STRENGTHENING YOUR CHILD’S IMMUNE SYSTEM
By Keith Wassung
Keith is a health lecturer and has many articles published in health and fitness magazines as well as Chiropractic publications. He is a Chiropractic advocate, because Chiropractic care literraly saved his life. He is an excellent writer, so I thought I would share one of his articles.
Every parent wants a healthy child. Good health depends on a healthy immune system. A properly functioning immune system is one of the keys to a healthy, happy child who will resist infections, allergies, and chronic illnesses.
“The cornerstone of good health is a properly functioning immune system.”
DR. ANDREW WEIL
We have learned much about the immune system in the last 20 years, much of it due to cancer and AIDS research, and the information has prompted a shift away from treating illness to preventing it.
Pressed by patients and advancing technology, health care will soon change its focus from treatment to enhancement, from repair to improvement, from diminished sickness to increased performance.
The transformation has already begun. Accompanying this will be an increased emphasis on psychoimmunology, the science that deals with the mind's role in helping the immune system to fight disease, which will become a vitally important clinical field — perhaps the most important field in the 21st century.2
Why Emerging Infectious Diseases Are a Threat to America
At least 170,000 Americans die annually from newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, a number that could increase dramatically during a severe flu pandemic or yet-unknown disease outbreak. Factors including globalization, increased antimicrobial (drug) resistance, and climate and weather changes are contributing to the increased threat. 1
TRUST FOR AMERICA’S HEALTH
Strengthening the immune system of the entire family, starting with the children at birth, should be a top priority for all parents.
The job of the immune system is to protect and defend the body against infection from disease-producing microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that live in our environment.The immune system consists of the tonsils, adenoids, thymus, bone marrow, spleen, appendix, Peyer's patches, lymph nodes, and circulating white blood cells.
MANY OF THE CHARACTERISTIC SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS, FROM NASAL DISCHARGE TO FEVER AND SWOLLEN GLANDS, ARE SIGNS THAT THE NORMAL IMMUNE RESPONSE IS PROCEEDING ON SCHEDULE
“Symptoms represent the body's best efforts to heal itself. By treating symptoms, you are suppressing the body's natural response and inhibiting the healing process. Instead of treating symptoms, doctors should stimulate the body's defenses to allow for completion of the healing process.”3
DR. STEPHEN CUMMINGS
“The focus of science has shifted from separate entities of the immune system to an interactive immunology model. In the neural-immune concept, the brain has specific, two-pathways to the immune system.”4
THE LANCET (British Medical Journal)
“The nervous system plays an important role in both the control and activity of the immune response. The sheer power of the brain to affect the body as a whole and general state of health is amazing.” 5
HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
Dr. Robert Ader, a psychologist at the University Of Rochester School Of Medicine, performed the key experiments to prove the brain-nervous system immune system connection. The following summarizes the essential evidence of the connection between the brain, the nervous system, and the immune system:
• NERVE ENDINGS ARE FOUND IN THE TISSUES OF THE IMMUNE
The central nervous system is linked to both the bone
marrow and thymus, where immune system cells are
produced and developed and to the spleen and
lymph nodes, where those cells are stored.
• CHANGES IN THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
ALTER IMMUNE RESPONSES AND TRIGGERING
AN IMMUNE RESPONSE ALTERS CENTRAL
NERVOUS SYSTEM ACTIVITY.
Researchers have found that inducing an immune
response causes nerve cells in the hypothalamus to
become more active and the brain cell activity
peaks at precisely the same time that levels of
antibodies are at their highest. The brain monitors
immunological changes closely.
• LYMPHOCYTES ARE CHEMICALLY RESPONSIVE
TO HORMONES AND NEUROTRANSMITTERS.
Immune system cells have receptor-molecular
structures on their surfaces that allow them to
receive information from the nervous system and
other parts of the immune system.
The nervous system controls the entire growth and development of the immune system. An infant's immune system is immature at birth; fortunately, a newborn carries passive immunity from the mother for the first three months of life. Breastfeeding provides the infant with the antibodies and immune enhancing factors that develop the immunity. A baby's lymphocytes are not yet capable of producing all the antibodies necessary to fight disease. A baby acquires this ability over the first year of life.
Human breast milk is biologic specific, that is, each drop of milk is alive with millions of tiny white blood cells and immunoglobins (infection-fighting proteins) that circulate through the baby's body, ingesting and destroying harmful bacteria-like miniature pac-men.
As the infant is exposed to microorganisms, the lymphocytes start to make antibodies and memory cells so that when the baby comes into contact with those micro-organisms again, the baby will mount an immune response more quickly.
When babies put things into their mouths, this is a natural way of gradually exposing their immune systems to tiny antigens, which the immune system must attack and destroy — a process which strengthens and protects the immune system
“Through the process of developing and then conquering infection, the child gets rid of acquired toxins and poisons from the body and also gets a generous boost to the immune system.” 7
HEALING ARTS PRESS
“Whenever the immune system deals successfully with an infection, it emerges from the experience stronger and better able to confront similar threats in the future. Our immune system develops in combat. If, at the first sign of infection, you always jump in with antibiotics, you do not give the immune system a chance to grow stronger.” 8
ANDREW WEIL, M.D.
