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Flu Season or Stress Season?

Doctor's Blog

Flu Season or Stress Season?

This is our family’s, and many people’s, favorite time of the year: the holiday season. So much fun, family, food, not to mention winter sports activities for us to all enjoy.

Unfortunately, frequently what comes along this time of year is feeling ill, run-down, or less than your best and struggling to keep up with all the fun, which leads many to call this flu season. However, it is important to remember that there’s a connection between stress and your immune system, and the more you stress your body, the more your immune system is stretched to its capacity to adapt.

First comes Halloween with all the candy. Then prepping for Thanksgiving, eating all that food and spending time with family, which can be fun and stressful at the same time. Then the holiday parties and a frantic rush toward Christmas. All these activities cause people to put a higher stress load on their bodies in terms of rich foods, drinks, and longer hours to complete goals before the end of the year. And that’s not even taking into account the emotional stress.

All of this can run down one’s immune system making it harder to fight off illness. No wonder people think of this as flu season when really it is a period of time where stresses tax your immune system to the point where illness can take hold. It is of vital importance to keep your immune system at its best during the holiday season. Keep up with your immune boosting activities, and watch out for the immune-zapping activities.

While stress alone cannot make us catch a cold or flu or viruses, it can leave us more vulnerable to infection, and recovery is also liable to be slower when the immune system is depressed in favor of dealing with stress.

The best way to protect your health is to reduce the stress on your body.
● Eat healthy whole foods, like the rainbow of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
● Do your best to limit refined sugar.
● Keep exercising to promote good endorphins, but don’t overdo it. Even a good thing like exercise can stress an already depressed system.
● Get proper rest. Get a good night’s sleep as often as you can and take time to nap if you need it.
Any stress, even that created by good things like holidays we enjoy, produces the fight or flight response. Doing positive things for your body will help decrease the load on your system.

Another very important step you can take is to keep your spinal health as a top priority. The nerve system, endocrine system, and immune system are linked like a three-legged stool. They share tiny messenger molecules that communicate with each other. The endocrine system impacts the immune system by producing cortisol in the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a stress hormone that inhibits the immune system. If the sympathetic nervous system is too overloaded due to stress and an improper functioning neurostructural system, it can increase the adrenal gland synthesis of cortisol and further impact the immune system into a downward spiral.
Numerous research studies have shown that chiropractic care positively impacts the immune system; this has been seen in research for nearly a century. The repeated long-term effects of the fight or flight response can be disastrous to good health and impact not only the immune system but can cause high blood pressure, muscle tissue damage, diabetes, infertility, slowed healing, and more.

Working with the spine to optimize the neurostructural system can reduce spinal nerve irritation and obstructions, improve blood circulation, and signal the brain to turn off the fight or flight response and heal the underlying process that’s going on to bring more peace to your system.

While you have increased demands on your body during the holidays, keep your health and well-being in the foreground with consistent with care for your structure, proper rest, and putting proper fuel in your body. Improving your neurostructural system to turn off the fight or flight response and turn on the rest and digest part of the nervous system is a must during the holiday season. During this busy, wonderful time of year, put your spine and your health first so you can enjoy everything.

To learn more about your health and well-being, contact us for a free consultation, which is simply a conversation to see if we can help you have less of what you don’t want and more of what you do want in your life. Click the link below or call 303-998-1000.

By networkwellnesscentersNovember 16, 2018

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