The Chiropractic Bond: In Sickness and in Health

By Dr. Molly Casey

Cold and Flu Season

We’ve heard it before. “Hey Doc, I wasn’t in last week because I was sick and didn’t want to get you or others sick, it wasn’t because I don’t love seeing you.”

My go-to responses are:

  • “That’s the time you need to be seen more, not less.”
  • “I get adjusted regularly, I’m not concerned about getting sick.”
  • “You hurt yourself more by not getting adjusted.”

Wait … what? Many patients don’t expect those responses from their doctor. Yes, I’ve seen some looks of bewilderment in my time. The patient never goes quietly after that. The dialogue usually continues something along these lines:

“So you’re telling me, if I’m in midst of fighting something off, you want me here, standing right in front of you?”

“Yup,” I say, “That’s right”

And the patient responds with a really quizzical look: “Why?”

How You Get Sick

The way you get sick is likely different than why you think you get sick. Most think it’s because of germs. Germs are everywhere. Absolutely all over the place. So if germs are on every door handle, every light switch, every keyboard, why is it that you sometimes catch the annual “office cold,” but sometimes you don’t? The truth is that whether you get sick or not is dependent upon you and the health and activity level of your immune system, not the presence of germs (or lack thereof). If your immune system is healthy and active, then you are well prepared to fight off the bugs that cause illness. If you have a compromised immune system and aren’t able to ward off germs, you lose that fight; you get beaten by the common cold.

Chiropractic Care and Sickness

If the key to staying healthy is not centered on avoiding germs, what is it? Keeping your immune system healthy is an integral part. It’s while your immune system is down that your body is more prone to sickness and disease. Think about it: What attracts more flies, a clean garbage can or one filled with dirt and trash? When our bodies are functioning as they should, we are less apt to catch the latest bug that’s going around. Enter chiropractic care. A chiropractic adjustment can increase the activity of your immune system; along with clean eating, enough water, good exercise and proper breathing, you’ll increase your odds of developing an immune system that is able to fight to keep you healthy.

Not to be overlooked, a chiropractic adjustment can also increase lymphatic flow. The lymphatic system transports waste from your body. If the waste system gets clogged and runs sluggishly, you can imagine that moving things through your body takes more time. Think of a partially backed up kitchen sink and how the dirty water collects and remains in the sink as it takes longer to drain. The sink will eventually empty, but it’s not as efficient as if the pipes were completely clear. So, once the body’s waste transport system (lymph system) is flowing with more ease, your body is able to get rid of the sickness more efficiently and quickly.

The Bottom Line

When you are sick, chiropractic adjustments will often lessen the intensity of the symptoms you experience. Frequently, patients with common sicknesses state that after getting adjusted, the headaches lighten, the sinuses drain, or the cough breaks up and so goes the list. Chiropractic adjustments, even while sick, may not only boost your immune system and lymphatic flow, they can also clear the rest of the nervous system, which allows it to function at its optimal level. Thus, your body is able to recover faster.

So next time you’re thinking of not seeing your Doctor of Chiropractic at The Joint because you are fighting a cold or the flu, remember this: We are the ones who want to see you now more than ever!

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