Boosting Your Immune System

© Dr. John Zielonka

Imagine if the entire world had a stronger immune system. As a bare minimum we would have fewer colds, fewer sick days, less stress and less reliance on "cold remedies". But if we were to realize the true importance of our immune system, and act upon it, the world would be a different place.

Your immune system plays a critical role in both the prevention of illness and your overall well-being. Certainly viruses, bacterial infections and "super bugs" would be resisted. However, did you know your immune system plays a critical role in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, G.I. disorders, diabetes, arthritis and many other diseases?

Quite simply, optimizing and maintaining your immune system is essential for both the quantity and quality of your life. For many people, however, achieving this requires one critical factor: changing the way we think.

The Germ Theory

It was back in the 1800s that Louis Pasteur first developed the "germ theory". Quite simply this meant you "caught" your cold or infectious disease from germs passed on from another person and thus the sole solution to preventing infection was to kill these germs. This brought the age of the "magic bullet" known as the antibiotic as well as various immunizations, inoculations and vaccinations to fight these germs. While this seemed an appropriate solution at the time, and no doubt saved lives back then, we now know the disaster it has become. Many bacteria have become resistant to even the most powerful of antibiotics creating so called super bugs. Antibiotics have been grossly over prescribed even for viral infections for which they have no effect at all. Time Magazine reported "the end of antibiotics" more than 5 years ago and very few realized these antibiotics were also wiping out the good bacteria in our bodies leading to incredible rises in Chron’s, G.I. disorders and many other diseases.

But what if I dared to suggest to you that the basis of the germ theory is wrong. This is not to say that infectious diseases don't exist, but what if being exposed to a germ wasn’t the key factor. If you want proof, please explain why if you're at a party of 20 people and one has a terrible cold, some will "catch" it and some won't, yet everyone was exposed to the same germ. It’s not the germ that's important; it's your resistance to it. If I plant a coffee bean in soil conducive to its growth, it will germinate. If I plant that same coffee bean in an unfavourable environment to its germination (i.e. cement) it will not grow. If the germ theory were true every doctor, nurse and hospital worker would be sick all the time as they are all exposed to germs on a daily basis.

Drugs Aren't Working

Albert Einstein said "you can't resolve problems with the same level of thinking that existed when the problem arose". In other words, if you're waiting for the newest latest drug to replace the ineffective, side effect laden old drug, you will never resolve your problem.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about you just need to read the front page of any newspaper over the past few months. First it was Vioxx that was pulled from the shelves because it was dangerous so people switched to Celebrex. Then it was Celebrex. Now Naprosyn.

Yes, these are anti-inflammatories and not for the immune system but they were widely prescribed and supposedly "safe" and "scientifically proven" by the FDA and Health Canada. What makes you think any of the drugs for your immune system are any different?

Many people say they are aware that drugs have side effects and most feel it won’t happen to them. (Ironically, they believe that they are "immune" to the side effects.) Yet did you know according to both the American Medical Association and the National Institute of Health approximately 100,000 Americans die each year from the "side effects" of "properly" prescribed drugs?

In addition to the problems with antibiotics and super bugs previously mentioned people are also scrambling for a supposed shortage of flu shots. Yet did you know in theory flu shots provide protection only against certain strains of flu and that those strains were chosen from last year's flu?

Furthermore, many well known over the counter cold remedies have been taken off the shelves. Not only were many ineffective, they were proven harmful. The old joke is that colds treated with over the counter medication last one week, those without last 7 days. The even sadder truth is that most of these drugs given to children treat the parent and not the child.

It's Time for a Different Approach

What if I told you there is a different approach, one that works, one that is natural and most importantly one that is based on common sense, something sorely missing in our old approach. But as I said before it requires that we change the way we think as this old system has been engrained in us for far too long.

The new approach is simple. The stronger our immune system is, the less likely we are to ever "catch" a germ. Immunologists will tell you that your immune system is actually a circulating nervous system. Scientists will tell you that your nervous system controls absolutely everything in your body. And Doctors of Chiropractic optimize and maintain the function of your nervous system. Now this doesn't mean that Chiropractors claim to cure the common cold but neither can any medical doctor. And contrary to popular belief, while there are no scientific studies that show that medicine can safely boost your immune system there are currently 138 scientific studies that validate the role of Chiropractic care in boosting your immune system. These scientific studies show increased white blood cell activity with chiropractic care, improvement in HIV patients with chiropractic care and stronger resistance to disease with regular chiropractic care.

One significant study showed that patients who received regular chiropractic care (and thus improved nervous system function) had as much as a 200% stronger immune system than those who didn't and as much as 400% stronger than cancer patients. Most importantly, this increased immune competence did not decline with age provided optimum nervous system function was maintained through regular chiropractic care.

I see the same results with my current patients everyday where they report fewer colds, better resistance and recover faster if they do become ill. In addition, my patients follow an overall program designed to boost their immune system and focus on health which includes:
  1. Regular Chiropractic care
  2. Good nutrition
  3. Vitamin and mineral supplementation
  4. Restful adequate sleep
  5. Regular exercise
  6. Mastering stress
  7. Positive mental attitude
  8. Metabolic detoxification
  9. Decreasing exposure where possible
  10. Washing their hands regularly.

Act Now for a Lifetime of Health

The only true definition of insanity is doing the same action over and over again and expecting different results. (Sounds very similar to Einstein, doesn't it?)

If you want to secure your health and that of your entire family for the 21st century you must make a change. To secure this health a proactive approach is necessary, one that focuses on health instead of disease. A natural approach, a common sense approach, a chiropractic approach. One that will boost your immune system (as backed by 138 scientific studies) and give you the health you deserve whereas the old way will lead to the same old results. After all, it is said that on his death bed, even Louis Pasteur recanted his germ theory.

Dr. John Zielonka is the owner of the Ottawa Chiropractic and Natural Health Centre in the World Exchange Plaza in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada where he promotes optimum health and wellness in Canada's capital. He has made numerous television and radio appearances as well as having spearheaded the movement for National Health Day in Canada.

He is a Doctor of Chiropractic and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He is an author, lecturer, nutritionist and the originator of the Human Performance Lecture Series, a series of 54 different workshops which he provides as a community service to educate the world about health.

He is also a certified Rehabilitation Doctor, a certified Occupational Health Consultant and has been certified in Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.).

He can be reached through Core Science or Excellence in Health