Winter is here, and with it, cold and flu season. Nobody likes being sick, but it can be tough to avoid it. Anybody who works or attends school with other people risks being exposed to viruses and germs. It’s natural to want to do whatever you can to stay healthy. Once you’re sick, the only thing you can do is ride it out. The best cure is prevention.
Some advice on how to avoid getting sick comes from a surprising source: an Atlanta chiropractor. You might not associate chiropractic care with avoiding the flu. The truth is that regular chiropractic care can help you stay healthy even at the height of flu season.
What Care Can You Get from an Atlanta Chiropractor?
You might expect that an Atlanta chiropractor could help you with things like neck or back pain. That’s true, but chiropractic care can also help improve your health in other ways. The reason is that chiropractors take a holistic approach to health care. That means that they view the entire body as one organism. They approach care with the idea that all systems are connected.
The spine is the center of the body. If you’ve ever hurt your back, you know that back pain has a way of changing every aspect of your life. Walking, standing, and sitting may all be difficult and painful. Back pain can affect your ability to work, sleep, and enjoy your family. Scheduling an appointment with an Atlanta chiropractor can help relieve pain. When your back is feeling good, your whole body will feel good, too.
Spinal adjustments are the most common chiropractic treatments, but here are some others:
- Massage can improve circulation to soft tissues and help relieve pain. It may also improve flexibility. Massage methods may include traditional massage as well as ultrasound and hydrotherapy.
- Hot and cold therapy relaxes muscles and improves blood flow. Switching between hot and cold can help to speed healing.
- Patient education is a big part of chiropractic care. When you see an Atlanta chiropractor, you can learn how to stay healthy.
- Diet and exercise are important to good health. Your chiropractor can give you advice on what to eat and how to work out.
People see chiropractors to help them with health issues ranging from sinus infections to sciatic pain. Some medical doctors recommend chiropractic care as the first treatment for back pain. It’s non-invasive, and in many cases, it takes care of the problem. Patients like it because they don’t need to rely on prescription drugs or surgery to relieve their pain.
Advice from Atlanta Chiropractor to Keep the Flu Away
If you want to avoid the flu this winter, you’ll have to do what you can to keep your immune system strong. Practical measures like washing your hands can help but aren’t enough, on their own, to keep you healthy.
In addition to doing what you can to limit your exposure to the flu this winter, here are four tips from an Atlanta chiropractor that may help keep you from getting sick.
Don’t Skimp on Sleep
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one-third of all American adults do not get enough sleep. Lack of sleep might make for a tough day at the office. But can it affect your ability to ward off the flu?
Research suggests that it can. A 1998 study looked at the effects of sleep deprivation on mice. What it found is that even immunized mice could be infected with the flu if they missed enough sleep. By contrast, the mice who slept were able to avoid getting the flu after being exposed to it.
What this and other studies show is that getting enough sleep is a must if you want to avoid the flu. Regular visits to an Atlanta chiropractor can help. A lot of people hold tension in their necks and backs. The resulting pain can impact sleep and even lead to chronic insomnia.
If you get regular adjustments from a skilled chiropractor, you can be sure that you’ll rest well. Your Atlanta chiropractor may also recommend sleeping positions to try. You should aim to get between eight and nine hours of sleep each night. Your immune system will stand strong and protect you from the flu virus.
Drink Plenty of Water
One thing that regular chiropractic treatments can do is help the body release toxins. When tension builds up in muscles and joints, so do toxins. After treatment, you should make sure to drink plenty of water to help flush those toxins out of your body.
A 2013 study showed that a lack of fluids could have a negative impact on immune function. Because your body is mostly water, getting enough of it can make it hard for your body to resist infections. You’re far more likely to catch the flu if you don’t drink enough water during the day.
It’s important to note that coffee and other drinks with caffeine can be dehydrating. Count coffee, tea, and caffeinated sodas as half of their volume. You should aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. The best thing to drink is flat or sparkling water. Beverages that are high in sugar should be kept to a minimum since sugar can cause inflammation.
Get Proper Nutrition
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. That’s always true, but it’s especially true during flu season. Eating a healthy diet can help ward off the flu and other viruses.
When you visit your Atlanta chiropractor, ask about dietary guidelines. Many chiropractors work with their patients to ensure proper nutrition. Vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 can help ensure a strong immune response. In fact, a lack of Vitamin D during the winter may increase the likelihood that you’ll get the flu.
As a rule, you should aim to get between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day depending on your age. A skilled chiropractor will talk to you about your diet to make sure what you eat isn’t hurting you.
Get Regular Adjustments
Finally, if you want to avoid getting the flu, get regular adjustments from an Atlanta chiropractor. A 2005 review looked at the effects of chiropractic treatment on people with chronic asthma or allergies. What it found is that most of the patients studied reported subjective improvements. They mentioned experienced fewer symptoms and less frequent use of medicine.
What do asthma and allergies have to do with the flu? All three involve problems with the upper respiratory system and sinuses. When the sinuses are clogged, bacteria can get stuck there. Regular adjustments can help keep the sinuses clear and boost the immune system.
When the immune system is strong and operating at full strength, you’re more likely to fight off the flu than to catch it. And even if you do catch it, your symptoms may be less severe than they would be without regular treatment.
How to Choose an Atlanta Chiropractor
Before you call to make an appointment to see a chiropractor, you should do some research. The state of Georgia requires chiropractors to be licensed. While chiropractors aren’t medical doctors, it’s still important to ensure that the Atlanta chiropractor you choose is someone with a good reputation.
- Check to see that your Atlanta-area chiropractor’s license is up to date by visiting the licensing website. In addition to paying licensing fees, qualified Atlanta chiropractors must complete 20 hours of continuing education each year.
- Review your chiropractor’s website. Read testimonials and check to see which services are available. Some chiropractors specialize in treating particular illnesses, so it’s a good idea to call and ask if you’re not sure.
- Read reviews on sites such as Yelp to get an idea of your chiropractor’s reputation.
- Call the office and ask how long your appointment will be. You should also find out if you will get treatment on your first visit or merely a consultation.
Doing a small amount of research before your visit will ensure that you get the care and attention you need. Following these simple pieces of advice can help you and your family keep the flu at bay this winter – and every winter.
Do you think of a visit to the chiropractor as something you only do when you’re hurt? If so, it’s time to adjust your thinking. Regular chiropractic treatments can help keep your body strong and healthy. They boost your immune system and can help to reduce stress.
The key to avoiding the flu this winter is to give your body the tools it needs to fight off infection. The flu might spread around your office like wildfire, but you don’t have to resign yourself to getting sick. Instead, call and book an appointment with an Atlanta chiropractor today.
Making chiropractic care part of your routine can help keep you well even when everybody around you is sick. And in the end, isn’t that what you want?