Health-E-News January 2016
empowering you to optimal health
Happy New Year - Are You Ready To Make 2016 Your Healthiest Yet?
As 2016 starts, this newsletter will give you tips and tools to make 2016 your best year ever!
Chiropractic Care Helps Strengthen Your Immune System
As we endure the cold and flu season, this is the perfect time to review some of the important research demonstrating the positive impact of chiropractic care on increasing immunity against disease. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper spine function, which allows your nervous system - which is housed in your spinal canal - to perform optimally. Your nervous system controls every physiologic function of your body, including the immune system. Thus, regular adjustments are part of maintaining strong defenses against illness.
One mechanism behind the connection between the nervous system and immune function is the direct control of immune system components by the division of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system. This was suggested in 1987, when researchers reported the presence of norepinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline, a stress hormone) from sympathetic nerve fibers in immune system tissues and organs, such as lymph nodes and the spleen. Norepinephrine was thus proposed as an important regulator for these components of the immune system, stemming from the sympathetic nervous system.
An early exploration of this link between the nervous system, immunity, and Chiropractic was performed in 1989, at New York University. The immune systems of those under chiropractic care were compared to members of the general public, and patients with cancer and other terminal illnesses. Over three years, those people under chiropractic care for more than five years demonstrated 200% greater immune function than those who had not received chiropractic care. Their immune systems worked 400% better than patients with cancer and terminal disease. These findings prompted further exploration of the reasons behind the chiropractic-immunology connection.
A 1992 study continued examining the regulation of immunity by the sympathetic nervous system, finding dense collection of adrenaline-specific receptors in immune system organs. This research lays the foundation for the three-way connection between the nervous, endocrine (hormone), and immune systems. Importantly, the sympathetic nervous system is also closely connected to the body's stress response. With chronically elevated stress, sympathetic activity increases, and stress hormone concentrations fluctuate. This alters immune system function, thereby changing susceptibility to various diseases.
Another mechanism connecting chiropractic care and immune function was studied in 1991. This research found improve immune response in adults that had been adjusted by chiropractors. White blood cells called neutrophils and monocytes, which consume and destroy pathogens and diseased cells, undergo a respiratory burst of activity in response to illness or infection. This burst response is enhanced by chiropractic care.
A research group at the Sid E. Williams Research Center of Life Chiropractic University studied a group of HIV positive patients who were adjusted over a six-month period. The adjusted patients had a 48% increase in CD4 cells, the immune system cells most impacted by HIV and AIDS. The control group of patients that were not adjusted did not demonstrate this dramatic increase in immune function, rather an 8% decrease in CD4 cell counts over the same period.
In 2000, a comprehensive review of the literature was performed to summarize our current understanding of the integration between our nervous system and immune system. The study confirms the brain and immune system are the two major adaptive systems in the body. These systems must communicate during illness, to maintain homeostasis and health. This communication is accomplished by direct sympathetic nervous system influence, and by hormone output from the pituitary gland.
Further research is being performed to fully understand the influence of Chiropractic for enhanced immunity. You may have already noticed suffering fewer colds, avoiding the flu, or simply recovering from illness more quickly, since you've started Chiropractic care. There are scientific reasons for your experience, and continued tune-ups will keep all of the systems your nervous system controls healthy and strong.
The Power Of Good Posture
How important is good posture? Good posture is the key to having a spine and joints that can stand the test of time. Poor posture can result in undue fatigue and discomfort that can outlast the strain that caused them.
In a study of 110 students at San Francisco State University, half of whom were told to walk in a slumped position and the other half to skip down a hall, the skippers had a lot more energy throughout the day.
Any repetitive or prolonged position "trains" the body’s muscles and tendons to shorten or lengthen and places stress on bones and joints that can reshape them more or less permanently. Just as walking in high heels can shorten and tighten the Achilles’ tendons and calf muscles, slouching while sitting hour after hour can result in a persistent slouch, while standing and walking while slouched can lead to permanently rounded shoulders and upper back.
Although early humans spent most of their waking hours walking, running and standing, today in developed countries, 75 percent of work is performed while sitting. Most people sit going to and from work and while relaxing after work. The longer people sit (or stand) without a change in position and movement, the more likely they will be to develop a postural backache, according to a report in The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
“Text neck,” a term coined by a Florida chiropractor, Dean L. Fishman, is a repetitive stress injury resulting from hours spent with the head positioned forward and down while using electronic devices. This leads to tight muscles in the back of the neck and upper back. And those who lean forward while sitting may be inclined to clench their jaws and tighten their facial muscles, causing headache and TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome). Leaning forward or slouching can also reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent, reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches body tissues, including the brain.
Among other postural habits to avoid are these, listed by Britain’s National Health Service.
- Standing with a flat back, with the pelvis tucked in and lower back straight (the normal spine has three curves – in the neck, chest and lower back).
- Standing with chest pushed forward and buttocks pushed back (the so-called Donald Duck posture that exaggerates the lumbar curve).
- Leaning on one leg, which puts undue pressure on one side of the lower back and hip.
- Bending the head back and sticking out the chin while looking at a computer screen or television. Instead, lower the screen or raise the seat.
- Holding the phone on a shoulder. Instead, use a hands-free device like a headset or Bluetooth.
What can you do to improve your posture? Regular Chiropractic care ensures your spine is moving properly allowing you to sit and stand straight. Adding exercises that strengthen the core and back muscles will also help.
Want To Reduce Your Cancer Risk? Change Your Lifestyle Factors
The great majority of cancer may be influenced by environment and lifestyle factors.
That’s what the authors of a new study in the journal Nature argue. External factors such as exposure to toxins and radiation are a major risk factor in developing cancer, the study revealed. Environmental factors play important roles in cancer incidence and they are modifiable through lifestyle changes.
Looking at the increasing incidences of various types of cancers, including lung cancer, the authors concluded that "large risk proportions for cancer are attributable to changing environments" such as smoking and air pollutants. Exposure to the sun and poor diet play a role.
Nearly half of cancers, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, could be prevented if people changed their lifestyle or reduced their environmental exposure to cancer-causing agents.
Even a 10 Minute Jog Can Significantly Improve Your Health
If you can't imagine running for longer than 10 minutes, you're not a lost cause in the running world. In fact, running for just 10 minutes, five days a week could be all it takes to reap the benefits of running.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found that running for about 50 minutes each week - or approximately six miles - can protect the body from risk for stroke, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even some cancers.
Fortunately, if running is not for you, walking can be just as good for you. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recommends walking to lead a more active life and to combat obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Both running and walking are accessible and cost close to nothing. All you need is a supporting pair of running or walking shoes and 10 minutes and you can start today!