Citrus by Adriana Garcia, photo
According to chiropractic theory, germs are not the only cause of illness. While viruses and bacteria create havoc in so many of our bodies, the conditions that allow this to happen may be at least as important. Consider the fact that germs and viruses are everywhere, and some people never get sick even when everyone around them is ill. It’s hard to accept that it’s just the luck of the draw. In fact, a lot more is in play.

Several factors affect the spread of viruses: environmental issues, host behavior, host defense, and the mechanisms of viral infectivity.

Researchers note that much more needs to be studied to understand these factors, but they maintain they do have an impact.

So, how can you fight a virus naturally?

* Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight viruses. Some studies suggest it may even help prevent colds.
* Additionally, citrus and foods containing vitamin C will strengthen your immune system. Some studies report high doses of vitamin C might shorten the duration of a cold.

Chiropractors support these and other natural approaches for dealing with germs whenever possible.


Grounding energy in your feet, by Adriana Garcia, photo

Grounding/Earthing

It’s so easy to forget that the earth has a subtle electrical charge and our bodies also function electrically. Our brain, muscles (including the heart), and nerves all work via electrical charges. Significant research shows that walking barefoot (or being “grounded” indoors via conductive systems) can improve sleep, decrease pain and inflammation, and boost well-being. This might sound far-fetched to some, but a quick PubMed search of “earthing” reveals fascinating studies that support the practice. So, take off your shoes and spend some time connected to the earth as often as you can.


Doctor Cure Thyself

photo of Ed Mallen, Chiropractor, West Palm Beach, FLIn chiropractic school we often heard about the “germ theory of illness.” We were taught that germs were not the sole cause of illnesses. Recently, my wife Annie came down with a respiratory virus, and one of my friends from Palmer, who practices chiropractic in Charleston heard she was sick. He said, “Ah, the germ theory,” and Annie was a bit annoyed. She thought by discounting the virus it meant she was at fault.

Of course, germs cause illness. This is a scientific fact. Yet, when chiropractors point out that the germ theory is limited, they are saying that wellness and illness are multifactorial.

My friend was not saying that Annie did something wrong and wasn’t taking care of her body carefully, he was saying that it wasn’t just the virus that was at fault. She was likely run-down after the holidays and might not have been eating as well. We had also walked in the cold rain in Asheville just before she fell ill which stressed her body.

Everyday life has stressors. Plus, holidays and walking in the cold rain can drain anyone of energy.

Recently, I felt like I was coming down with a cold, so I rested more. I took extra supplements and my body fought it off within a day or so. I simply have a stronger immune system than some people do. This seems like a simple example of different responses to germ exposure, but what I’m trying to say is that the best way to cope with germs is to keep your body functioning as well as possible.

This time of year, often the peak of flu season, remember that there are things you can do. Increase your typical wellness plan or at least take it more seriously. Eat nutritious foods, exercise, enjoy a good night’s sleep, and get your chiropractic adjustments, massages, and acupuncture to gently assist your body is staying well.

You can also up your supplements regimen. It’s one of the easiest ways to build your strength. If you’re feeling the earliest symptoms of a cold, don’t blame yourself. No good comes from rethinking the past and what you should have done. Or who might have “given” it to you. Focus on the present and getting well.

As all medical practioners do, I recommend you increase your rest. Add zinc, vitamin C, garlic, and consider oregano oil. Also, drink lots of fluids.

Many times, medical doctors will prescribe antibiotics when patients present with fever and cough. While these are necessary for certain types of bacterial infections, they are useless against the viruses that cause the common cold or the flu.

Furthermore, antibiotics will tax your immune system by killing the natural flora and beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut. This weakens your immune system and leaves you more vulnerable to additional illnesses.

Proactive wellness strategies including adjustments can help. Yet, if you do get sick, patience, common sense, and supporting your immune system can go a long way in battling a virus.

-EJM


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Photo Credit: Photo by Adriana Garcia