Seattle, WA (PRWEB) September 27, 2011
Belltown Spine & Wellness, an integrated health and rehabilitation center, today announced its recommendations for strengthening the immune system, which is the body’s best defense against infection by cold viruses and more debilitating illnesses like influenza. As cold and flu season approaches, chiropractic adjustments and other holistic practices such as acupuncture can help boost general health and provide support for optimal immune system functioning.
According to Dr. Scott Mindel, chiropractor and owner of Belltown Spine & Wellness, spinal manipulation and acupuncture treatments offer further lines of defense to add to other well-established methods for optimizing health and warding off infection. Such an integrated approach can incorporate chiropractic care, acupuncture, a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, regular exercise, low stress and good hygiene.
While many people understand how a healthy diet and exercise can strengthen the body, they may not be aware of how chiropractic and acupuncture can affect immune system functioning. It is Belltown Spine & Wellness’ aim to educate patients so they can better protect themselves during cold and flu season.
How Chiropractic Supports the Immune System
The immune system is regulated by the body’s nervous system. Chiropractic corrects spinal abnormalities (subluxations), which put pressure on nerves and interfere with proper nervous system functioning.
Chiropractic helps eliminate physical nerve stress, and research suggests it can have other beneficial effects on immune system processes. For instance, recent studies have shown that patients receiving chiropractic adjustments experienced an increase in disease-fighting white blood cells.
Acupuncture, a service available at Belltown Spine & Wellness, also has been shown to strengthen the immune system. While the philosophy behind acupuncture is prevention, treatment should be sought at the first sign of symptoms to receive the most effective results. Early intervention may help the immune system fight off infection or decrease the duration of a cold.
In addition to chiropractic care and acupuncture, there are a few simple practices that Dr. Mindel recommends for boosting immunity in preparation for cold and flu season:
1. Practice good hygiene. Wash hands frequently, try not to touch your face, and if you do get a cold, cover your mouth with a Kleenex or use your elbow crease to block sneezes. Sanitize door handles, faucets and other surfaces where cold viruses can live for extended periods of time.
2. Maintain a good diet. Eat a healthy balance of proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Reduce the amount of sugar and refined foods in your diet and decrease alcohol consumption. As the weather gets colder, warm up foods to help decrease the body’s energy load required for digestion. People who may be lacking in Vitamin D, which supports the immune system, should get their levels checked and take supplements if needed. Usual doses are 2,000-4,000 IU per day of Vitamin D3 (the active form of Vitamin D). Vitamin C (1000mg per day) and herbal teas like Echinacea can also help support the immune system.
3. Get adequate rest; ideally, 8 hours of sleep per night. You are more likely to catch a cold or get the flu if you are sleep deprived or excessively fatigued. Studies show that a lack of sleep can cause infection-fighting T-cells to decrease, plus other detrimental effects that can impair the immune system.
4. Relieve stress. To reduce stress, remember to not take on more work than you can handle. Meditation can be an effective way to relax and eliminate stress, and regular exercise helps stimulate the immune system and mitigate the negative effects of stress.
"It's not the stress that gets you down but your body’s inability to adapt to it," said Dr. Mindel. “These common sense practices will help you boost your immune system and make your body more equipped to fight off infection."
About Belltown Spine & Wellness
Serving Seattle and the Belltown district, Belltown Spine & Wellness has helped thousands of people over the past 17 years regain their health and vitality through their natural, integrated approach to health and wellness. Their services, which include chiropractic and rehabilitation therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and naturopathic medicine, are customized for the individual patient.
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