Nervous and Immune System Disorders Linked in a Variety of Diseases
Recent advances in understanding a variety of diseases reveal complex interactions between the nervous system and the immune system. Neurological complications are associated with a breakdown in normal immune system functioning. According to Edward Goetzl, of the University of California in San Francisco, "there was always a sense that the nervous system is involved in disease, so the idea of a link between the nervous system and the immune system is not new." 6
Antibiotics have become a popular weapon in the medical arsenal against disease. Although no one would argue with the appropriate use of antibiotics, there is a tremendous amount of research which clearly demonstrates that they have been overused, resulting in weaker immune systems and resistant bacteria.
“We're at the point where the antibiotic cupboard is almost bare. We are victims of our own blindness. We have been taking too many of them and new, deadlier organisms, like the powerful drug-resistant tuberculosis strain, have been emerging as a result.”
JEFFREY FISHER, MD
“Chronic middle ear problems in children have not diminished, despite
the number of antibiotics being used to treat them. We have created
a whole new kind of ear problem. We have used antibiotics so
excessively in the first year of life that we have depressed the
development of the child's immune system.”
WALTER BELENKY, MD
Infections caused by resistant microorganisms often fail to respond to conventional treatment, resulting in prolonged illness and greater risk of death. About 440 000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) emerge annually, causing at least 150 000 deaths.10
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
“Antibiotic therapy is not an effective treatment against otitis media (ear infection) and rates of recurrent infections are significantly higher in children who have been treated with antibiotics”.11
JOURNAL OF THE AMA
Antibiotics Overused, Doctor Says
Doctors too often prescribe antibiotics, which can cost a lot of money and cause serious side effects when the medicines won't help. About 60% of people with colds received antibiotics, even though the pills would not kill or even slow the viruses that cause colds. Studies of children in day care showed that 54% of the youngsters with ear infections had a penicillin resistant form of the streptococcus that commonly causes children's ear infections. Sixty percent of children with ear infections had a form of resistance to at least one type of antibiotic.9
A properly functioning nervous system should be the first priority in strengthening the immune system since it is the nervous system which controls all of our bodily functions. The nervous system works by sending and receiving nerve messages or impulses to all parts of the body.
The nervous system is protected by the spine, consisting of 24 movable vertebrae. When the spine is in its proper position, it protects the nerve pathways. But when vertebrae become misaligned, interference to the nerve impulses occurs — which reduces the overall functioning of the nervous system and of the particular organ to which it is assigned. These spinal misalignment's are known as "vertebral subluxations."
The birth process, even under normal conditions, is frequently the first cause of spinal stress. After the head of the child appears, the physician grabs the baby's head and twists it around in a figure eight motion, lifting it up to receive the lower shoulder and then down to receive the upper shoulder. This creates significant stress on the spine of the baby.
“Spinal cord and brain stem traumas often occur during the process of birth but frequently escape diagnosis. Infants often experience lasting neurological defects. Spinal trauma at birth is essentially attributed to longitudinal traction, especially when this force is combined with flexion and torsion of the spinal axis during delivery.”13
ABRAHAM TOWBIN, MD
“It might seem that birth by C-section would be the easiest and least traumatic way to be born since the infant doesn't have to hazard the rigors of a long labor or a constricting birth canal. Unfortunately, we have found that trauma to the newborn delivered section is different but no less traumatic than the trauma that occurs in a vaginal delivery.”14
ARTHUR JANOV, MD
“Corticosteroids or steroids are commonly used for the treatment of allergies, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions. I consider them dangerous drugs, much misunderstood, abused, and over-prescribed. Steroids cause allergies and inflammation to disappear as if by magic. In fact, the magic is nothing other than direct suppression of the immune system. Steroids are toxic, cause dependence, suppress rather than cure disease, and reduce the chance of healing by natural treatment. Moreover, they weaken immunity.12
ANDREW WEIL, MD
During the first two years of life, an infant often falls while learning to walk or can fall while tumbling off a bed or other piece of furniture. Even the seemingly innocent act of playfully tossing babies up in the air and catching them often results in a whiplash"-like trauma to the spine.
Automobile accidents often involve the entire family, although infants often go unchecked because they have no obvious damage or symptoms. Because of the structure of the infant's spine, spinal stretching from trauma is more likely to result in spinal cord trauma with nerve interference than it is in damage to the vertebral segments and soft tissue.
The effects of vertebral subluxations have been well documented by leading scientists and researchers from all over world.
“Nerve dysfunction is stressful to the visceral nerve and other body tissues and the lowered tissue resistance modifies the immune response and lessens the overall capability of the immune system.” 15
“Subluxations of vertebrae occur in all parts of the spine and in all degrees. When the dislocation is so slight as to not affect the spinal cord, it will still produce disturbance in the spinal nerves passing off from the foramina.”16
DR. JAMES WODDERSEE, Neurosurgeon
“Pathological changes have been observed at the cellular level after experimental compression of neural structures. These include Wallerian degeneration, dystrophic axons and occasional loss of myleniated nerve fibers.”
