Across the United States, the flu (influenza) season starts around the end of September and beginning of October—meaning that states begin to pay attention to the number of reported flu cases. While not all states track the number of cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps a close eye on influenza activity. As of the third week of October, the influenza level remains low in the United States with many states reporting no activity. Hopefully this trend continues and we see a very mild flu season.
Read this interview with Dr. Phillip Shaw, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Wheeling to learn more about chiropractic and its potential effects on the immune system.
BW: When do you start to see patients getting sick?
Dr. Phillip: Typically, cold and flu season hits once it starts to get cold outside. A widely circulated theory on why influenza occurs in the colder months is once the temperature drops, we are prone to staying indoors which often places us in close quarters with others who may be carriers for certain contagions.
BW: Are your patients hesitant to come in when they are sick?
Dr. Phillip: Yes, our patients are very health conscious—especially when it comes to not wanting to spread their sickness to others, but I encourage them to come in for an adjustment.
BW: Why do you encourage patients to come in for an adjustment when they have a cold or the flu?
Dr. Phillip: I always suggest that patients come in when they’re feeling under the weather. There is significant research on the connection between the nervous system and the immune system, specifically through the adrenal glands and the hormones and chemicals that relay messages from the nervous system to the cells of the immune system. Chiropractic adjustments remove subluxations, which prevent proper communication in the nervous system. By improving your brain and body connection, you are giving your body the best advantage against a cold or flu virus.
BW: How do you explain to patients that adjustments may help ward off sickness?
Dr. Phillip: A healthy spine is integral to a fully functioning nervous system. As I mentioned, the nervous system (sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system) controls the regulation of the immune system. Thus, healthy spine = healthy nervous system = healthy immune system.
BW: Do you have a success story to share?
Dr. Phillip: Last Christmas, a long-time patient came to me in desperate need of help. She was going to visit her sister and her newborn nephew—and she was coming down with something terrible and had only a week to get better. Her sister was pretty adamant about not wanting her to visit if she was sick. Still, the patient was convinced she would feel better if she came in and got adjusted. Sure enough, three straight days of adjusting and she was feeling a lot better. She was able to see her nephew for the first time and enjoy the holidays with her family. She still claims to this day that the adjustments were a big reason why she was able to get over her sickness so quickly!
Thank you, Dr. Phillip for sharing your knowledge and experiences! Read on to learn five simple ways to prevent cold and flu naturally.