This is our 2nd line of defense on the outside of our body, and our first line of defense on the inside of our body. When stress makes our adrenals overwork long enough then our immune system jumps in to lend a helping hand. The elevated cortisol will eventually cause problems with our immune system.
In order to get an infection three things are present: First a weakened immune system, second a suitable environment for the bugs to grow on and third exposure to a bug. These very small organisms grow in a swamp and not in the ocean. When our body is toxic on the inside, it is a great place for bugs to grow and flourish.
Our perfect blue print is equipped with a very methodical precise plan of action to deal with internal invasion in our body. Nothing in the way we respond to physical, chemical, emotional or electromagnetic insult happens by accident. When this programmed response is overwhelmed, things go wrong. With a confused and compromised response bad stuff happens quickly. Tissue healing is delayed, our garbage disposal system (detoxification) gets sluggish and we accumulate toxins. The lymph system is part garbage disposal and part immune system that also accumulates poisons. These changes are manifested and measurable in blood tests that show decreased levels of short term responder chemicals (IgA). The total effect of things gone wrong by too much cortisol gives us increased susceptibility to, and increased numbers of infections.
We typically see young patients who get an infection. They are prescribed antibiotics and no sooner are they over this infection, they get another infection someplace else. They have a sore throat, swollen tonsils and a strept infection. After the antibiotics they then get an ear infection. After more antibiotics then they get a sinus infection, more antibiotics. Then they get bronchitis and more antibiotics. This cycle continues because there is now delayed healing of tissues.
This response is nothing new. We all have experienced it with our friends or our own family. It has been confirmed in many animal and human studies. When animals are under emotional stress it makes their immune system and infected skin wounds worse. Here is a typical response: Animals that were stressed prior to wounding and infection had a 30 percent delay in healing after three to five days. After five days, the stressed animals had 100,000 times more opportunistic bacteria in their wounds than the non-stressed animals. Seven days after the bacteria exposure, about 85 percent of the wounds in the stressed animals were infected. Only 27 percent of the wounds in the non-stressed animals remained infected. Emotional Stress increased the rate of wound infection three times.41
Sadly, most western trained doctors ignore this information for several reasons. They don’t know or care that it exists, or they are bound by the status quo of what drugs doctors should prescribe for what symptoms. Their rationalization is that it is an animal study, and what difference does it make when their treatment solution is ‘just fill them full of antibiotics anyway!’
Curiously we humans respond exactly the same way. Women who had high cortisol levels and were wounded on the arms had lower levels of key compounds released by the body to do the healing. The study concluded that the anti-inflammatory effects of cortisol strongly suppress the immune system.42,43
Can you believe that a doctor would give a steroid based drug to treat inflammation and infection without a second thought of what problems it will create? By the way, in order for an organ transplant to work the patient is given massive doses of steroid drugs to suppress the immune system so that our blue print to reject the foreign organ does not work. Simply and crudely, it’s my kidney made specifically for me and me alone. Just because we have the same blood type, the same genetic markers, even the same mother and father, the inborn intelligence of your body knows that it’s my kidney and has no business being inside of you. The precise action of your blueprint has been created to: REJECT A FOREIGN KIDNEY THAT IS NOT YOURS!
To every rule there is an exception. If you force-feed your body with massive amounts of steroids causing confusion and shutting off your immune system your body may accept my kidney. You also get the blessing of being capable of getting any and every infection that comes within a country mile of you.
Just stop and think here. If stuffing yourself with steroids causes your body to do stupid stuff automatically without you knowing, does it matter where the steroids come from?
Here is the ah ha moment! Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced in massive amounts when you are under stress. OUR REACTION TO STRESS PRODUCES THE EXACT SAME RESULT AS TAKING PRESCRIPTION STEROID DRUGS TO SUPPRESS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM - IT STOPS WORKING!
When you are stressed, you tend to take short, shallow breaths from your upper chest. This limits oxygen and increases stress. Deep breathing helps maximize the amount of available oxygen in your whole body, which sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Deep breathing is one of the most useful relaxation techniques that is relatively easy to learn and can be practiced anytime, anywhere.
Here’s how to do it:
✓ Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes.
✓ Place one hand over your breastbone and the other over your belly. As you take a deep breath in through your nose, allow your belly to push out. The hand on your chest should not move.
✓ Exhale through your pursed lips and let your belly to go in until all of the air has been blown out.
✓ Do not hold your breath at any point.
Practice this technique for 1- 10 minutes at least twice per day. Then use it any time you begin to feel tense, like when you are sitting in traffic, feeling overwhelmed, or dealing with a challenging situation.
We Offer Affordable, Short Term Care For Your Relief Of Stress Related Health Issues.
A major manufacturer of workstations reports that 86% of work computer users have to sit all day, and when they do rise from sitting, more than half (56%) use food as the excuse to get up and move. In addition to sitting at work, for meals, and commuting to/from work, 36% sit another one to two hours watching TV, 10% sit one to two hours for gaming, 25% sit one to two hours for reading/lounging, and 29% use their home computer for one to two hours. In summary, the average American sits for thirteen hours a day and sleep for eight hours. That’s a total of 21 hours a day off their feet!
The manufacturer’s survey also notes 93% of work computer users don’t know what “Sitting Disease” is but 74% believe that sitting too much can lead to an early death. “Sitting Disease” represents the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle and includes conditions like “metabolic syndrome” (obesity and diabetes), which is rapidly becoming more prevalent, especially in the young – even in adolescence and teenagers! Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy encouraging employers, employees, and others to sit less citing the many risks associated with sitting including (but not limited to): diabetes, cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Standing is SO MUCH BETTER as it burns more calories than sitting, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow, reduces blood sugar, and improves metabolism. Standing is frequently overlooked as “an exercise” and it’s both simple and easy to do!
So, what about the low back and sitting? You guessed it – sitting is hard on the back! The pressure inside of our disks, those “shock absorbers” that lie between each vertebra in our spine (22 disks in total) is higher when we sit compared with simply standing or lying down. It’s estimated that when we lay down, the pressure on our disks is the lowest at 25mm. When lying on one side, it increases to 75mm, standing increases disk pressure to 100mm, and bending over from standing pushes disk pressure to 220mm. When we sit with good posture, our disk pressure may reach 140mm but that can increase to 190mm with poor posture. To help relieve the pressure on our disks, experts recommend: 1) Getting up periodically and standing; 2) Sitting back in your chair and avoiding slouched positions; 3) Placing a lumbar roll (about the size of your forearm) behind the low back and chair/car seat; and 4) Changing your position frequently when sitting.
Because certain low back conditions “favor” one position over another, these “rules” may need modification. For example, most herniated disk patients prefer low back extension while bending over or slouching hurts. In those with lumbar sprain/strains, bending forwards usually feels good and extension hurts. Modifying your position to the one that is most comfortable is perhaps the best advice.
We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs. If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services.
Cliff Atwell, B.S., D.C.