The 1918 influenza pandemic has been labeled in history as one of the most devastating outbreaks in the history of the world with deaths estimated at between 20 and 40 million people. Over 675,000 American citizens lost their lives due to this awful epidemic.
Why am I talking about this today?
Besides the obvious analogy to what the world is experiencing right now, it’s because the 1918 flu crisis has been labeled in the Chiropractic profession as the real reason for our success and proliferation as an occupation over the past 125 years, NOT just because we also happen to help your back or neck feel better than ever before….which isn’t a bad side-benefit though!
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…much better.
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.
Here are some of the statistics at that time that give merit to the power of the Chiropractic adjustment:
In Davenport, Iowa 50 medical doctors cared for 4,953 cases with 274 deaths…that’s 1 death out of 18.
Also in Davenport, 150 chiropractors saw 1,635 cases with only one death…1 in 1,635.
Outside of Davenport itself in the rest of the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 deaths…a loss of 1 patient out of every 15.
At the same time, 4,735 patients were seen solely by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 patients…a loss of 1 patient out of every 789.
In the same epidemic, New York health authorities (who kept records of flu as a reportable disease) showed that under chiropractic care, only 25 patients died of influenza out of every 10,000 cases while 950 out of every 10,000 died under conventional medical care.
And only 100 chiropractic patients died of pneumonia out of every 10,000 cases, vs 6,400 out of every 10,000 medical patients…6,400!
National figures show that 1,142 chiropractors cared for 46,394 people overall who were infected with influenza during 1918, with a loss of only 54 patients in total…that’s only 1 out of every 859.
One of the greatest statistics backing chiropractic care comes from the state of Oklahoma. There were 233 cases in which the medical doctors had cared for patients to the best of their ability and eventually pronounced them as lost or beyond hope. Chiropractors took care of all 233…with only 25 deaths.
I am not quoting these statistics in an attempt to disparage conventional medical care, but rather to accentuate the fact that Chiropractic’s journey into health care took a huge leap forward thanks to its incredible effect on the immune strength of thousands of Americans during that unforgettable pandemic viral crisis.
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.
What I hope you all gain from this is a clearer understanding of the incredible power of the chiropractic adjustment. It was more effective than any other available treatment back during the turn of the century, and it continues to be an extremely powerful weapon in your immune arsenal today.
When you get a chiropractic spinal adjustment, you decrease sustained sympathetic tone in your nervous system (bad), which subsequently leads to an increase in immune function (good), among many other health-improving consequences (Journal of Neurophysiology, February 2007).
An increase in immune function is important for everything from getting over a cold and runny nose to influenza, cancer, and heart disease, and yes, even the Coronavirus, not to mention the great immune-enhancing preventative effects on a healthy individual.
This is why I encourage all non-immunocompromised individuals to receive Chiropractic care at this time. If you are already immunocompromised, I recommend you stay home and shelter in place to best protect yourself from exposure.
As a Chiropractor, I am considered “essential personnel”, and as such, I am committed to being here in my office and available every day during my regular office hours to help you not only weather this storm no matter how tumultuous it may become, but to indeed emerge unscathed.
Remember, getting a spinal adjustment today will stimulate your immune system to better fight off ANY illness in your body, now and in the future.
I hope to see you soon.
Courtesy of : Michael R. Wild