Every year around this time, we are constantly reminded of the notorious ‘flu season.’ We are told on the radio, tv, and social media that it will be worst ‘strain’ yet and to take pre-cautions. Sanitize, stay home and most commonly get your flu shot.
Ever feel like the ads and warnings are just on repeat? I mean literally change the year and its the same message. If your a parent like me this can be mind-numbing, especially when you want to do more to keep your family healthy, naturally without having to stay away from others, sanitize everything and get a vaccine you may be unsure about.
What if we could literally flip the script to conquer the flu. Not be worried but be empowered, change some of our actions and change our families outcomes. I want to dig into the into the science because if we look their “No flu for you” is absolutely possible!
Understanding what we are up against
To understand what we are up against we have to address what the flu is and what the flu is not. When the healthcare community typically refers to the flu they are talking about influenza, an infectious respiratory disease caused by influenza A and B viruses. These two viruses get all the press, but are researched to be no more than 20% (most references say only 10%) of all “flu like” symptoms that we experience.
These two viruses and ‘strains’ are what the Flu vaccine is created each year to combat. According to data on the Center for Disease Control website the flu vaccine ‘fights’ that 20% (influenza A and B) at between a 19% and 48% success rate depending on the year, over the last three years 2015-2017. So best case scenario, you have a 20% chance of your symptoms being from what your vaccinated against and then a less than 50% success rate of the vaccine working. Not a very reassuring stat for the amount of press that we hear from Walgreen’s, Walmart and CVS on flu prevention.
Biggest take-a-way is the fact that the number one item being ‘sold’ to us to prevent the flu isn’t preventing over 80% of the ‘types’ of flu we experience.
I don’t share these stats to stats to start a debate. (I know the flu shot is hotly debated and I wish to tread lightly here). I only wish to educate parents that there is more to the story, more you can do naturally to enhance health and healing. The human body is amazing if functioning at its fullest potential and I want to dig in and explain how it works, and how you can have a great year no matter what the season.
What controls your Immune system?
When you dig into the physiology of the body it is incredibly amazing to see how each system communicates with one another to regulate the body to balance. There are so many parts working at once that its hard to believe that each response, although it looks like a separate or unique action, is actually a finely tuned symphony of billions of actions working together.
This is why the body has and needs a master controller, that being the Central Nervous System. The CNS (brain and spinal cord) is responsible for controlling not only the immune system, but the endocrine, respiratory, digestive system and all there intricacies. Without an appropriate air traffic controller like the CNS these systems would quickly fight against each other and struggle to self -regulate. This is why the body in its beauty has certain built in brake pedals to rest, relax and heal and gas pedals to go, push and conquer within its CNS to control the show. These two sides of the nervous system work to keep us regulated, balanced and healthy and if not overwhelmed do an incredible job! Additionally, this Neuro-response of the CNS has an amazing affect on how we fight and prevent viruses, bacteria or any other outside ‘stressor’ that comes our way. Let me explain.
The two sides of the Neuro-Immune response
Like my mom always used to say when my brother and I were pleading our case over who caused the trouble, “there are two sides to every story,” and the neuro-immune response is no different.
The neuro-immune response from viruses like the flu can be explained in two different ways: Expressive immunity (Th1) and Suppressive immunity (Th2). To not get too scientifically boring 🙂 lets look at this balance through an analogy…
Think of Expressive (Th1) immunity like a Castle wall, moat and cannons designed to keep invaders and the fight out of the castle. Th1 Takes the battle TO the enemy invaders and expresses the full power of the immune system with a “shock and awe” message outside the city walls. In immune terms this may look like common flu symptoms such as extra mucus, cough, diarrhea or even high fever. Think expressing symptoms out of the body, strong and quick.
Suppressive immunity (Th2) takes a different approach. The enemy is allowed into the castle through gates and when they get inside the battle begins, your troops (immune cells) get stronger and more battle tested as time goes on. Much less shock and awe and more prolonged immune response to the enemy. An immune response in Th2 is more mild and happens more out of sight, at least at first. Long term, however, Th2 has a greater chance of the castle being over-run by an enemy invader (virus or bacteria). Unfortunately when this happens we see challenges such as allergies, asthma and chronic illness present as the body has to fight against itself to try and get the invader out of the castle.
Despite the negatives, both sides of immunity, Th1 and Th2 play an important part in winning any war against an invading virus like the flu, so balance is key. If either function is too strong or too weak the castle can mount two much of a response (Th1) causing harm or even destroy itself as it tries to fight back from getting over-run (Th2).
Whats my best chance of preventing the flu naturally?
As complex as a topic as this is, the answer isn’t complicated. Allow the master controller, the nervous system to do what it does best and balance the immune response.
Unfortunately this always doesn’t or can’t go as planned. The nervous system can get overwhelmed by thoughts, emotions, traumas, toxins and the environment. This can cause the euro-immune response to slow down or cross it signals.
This is where Chiropractic and its amazing impact on the nervous system can help.
Research recently and over the last century has confirmed this.
In 1918 during one of the worst flu pandemics the world has ever seen Chiropractic care saved numerous lives compared to those who only sought medical care for there symptoms. You can read the whole story here at http:/ but in summary only 1 out of every 789 lost there lives when being cared for by a Chiropractor compared to 1 out of every 15 being cared for by common allopathic/medical treatments.
A summary of more recent studies found that Chiropractic care reduces colds and flu by up to 15% and a leading Chiropractic research journal is quoted as saying, “These results are not so surprising given what we know about the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system. We know that Chiropractic care has a beneficial effect on white blood cells, pulmonary function and other immune system processes.”
How we can help!
We want you and your family to be healthy and happy for the holiday’s and its not too late! Just give us a call and let us know that you need a “Kick the Sick VIP appointment” and we will get you in ASAP to find out how we can help stop the cycle of being sick and balance your immune system for long term health!