Our recent post discussed how to strengthen your immune system. This week, we are going to detail more specifics regarding cold and flu prevention. We have been hearing about many sick people within our community, and fortunately, most of our patients have been able to avoid what their classmates, co-workers, and friends are all coming down with! So, what’s the best way to maintain tip top health?
First, let’s get a better understanding of how a cold or flu can affect the body.
What Is A Cold and What Causes Them?
The common cold is caused by viruses that affect the nose, throat, voice box, and sinuses. It is different than other bacterial and viral infections of the respiratory tract, in that it does not present with a fever. Symptoms typically include a stuffy, drippy nose, scratchy throat, congestion, and watery eyes. The important thing to understand about these viruses is that breathing them does not make you sick. In fact, research has shown that viruses planted directly in the mucous lining of the nose only caused the subject to become ill 12 percent of the time. The key for germs to thrive is a fertile environment (a weak immune system).
The Downfalls of a Medicinal Approach
Standard western medicine suggests loading up on several “remedies” that are suppose to help people with colds to feel better. In actuality, they do not cure the common cold. Really, these drugs are developed for sales profit in a large market of uninformed and uncritical people; not to benefit the patient. Also, physicians who offer antibiotics may be putting you in an unnecessary and dangerous situation because antibiotics are worthless in the presence of a cold since they only work against bacteria.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
Chiropractic care is not a cure for the common cold either. Regular chiropractic care, however, will increase a person’s natural resistance to colds. As mentioned, many Pinnacle Chiropractic and Family Wellness patients have been sharing their excitement with us on how “everyone around them is sick” and they have been healthy all year. This natural resistance also helps overcome a cold virus faster in the event when one does get sick.
This natural resistance we are talking about is your body’s ability to function optimally which can only happen if you are free of subluxations. Vertebral subluxations are misalignments in the vertebrae of your spine. They prevent proper nerve flow throughout your body and lower your natural resistance. Dr Hensley’s job is to find subluxations and correct them with spinal adjustments. When the stress on the nerves is cleared, the body functions at a much higher level. This is the best form of prevention available.
More Important Practices for Cold Prevention
Aside from chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Hensley has a few other suggestions for keeping yourself in great health.
1. Exercise – Most people, when feeling under the weather, prefer curling up in front of the TV instead of exercising. However, research has shown that if you are not dizzy or extremely ill, a light walk or mild bout of exercise can help improve your well-being by breaking up mucus and releasing feel-good endorphins. Just be sure to be aware of your body and do not over-exert yourself.
2. Reduce Stress – Although not all stress-provoking situations can be eliminated, it is important to filter through your life and make note of the things that cause you the greatest amount of stress. Then, evaluate the list and find ways to eliminate or alter your stressors. Practice saying “no”. Also, planning exercise and healthy meals into your daily routine can drastically help with stress management. If you are unsure what foods are best for you, Sandra Lowry, CNC suggests learning more about our BioMeridian Stress Test. We can help educate you on what is best for your body!
3. Get Quality Sleep – Lack of sleep inhibits your ability to fight off colds. Be sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If you feel that you are coming down with a cold, even more sleep may be needed to rejuvenate your body.
These three simple steps go a long way with the prevention of the common cold and other minor illnesses.
What is The Flu?
Typical symptoms include fever, backache, runny nose, congestion, joint pain and muscle soreness, and throat irritation or cough and usually last three to four days. Although most people experience the flu as an annoying illness, it can, at times, escalate to more serious problems like pneumonia. As with colds, common medical practice will not help to cure the flu. In fact, lowering a fever will reduce your body’s defense against disease since it is your body’s way of helping to destroy infection.
Do Flu Vaccines Work?
There is great debate over the effectiveness of flu vaccines. Studies have found that people injected with the flu vaccine often present with negative side effects including paralysis and sometimes even death. Each year, thousands of people are urged to get the vaccine. The truth is, treatment effects may be scarier than the flu itself.
The cold and flu viruses are present in our everyday lives. This presence alone will not cause an illness. Getting adjusted by a chiropractor regularly will increase your natural resistance and the ability to overcome any illness at a much faster rate. In addition, eating a healthy, low-sugar diet, exercising regularly, getting an adequate amount of quality sleep, and cutting out stress from your life can help you to stay your best all year round.