I recently did a post on the importance of washing your hands and avoiding sneezing/coughing into your hands.

As the H1N1 virus, or as the media calls it, the “swine flu” fear is heightened, I will spend time on a few posts about easy ways to boost the immune system. Most patients first come into my office for an injury, whether it be sports-related or just from life, but chiropractic also has been shown to help improve immunity.

Chiropractic care was first linked to improved immunity during the deadly flu epidemic of 1917 and 1918. The funny thing was: Chiropractic patients fared better than the general population. This observation spurred a study of the field. The data reported that flu victims under chiropractic care had an estimated .25 percent death rate, a lot less than the normal rate of 5 percent among flu victims who did not receive chiropractic care.

In the years since, studies are finding that chiropractic care is a way to improve immunity. One study, from the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois, found that disease-fighting white blood cell counts were higher just 15 minutes after chiropractic manipulation was applied to the back. A similar study investigated the immune system response in HIV-positive patients under chiropractic care. After six months of treating spinal misalignment, the group receiving the chiropractic treatment showed a 48 percent increase in white blood cell counts. Conversely, the group that did not receive chiropractic manipulation experienced a 7.96 percent decrease in immunity cells, Psychologytoday.com.