“Aaahhh-CHOO!” – How to Safeguard Your Immune System so You’re Ready for the Onset of Springtime Allergies
It seems like Winter is getting more confusing as each year goes by. Here in Georgia, we went from sweaters and jackets to t-shirts and shorts – all within a 24 hour period – multiple times. When the temperature shifts 20-30 degrees from one day to the next, it’s sometimes hard to even remember what season it’s supposed to be. However, with the spring season officially beginning in just a few weeks, we can be certain about one thing: there seems to be a love-hate relationship with springtime in Georgia. We all love that the sun starts to come out, the flowers begin to bloom, and the weather finally gets (and stays!) warmer. That’s the “love” part. However, with flowers blooming and trees budding, many people suffer through the springtime with allergies, not able to enjoy the beautiful weather. Allergy symptoms range from a mild runny nose and itchy eyes, all the way to debilitating symptoms such as trouble breathing and anaphylactic reactions.
So what exactly are allergies?
John Hopkins University’s School of Medicine states that allergic reactions begin in your immune system. The purpose of the immune system is to defend itself by keeping harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi out of the body, and by destroying any infectious organisms that end up making it through our first line of defense, which is usually our mucous membranes and skin. Under normal, healthy conditions, your immune system should be able to tell the difference between a HARMFUL bacteria, virus, etc, versus a HARMLESS substance, such as pollen, animal dander, dust, etc. When your immune system begins to confuse harmless substances with harmful ones, it begins attacking everything and anything because it can no longer tell what it should be attacking. Although this may be common amongst a lot of people, this is definitely not NORMAL. You immune system is not designed to overreact to every particle that you breathe in. When your immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance, such as dust or pollen, you are diagnosed with allergies.
So, as you can see, allergies - no matter what type - are a secondary condition to a much larger issue: a hyperactive immune system. The question is NOT how can I avoid the pollen, dander, etc, because - let’s face it, you can only AVOID pollen so much here in Georgia. Give it a couple of weeks and the roads will literally be a yellow-green hue. Last spring, there were dense “pollen clouds” (as I call them) that made seeing past your street difficult.
So, the question becomes: what is causing this hypersensitivity to your immune system? It’s NOT the pollen. The pollen is what your immune system is reacting to, but like we said earlier, a HEALTHY, fully-functioning immune system will NOT overreact to a perfectly harmless substance.
Once we find out what is CAUSING this hypersensitive immune system, we can address the CAUSE, and then your immune system will function like it’s designed to, WITHOUT attacking everything that it comes into contact with.
According to Gray’s Anatomy (the text, NOT the television series!), the nervous system controls and coordinates ALL systems of your body. What are some of those systems? Your cardiovascular system, your digestive system, and you guessed it – YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, amongst many others.
The nervous system is composed of your brain, spinal cord, and 31 pairs of spinal nerves. These nerves exit through the spinal bones and travel to every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. They give your body instructions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week about what to do AND what not to do. Your brain and immune system are constantly communicating in order to figure out what substances the immune system should be attacking and what substances your immune system should leave alone. If these spinal bones shift and become displaced from normal alignment, these nerves become irritated and inflamed. This is called a Neurostructural Shift, which causes an interruption in the signal traveling through that nerve to the tissue, organ, or system of the body that it is traveling to. When this happens, your nervous system is not able to communicate correctly with your immune system, often leading to secondary immune conditions that are commonly associated with allergies.
Here at Pillar Chiropractic, we do a thorough structural examination using state of the art technology to assess your structure and your nervous system for these shifts and interruptions in your nerve signals. If you qualify for our Neurostructural Corrective care, we use specific, scientific structural adjusting methods to correct these spinal displacements and redirect your spine back to normal. By correcting these structural shifts, we remove the interruptions in the signals from your nerves to the rest of your body, allowing your nervous system to communicate to your immune system PROPERLY.
Many of our practice members have seen relief from springtime allergies after having their spines and nervous system assessed and corrected. If you or one of your friends or family members suffers from allergies, be sure to get your nervous system assessed with a thorough structural analysis to see if Neurostructural shifts are contributing to YOUR immune system dysfunction.
Once corrected, you can ENJOY the beautiful springtime outdoors INSTEAD of avoiding it!