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Colds and Flus

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By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

This time of year, many people are becoming fed up with the winter weather. We tend to crave the thaw of spring and the increase in sunshine. What has become known as the winter blues, are for some people in full swing. What adds to the blues and the frustration of winter weather is the seemingly persistent coughs, colds and flus. This time of year there seems to always be someone fighting a bug. Coughing, sniffling, sneezing are a common sight in the office, at the daycare, in the schools and just about everywhere.

Many people try to treat these symptoms with over the counter medications, which suppress what the body's natural response or cover up these symptoms. While these may make symptoms more bearable, they do little in the way of treating the illness. Once you have caught a cold or flu, the fact is most need to run their course. The best way to treat these ailments, is by following the old saying ‘Prevention is the Best Medicine'. I'm not talking about the flu shot which does nothing to prevent sinus infections or the common cold and has questionable effect on preventing the flu. I'm talking about prevention the natural way. If your immune system is functioning optimally, the chances of contracting any sort of infection becomes much lower no matter what viruses or bugs you come in contact with.

The question then becomes, ‘How do I strengthen my immune system?' There are many ways to achieve this goal, many of which are common sense. Exercise has been shown again and again to greatly increase immune response. Getting proper rest and proper nutrition in your diet are also necessary for optimal immune system function. Conversely, being sedentary, getting stressed out and eating poorly all cause chemical reactions in the body which block a complete immune response. Other ways to minimize the risk of infection this season include: thoroughly washing your hands often each day and avoid rubbing your eyes or touching your mouth. Handrails and other objects constantly touched by the public should also be avoided. These will all help you stay well. However, the only way your immune system can function optimally, is if there is a clear communication between the central nervous system and all the organs and cells in your body. In other words, the brain must be able to send clear, uninterrupted signals to all these tissues in order to organize an appropriate response to viruses and germs. One of the major ways this communication can be interrupted is from spinal misalignments or restrictions, which irritate spinal nerves. These are known as subluxations and are exactly what chiropractors are trained to locate and eliminate. The chiropractic adjustment eliminates central nervous system interference and has been shown to greatly increase immune system function. True wellness can only be achieved from within through an optimally functioning nervous system. Therefore spinal health means overall health. All precautions to avoid germs are great but boosting the immune system through a good Chiropractic adjustment can provide the ingredients to stay well.