By Dr. Chad McIntyre
Fear! These unprecedented times have brought with them unsettling news in bulk. Though heartwarming and heroic efforts have been made during the crisis, anxiety and dread have seized the day; being forced to live life around unusual circumstances has created a near-constant undercurrent of negativity. As panic threatens to take control, however, hope and optimism offer a better opportunity for immunity.
To paraphrase Dr. Albert Schweitzer, every person carries his or her own doctor inside and we are our best when we give the doctor inside a chance to work. That quote generalizes an undeniable fact about the human body: its intelligent design makes it innately equipped to fight disease head-on with skills and training on par with a super soldier. It may not be impervious, but if our lives were a movie, our immune systems would be Captain America and viral threats would be the hundreds of lame duck enemies he barrels through with relative ease. Germs are everywhere, but we can and do win the fight against millions of them every day. Even against a more cunning villain, the “powers” exhibited by the human immune system are not to be underestimated.
Knowing, it has been said, is half the battle, so perhaps a better understanding of immune function will ease the current tension.
Think of a watch. Without knowledge of its intelligent design, we might assume that a watch found on the beach was created by a series of random events; perhaps millions of interactions with sand washed ashore created small marks at equal intervals twelve times around a seashell formed into a circle, and hardened pieces of seaweed formed hands that pointed at different intervals and moved whenever struck by an ocean breeze (or something like that). However, we know that a watch is a carefully and smartly crafted device made by a watchmaker and only rarely does a watch not earn our trust in its continual and optimal function.
The human body deserves infinitely more credit and trust for its intelligent design. To lack faith in its function is to simply misunderstand its brilliance. It is not hyperbole to call the human body the greatest design in history when acknowledging its 75 trillion cells, performing an intricate 200,000 chemical reactions in each individual cell every split second for eighty some odd uninterrupted years on average. The immune system’s daily feats of strength are as vital to our lives as the Earth’s distance from the sun; both maintain a perfect balance for life to be possible, and though illness sometimes forces us to adapt like a hot, humid summer (or its opposite), neither illness nor the position of the sun get the better of us the vast majority of the time.
Frankly, our immune systems operate magnificently without much need of our input. We were given by our Creator very little control over the function of the body. So, typically, we do not have much of a conscious role to play in dealing with viruses and other infection causing agents. Yet, we are called to greater action to meet special situations that require us to recognize the conscious choices we can make to both boost immunity and avoid the things that can suppress immunity (like consuming treats packed with processed sugar and allowing fear and guilt, the primary agents of the stress well-known to lower immune response, to be dominant forces in our lives).
Immunity is basically the most smoothly run business in human lore, and like any uber-successful enterprise, it depends on proper communication within its network. The lines of communication in the body are the nerves, the hub of the system for which is the brainstem, an organ whose unique surrounding anatomy makes it a vulnerable point for communication disruption. Simple, non-invasive processes like Upper Cervical Chiropractic identify and correct such disruption, strengthening the innate response to more aggressive threats. Also foundational to boosting the immune system, are eating constructively and remaining adequately hydrated, along with regular exercise and exposure to the sun (the most easily acquired boost).
Just as important to optimally playing our role in immunity are our mindsets toward health, healing, and fighting disease. No different than making money or searching for love, a focus on a lack of it only hurts the ability to earn or find it. If our time is spent right now on sensationalist media and other things that we have no control over, then we are steering in the direction of despair and poor health, thus weakening our natural defenses. Taking responsibility for our mindsets, seeking wisdom and understanding of immunity, and then trusting our God-given innate ability to adapt completely alters our course, allowing us to be confident that the laws of life eclipse the theories of disease.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?”
Matthew 6:25-27, 30