Last week our 9 month old daughter, Matea, experienced her first infection. Although she was being breastfed, she had an infection that had yellow-green goop coming from her eyes, nose and ears. And although many think of antibiotics as a first defense in such an infection, remember that our bodies are designed to fight the infection and help with an inflammatory response. Matea’s body was able to heal quickly, as the increased temperature of her body with fever and the natural inflammatory response got rid of the infection.
This is how our body works with inflammation:
If some part of our body is under stress, it will be identified by our immune system. A process starts. The first is to repair the injured cells, and remove toxins in the area. If the stress was low level, this first step will not show any symptoms in the body outwardly. However, if the stress was on a higher level, there will be symptoms such as pain in the area, swelling, redness and heat.
In situations where the stress is too much for the repair process, a second process naturally begins where the area becomes protected. The cells adapt to the stress to prevent too much destruction and as well pain-causing chemicals are released, to try to prevent you from using those body parts and causing further damage. With repeated chronic stress, the immune system can become weakened, not functioning at its best.
So you can see, inflammation is actually a good thing. It is the body’s way of dealing with stress to an area. Many times anti-inflammatory drugs are given to attempt to decrease pain and reduce inflammation. Examples of anti-inflammatories are aspirin, ibuprofen (advil), naproxen, and steroid-based cortisone (which is usually injected), prednisone and nasonex. The problem with these anti-inflammatories is they actually slow down or prevent the body’s natural ability to repair the area, detoxify it, and protect it. Also, there are many adverse effects to these drugs such indigestion, hemmorhage, organ damage, erectile dysfunction, and hypertension leading to heart attack and stroke.
As chiropractors, we look for ways to support this process of inflammation to make it more efficient, rather than suppress it like medications do. We look into where the stress is coming from (inside or outside), and we look at the body as a whole, to see how all parts are contributing. There are areas of the spine, especially the upper cervical spine, that are usually challenged when the immune system is not working at its best. By correcting these areas and helping identify different stresses to the body, we help the immune system to function more optimally, and reduce the occurance of inflammation in the body.
Join us for our upcoming Living Wellness Workshop to learn more on how to help you and those in your family work through inflammation, identify stressors, and strengthen the immune system naturally. At our centre on Wed February 29th @ 6:10pm.