R. B. Delamarter, MD
In an article published in the German medical journal, Manuelle Medizine, Dr. Gotfried Gutmann, a leading researcher in the field of manipulation medicine, reported on the examination and care of more than 1,000 infants and small children which revealed the following about spinal nerve interference and childhood immune disorders:
• Blocked nerve impulses in the cervical region
can cause many clinical features from central
motor impairment to lowered resistance to
infections, especially in the ear, nose, and throat.
• Chiropractic examinations are of a "decisive
importance" for diagnosis of this condition.
• Chiropractic can often bring about successful
results because it aims at the cause of the
The science of Chiropractic is founded on the premise that a proper nerve supply is essential in controlling and regulating bodily function.
“The quality of healing is directly proportional to the functional capability of the central nervous system to send and receive nerve messages.
Janson Edwards, MD, PhD
“Subluxation alone is a rational reason for Chiropractic care throughout a lifetime from birth.”
LEE HADLEY, MD
A study, published in the Chiropractic Research Journal, compared the health and wellness of 200 children under Chiropractic care to 200 children under conventional medical care. The Chiropractic group had fewer ear infections, fewer allergies, fewer cases of tonsillitis and asthma. The health of the children under Chiropractic care was demonstrably superior to the children who had not received it.18
“Every newborn should receive a neck and spine examination and a Chiropractic adjustment if necessary. Is that idea too difficult to accept?"
LENDON SMITH, MD Pediatrician
“By releasing stress on the nervous system, Chiropractic permits the immune system to function more effectively.”
DR. IRWIN KORR
Recent research by Patricia Brennan, Ph.D., suggests that spinal adjustments may have a direct effect on certain aspects of immune function. Her group showed that when the thoracic spine (middle of back) was adjusted, the respiratory burst cycle of white blood cells was enhanced.20
A recent study by Dr. Ron Pero, a leading cancer and genetic research specialist, found that chiropractic patients of all ages had a 200% greater "immune competence" than people who had never received Chiropractic care and a 400% greater immune competence than people with serious diseases.21
Studies that have measured the effect of Chiropractic treatment on the immune system have showed that Chiropractic may influence T and B lymphocytes, NK (Natural Killer) cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity, and plasma bet-endorphin levels 19
Doctors of Chiropractic have been correcting subluxations in patients for over one hundred years, which has resulted in the recovery of virtually every known health problem. It is important to remember that all healing is ultimately self-healing and that a Chiropractor simply removes the interference (subluxation) from the master control system of the body.
Look at all the references from MD's, PhD, researchers and Pediatricians, now Keith could of wrote references from Chiropractic researchers BUT - I know, you - the public puts more value into what the MD's say.....
Well the MD's have spoken
Chiropractic is good for your immune system and it is worth the time and expense to seek out our focused care, at least for your child.
Have a GREAT Day
Dr. Chris and the CREW
1. Wilkins, J Why Emerging Infectious Diseases Are a Threat to America October 29, 2009
2. Crichton, M. (1990, September 24). "Greater Expectations." Newsweek, p. 58.
3. Cummings, S. Everyone's Guide to Homeopathy.
4. Edwards, S. (1995, January 14). Lancet.
5. Marieb, E. Human Anatomy and Physiology. Benjamin Cummings Publishing Company, p. 179.
6. Barnes, D. (1986, April 11). "Nervous System Disorders Linked in a Variety of Diseases."Science, pp. 160-161.
7. Hayfield, R. (1994). The Family Homeopath. Healing Arts Press.
8. Weil, A. (1995). Spontaneous Healing. Random House.
9. Langely, L. (1998, April 15). "Antibiotics Overused, Doctors Say." The Post and Courier.
10.Begley, S. (1994, March 28). "The End of Antibiotics." Newsweek, pp. 47-51.
11. Griffith, T. (1991, December 18). "Antimicrobal Therapy for Otitis Media." Journal of the AMA,p. 3309.
12.Weil, A. (1995). Spontaneous Healing. Random House.
13.Towbin, A. (1968). "Spinal Cord and Brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants." Developmental Child Neurology II,
14.Janov, A. (1983). Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience. Coward-McCann, Inc., p. 14.
15.Science. (1981). pp. 1100-1109.
16.Woddersee, J. "Surgical Treatment."
17.Guttman, G. (1987). "Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants. Manuelle Medizine, pp. 5-10.
18.Van Breda, W., & Van Breda, J.A. (1989, Summer). "A Comparative Study of the Health Status of Children Raised
Under the Health Care Models of Chiropractic and Allopathic Medicine."
19.Chiropractic Journal of Australia. (1993). "The Effects of Chiropractic on the Immune System."
20.Brennan, P., & Hondras, M. (1989). "Priming of Neutrophils for Enhanced Respiratory Burst
By Manipulation of the Thoracic Spine." International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, pp. 160-163.
21.Pero, R. (1988). "Boosting Immunity Through Chiropractic." East-West Magazine