With flu season here, it is important for us to recognize some of the lifestyle choices that contribute to our increased susceptibility to the flu.
Our bodies have an incredible ability to adapt to their environments and maintain a state of balance. It is this balance that creates true health and well-being. However, physical, emotional and chemical stresses negatively affect our bodies’ ability to adapt and maintain this balance.
All summer long we enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and an increase in outdoor physical activities. Schedules are less hectic and there is more opportunity to relax. Fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance, and we tend to eat lighter, more nutritious foods.
With winter comes the stress of the holiday season. Shopping, preparations, and hectic deadlines combined with already busy schedules often force us to replace regular good eating habits with fast food. “Take out” becomes easier to fit into our on-the-go lifestyles than preparing home cooked meals. Foods associated with the holidays also add to the mix of increased chemical stress and decrease our family’s immune system function. All the preparation, all the parties, all the rushing, all of the increased stressors begin to take their toll on our family’s health.
Considering the amount of stress our families go through during the holidays, is it any wonder that the holiday season is also synonymous with flu season? In chiropractic we recognize that an increase in these stresses negatively affect the nervous system, which in turn affects the body’s ability to function in its maximum state of health. Continuous physical, chemical and emotional stress overload will lead to a state of disease in our bodies, and our bodies respond with decreased immune function.
When the immune system goes into stress overload one of the first signs or symptoms is fever. It is important to note that it is our own immune system that creates fever and the fever is actually the body’s way of overcoming the disease or toxicity.
Society has a tendency to take fever-reducing medication at the first sign of fever. When a fever is artificially suppressed in this way, the body’s defense system remains inactive allowing the toxin to remain in the body. Once the fever has subsided, the assumption is that one is healthy, which is often not the case. There is actually a great possibility that when the fever-reducing medication has worn off, we will be sicker than before because the toxin never really went away. Fever needs to be monitored, not suppressed.
Regular chiropractic care is one way of helping our bodies maintain a state of balance and cope with the never-ending stresses we are exposed to. Our nerve system and immune system function are closely connected. Therefore, spinal nerve stress negatively affects both our nerve and immune systems. Reducing interference to the nerve system on a regular basis with chiropractic adjustments allows the immune system to function better.
Our lifestyles play an important role in our bodies’ ability to function in a state of health. Proper nutrition, adequate rest and exercise are all important to keep our immune systems strong and healthy. Choices we make daily and seasonally affect our immune system function.
Although it may seem impossible to resist the stresses imposed on us by the demands of our hectic lifestyle, we can reduce the effects these stresses have on our families’ health. The key to health and vitality for your families depends on two ingredients: the lifestyle choices we make that reduce ongoing stressors and what we do to help our bodies adapt to the incoming stressors we cannot change.