A recent study done in the Journal Science shows that exposure to microbes during early childhood is associated with protection from immune-mediated diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and asthma. The reason being that when these microbes enter the gut they keep a rare part of the immune system reined in. When there are NO microbes present, the immune cells run rampant in the lungs and intestines, increasing the risk of asthma and colitis. Add in the microbes, and cells in question, invariant natural killer T cells, retreat.
In other words, exposure to common germs keeps the immune system properly functioning and busy and able to not over-react when encountering nasty bugs and other biological stuff later in life. We are meant to encounter some microbes and dirt when we are young. It’s how our immune system grows strong.
In addition, there’s evidence that children who are given antibiotics early in life are more likely to have immune-based problems like asthma and food allergies. There’s even some evidence that women might have more autoimmune diseases than men because they’re kept cleaner than boys as children.
I’ve talked before about the things you can do to boost your immune system naturally (besides getting dirty). These include eating simply and nutritiously (avoiding sugar), getting plenty of rest, taking the right whole food supplements, and getting adjusted. The same is true for our children.
Chiropractic Adjustments & Your Immune System
Regular chiropractic check-ups can help ensure that your child’s spine and nervous system are developing normally. Research has also shown that chiropractic care boosts the immune system.
Consider the following:
- Spinal lesions, similar to vertebral subluxation complexes caused by misalignments, are associated with exaggerated sympathetic activity, which releases immune regulatory cells into the blood circulation and alters immune function. The nervous system has a direct effect on the immune system due to the nerve supply to the important immune system organs.
- White blood cells, which eat and destroy bad cells, are enhanced through chiropractic care.
- HIV positive patients adjusted over a 6-month period showed a 48% increase in CD4 cells, an important immune system component.
- The chief of cancer prevention at New York’s Preventative Medicine Institute found that people who received regular chiropractic care over a five-year period had a 200% greater immune competence than those who had not received chiropractic care. The chiropractic group showed a 400% greater immune competence than people with cancer and other serious diseases.
A holistic approach for children including chiropractic, good nutrition and play (exposure to germs), and mindfulness for reducing stress, may not only help with their immune system but also bring more energy and vitality into their life!