depleted healthy bacteria (too many antibiotics). Fast forward many years of chiropractic care and I rarely get sick. When I do, I typically fight it off much faster than before.

What validity do we have for this? There have been studies that showed an increase in CD4 counts of HIV Positive individuals post ONE ADJUSTMENT (1). CD4 help with recognition to MHC II molecules which activate CD4 Th1 cells and CD4 Th2 (2) . These in turn activate macrophages and B cell activation. In English, these cells regulate the immune system. Now, it is very important to have balance between the Th1 and Th2 cells as the wrong balance may result in autoimmune disorders. As stated by Nicholson, LB: Kuchroo VK (3), many autoimmune disorders are caused by autopathogenic  (self killing)  Th1 cells.  Examples of Th1 failure would be AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Viral Hepatitis, Gulf War Syndrome, Cancer, Lupus, Scleroderma, Allergic Dermatitis, Sinusitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Asthma, Allergies, Atopic Eczema and many more. Th2 failure could result (Th1 dominant) in Type 1 diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Grave’s Disease, Psoriasis, Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lichen Planus, and Chronic Viral Infections (4). So you can see by increasing CD4 levels, we are able to signal the right amounts of Th1 and Th2 via nerve signals.

Now, you may need to change your lifestyle significantly. For instance, you need to think positively and not hoard resentments as this affects your health. Psychoneuroimmunology affects the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Axis  (HPA axis) which effects our immune system via signals from the brain through the hormones . In a book written by Susan J. Blumenthal,  she talks about how this helped women with breast cancer live longer, people with HIV lived longer, decreased chronic fatigue syndrome, and explained how stress affects arthritis, multiple sclerosis and tuberculosis (5).  Emotionally reducing your stress is vital for health. Chiropractic adjustments help restore balance to the immune system via the nervous system. Any type of stress: physiological, emotional and chemical will cause the spine to shift creating dysfunction on the nervous system.

Another way to increase your immune system is exercise. Even walking for 20 minutes 5 days a week has been shown to prolong life by seventeen years.  Proper rest is essential as this is when your body has the time to repair itself. Proper nutrition is essential as this gives your body the building blocks to grow.

Generally speaking to allow the Th1 and Th2 balance, people should be taking a great probiotic with 8 strains and minimally 4 billion units per strain. More if you have an infection such as a bladder and/or yeast. A balance of Omega’s are necessary as well for the body to function properly. We don’t get enough from our food anymore.  I recommend a minimum of 1000 mg  and that is if you eat perfectly and don’t imbibe in any harmful chemicals (impossible in today’s environment). I personally take 3000 mg daily and up the dose for people with cardiac and eye disorders.  Another necessary supplement is D3. As per Dr. Mercola’s research the regular health levels are 50ng/mL optimally and 70 to 100 ng/mL for heart disease and cancer.  Over  100 ng/mL is toxic. Your best bet is to check your level of D3 and to take it with MK7 for maximal effectiveness. We have these supplements available in our office for your perusal.  There may be additional supplements necessary but this is highly individualized and would require a consultation and blood work done. For people that are nonresponsive to nutritional changes,  a Th1 and Th2 cytokine blood test will very occasionally be recommended.

  1. Selano, Jeffrey L. et al.: The Effects of Specific Upper Cervical Adjustments on the CD4 counts of HIV Positive Patients.
  2.  Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition.
  3. Nicholson LB, Kuchroo VK: Manipulation of the Th1/Th2 balance in autoimmune disease.
  4. Trescott, Mickey: Autoimmune Paleo.
  5. Blumenthal, Susan J: Mind-Body Interactions and Disease and Pschoneuroimmunological Aspects of Health and Disease.
  6. Chestnut, James:  The Wellness and Prevention Paradigm.
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