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Category Archives: Immune system


Back to school often means the start of what we call the cold and flu season. With so many children sharing space, germs are inevitably part of the equation.  Conventional wisdom urges us to fear the germs and teaches us that the only way to keep yourself and your family healthy is to scrub, disinfect, and go to war with them! While it is important to practice good hygiene, it is time to shift focus to what we can do to boost our immune strength. With this approach, we are focused on building, maintaining, and nourishing our body’s natural abilities to withstand and cope with illness.  Instead of fearing the germs, let’s empower our bodies.

Dr. Shaw’s Top Ten Ways to Beat the Cold & Flu.

  1. Chiropractic Care. No surprise here! The nervous system supplies the nerves to the important immune system organs. A healthy nervous system means the immune system can function efficiently.  Additional adjustments outside your regular protocol while you are sick will give a boost to your immune system and help your body heal faster.  Don’t stay away when you are sick!
  1. Supplements. Whole food supplements, herbs, and homeopathic remedies can be used to up-regulate your immune system to help fend off illness. They can also be used in acute situations in higher doses so immune response is stronger and efficient. Avoid synthetic over the counter medications as they will distract your body from its job of healing.  Discuss what options are right for you during your next visit with Dr. Shaw.
  1. Healthy Diet.
    1. Rich in colorful vegetables and fruits.
    2. Quality protein (grass-fed, organic, wild): eggs, fish, organic meat, and poultry.
    3. Healthy fats: coconut oil, avocado oils, nuts oils, olive oil.
    4. Incorporate a variety of nuts and seeds.
    5. Limit grains except quinoa, buckwheat,  and wild rice.
  1. Healthy Gut. 80% of the immune system resides in the gut!!!  Take good care of it by avoiding food allergens (main culprits are gluten, dairy and soy) and by balancing gut flora with fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, and kombucha.
  1. Avoid Toxins.
    • Hand sanitizers and flu shots are many people’s go to solutions, but they burden your system with chemicals and hinder your body’s ability to ward off illness.
    • Avoid consuming, inhaling, and absorbing chemical pollutants.
    • Choose organic foods and toxin-free personal products.
    • Avoid OTC medications.
    • Drink distilled or reverse osmosis water.
    • Choose natural cleaning products and avoid the use of commercial air fresheners.
    • Add plants to each room and crack a window all year round to improve air quality in your home.
  1. Reduce Sugar/Fructose/Carbs. Sugar competes for space in your immune cells with Vitamin C! The more sugar in your system, the less Vitamin C can get into your white blood cells causing immune suppression.
  1. Hydration and Minerals. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day to keep you hydrated. Your body needs water to flush the lymphatic system of viruses and bacteria.  Improve your body’s ability to absorb water by adding a pinch of sea salt to add minerals, and a squeeze of lemon to alkalize the water.  Coffee, black tea, smoking, and alcohol all dehydrate so minimize their consumption and be sure to up your water intake if you do consume them.
  1. Healthy Fats. Don’t be scared of fat but make sure they are the healthy fats.  Coconut oil, cocoa butter, butter, eggs, avocado, flax seed, sesame oil, olive oil, and wild caught fish are wonderful sources.
  1. Rest and Reducing Stress. Our adrenal glands are responsible for immune system response and strength so take good care of them by minimizing stress and make adequate sleep and down time a priority in your life.
  1. Essential Oils. Good quality pure essential oils can aid our immune function.  Many have antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-infectious properties making them a wonderful companion through the “flu season”.  Diffusing them and applying them topically can be beneficial.  Be sure you research the oils before using them.  They are incredibly potent!  Thieves oil is a great oil with many purposes and should be a staple in every home.


Spring Allergy Guide

allergy pic


If you suffer with seasonal allergies you know springtime brings challenges!  Sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion, and fatigue during the spring are symptoms many allergy sufferers are familiar with.  They are also signs that your body could use support as allergies are a barometer for the overall strength of your immune system.  The heavier the immune burden, the more “allergic” a person tends to be and more strongly they may experience the symptoms.  Working on up regulating the immune system will help to build strength and decrease a person’s sensitivity to their natural environment.   Additionally, since the liver is responsible for clearing histamines in the body, eating foods that support the liver will increase your ability to clear out the histamines and offer symptom sufferers the relief they so desire.  Here are some tips to help you through allergy season.

  1. Avoid over the counter allergy medications.  They suppress symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of the problem.
  2. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods.  Major culprits are dairy, sugar, gluten, and refined carbohydrates.
  3. Increase anti-inflammatory foods.  Ex: foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, leafy greens, blueberries, fermented vegetables, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and green tea.
  4. Incorporate local honey in to your diet all year long.
  5. Eat an overall diet that includes protein with each meal and good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter, seeds, and nut butters.
  6. Reduce stress and increase rest.
  7. Minimize exposure to known allergens.  Avoid mold and mildew.  Shower after being outdoors on high pollen days.
  8. Stay hydrated. Drink half your weight in ounces per day.
  9. Talk with Dr. Shaw about whole food and homeopathic supplement options.



Dr. Shaw likes to use Antronex, Allerplex, and Allergy homeopathy spray for patients suffering with allergy symptoms.  Talk with her today to see what she would recommend for you.


Worried About Swine Flu? Get To Your Chiropractor

If you are freaking out about the newest virus, consider the benefits of chiropractic.

In 1917, there was a flu epidemic across the nation and the world. In the midst of the tragedy, the benefits of chiropractic were undeniable! Take a look at these statistics.

Davenport, Iowa (home of Palmer College of Chiropractic)
MD: 4,953 cases, 274 deaths
DC: 1,635 cases, 1 death

Rest of Iowa
MD: 93,590 cases, 6,116 deaths – 1 patient out of every 15
DC: 4,735 cases, 6 deaths – 1 patient out of every 789

Similar numbers were reported in Oklahoma, New York and even France.

Why, you might ask, does chiropractic have anything to do with the flu? Chiropractic’s health benefits are much greater than the relief of back or neck pain, it is whole-body health care. It emphasizes the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, and how that relationship affects function and health. Spinal misalignments (known as vertebral subluxations) can interfere with the transmission of information from the brain, over the spinal cord and/or nerve roots to any and all systems of the body. The resulting altered information produces altered function and lowered resistance.

If you want to read more, check out the rest of the article.


Feed A Cold, Starve a Fever?

Actually it is Feed a Virus, Starve a Bacteria

According to New Scientist, January 2002,

“Dutch scientists have found that eating a meal boosts the type of immune response that destroys the viruses responsible for colds, while fasting stimulates the response that tackles the bacterial infections responsible for most fevers.”

It is important to note that viruses can cause fevers along with bacterial infections