Your immune system is one cog in the inner workings of your body. Coupled with your cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, digestive, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems.
When your body is exposed to a virus or bacteria it has a way to defend itself. Exposure can be via a cut in your skin, ingestion, inhalation, or exposure to bodily fluids.
Once an antigen (that’s the word for foreign invader) enters your body your antibodies (that’s the word for the immune system cells) recognize it as a foreign cell and “mark” it. This marker then essentially tags it for detection and destruction. Your body then takes this “tag” to your immune system and goes through the library of previously recognized bad guys (antigens). If there is a match your immune system ramps up production and releases the appropriate antibodies to seek and destroy the virus or bacteria.
What if you have never been exposed to it before? This is when you body becomes really amazing. It will take this marker and tag and start producing antibodies to make a match to the new invader. This is rather unique to each bacteria and virus. On the outer surface of each antigen is a “key code.” This is similar to a round hole and square peg type analogy. You need the right tool for the job. So if all your immune system has is square pegs for a round hole it needs to make round pegs. And your body has the ability to do just that.
So in the meantime while your immune system is creating this new antibody that pesky virus/bacteria is in your body multiplying and doing it’s best to survive. This is why you start to develop symptoms or infections. And sometimes that infection gets so out of control you need some assistance from medicines to slow it down and let your body catch up with the immune response.
So how does chiropractic even fit in to any of that? Well in case you haven’t read my previous posts about this, it’s rather simple. That “marker” and “tag” that we talked about. Well those are dependent on your neurological system to communicate to the immune system. So if there is an impingement in your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) then this message can become garbled. And instead of the immune system hearing, “hey we need more round pegs down here!” it hears a different message and doesn’t respond correctly or as quickly. Ok, yeah it’s a lot more complicated than that but I’m guessing you aren’t working on your doctorate thesis and using this as a reference.
Which brings us to the last question. What is a germ? A germ is a made up word. Seriously! In the 1800’s we didn’t know there were bacteria or viruses. People thought they got sick from evil spirits, too much blood, bad thoughts etc. Finally researchers developed the “Germ Theory.” This led to more research and the development of antibiotics and improved food quality. Which then decreased illnesses. So there really is no such thing as a germ. Just bacteria and viruses that make us sick.
Enjoy and embrace the marvel that is your human body. Take care of it with good nutrition, exercise and regular chiropractic and wellness care. You need this body your whole life 🙂