Have you ever wondered why some people get sick while others, exposed to the same environment, don’t? This is a question that goes back to the beginning of chiropractic. An insightful analogy was shared with me that helped me better understand how our bodies handle viral and bacterial attacks.
The first thing we need to understand is that a primary function of our body is to respond to our external environment; chemical, physical and emotional stresses. If we can adapt to those stresses, we are able go about our day with no problem. However, if for some reason, we are no longer to adapt to those stresses, we begin to experience dis-ease, and symptoms will appear.
Here is the analogy: Imagine someone is amazing at juggling tennis balls and has 10 tennis balls in the air at once. It looks cool and everything appears to be in balance. But it’s not a static balance; it is a dynamic balance. And as long as the juggler is able to handle those 10 tennis balls and nothing upsets the system, everything is fine. But imagine that, one by one, people began to toss one more tennis ball to the juggler. Maybe the juggler can handle 3, 4, or 5 more balls. But at some point, the juggler will reach the maximum number of tennis balls that he or she can handle. When this occurs, does the juggler drop just the one tennis ball or all of them? Usually, the juggler will drop all of them. This is what is referred to as allostatic load.
The same thing can occur in individuals. We are fine at handling a certain environmental load. But if more and more stresses are added to our environment, we eventually reach allostatic load; our body is not able to handle any additional stresses. At this point, we become sick and symptoms show up.
How do we deal with this? Of course, we should have good hygiene and nutritional practices, but chiropractic adjustments can help increase our ability to handle more stresses. It’s important to remember that when a chiropractic adjustment is made, it affects the brain and the brain sends signals to our body to release substances in our body that can actually make our immune system more robust and on point. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1991 Sep;14(7):399-408: Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation: potential role of substance P, Cell Mol Life Sci. 2016 Nov;73(22):4249-4264. doi: 10.1007/s00018-016-2293-z. Epub 2016 Jun 17. Neuropeptide substance P and the immune response.)
The bottom line is that Chiropractic Adjustments can help improve our immune response; and isn’t that what we really want, especially now?