A groundbreaking study recently published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine by several members of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) sheds light on the interplay between chiropractic care and the immune system.
The study, “Observation of Changes in Secretory Immunoglobulin A (SIgA) after Upper Cervical Adjusting Techniques,” investigates the effects of upper cervical adjusting techniques (UCATs) on the levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) in the body. Conducted by a team of experts led by Philip R. Schalow, DC, DCCJP, this research delves into previously uncharted territory, exploring how chiropractic care influences the immune response through SIgA variations.
SIgA is a significant immunoglobulin found in mucosal secretions, contributing to the immune system’s first line of defense against pathogens. This research not only provides insights into the immune response but also highlights the potential implications for the broader understanding of chiropractic care’s effects on health and wellness.
The study’s key findings include:
1. Positive Impact of UCAT Treatment: The research demonstrates a substantial increase in SIgA levels within 30 minutes after a UCAT treatment at the craniocervical junction (CCJ). This immediate elevation indicates a potential activation of the immune system following the chiropractic procedure.
2. Temporal Nature of the Response: While the increase in SIgA levels is temporary, it signifies the potential of chiropractic care to trigger a systemic immune response for a brief period after treatment.
3. Longitudinal Investigation: Unlike previous cross-sectional studies, this research takes a unique approach by investigating SIgA levels longitudinally in human subjects, offering new insights into the dynamics of the immune response over time.
Schalow said, “Our study opens a new chapter in understanding the intricate relationship between chiropractic care and the immune system. The immediate elevation of SIgA levels following UCAT procedures underscores the potential impact of these specific chiropractic procedures on immune responses. Our study opens a new chapter in understanding the intricate relationship between chiropractic care, the immune system and mental health.”
The implications of this study resonate with both the chiropractic and medical communities, raising questions about the broader effects of chiropractic care on health and well-being. As SIgA levels reflect not only the mucosal immune system but also systemic immunity, the findings suggest that chiropractic care might have broader implications for immune modulation.
Chiropractic care’s influence on the nervous system is also explored in the study. The intricate connections between the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems have long been subjects of scientific inquiry and this research contributes by indicating a possible link between chiropractic adjustments and immune responses mediated by the central nervous system.
Project supervisor Julie Mayer-Hunt, DC, said, “We are just scratching the surface of understanding how chiropractic care may impact the immune system through neurological pathways. This study sparks further exploration into the complex mechanisms underlying these effects.”
The study acknowledges its limitations, such as the small sample size and the two-week follow-up period. However, it provides a foundation for future research in this exciting field. To read the entirety of the study, click here.
This novel study underscores the dynamic nature of health care research, revealing new perspectives on the potential whole-body effects of chiropractic care. As the health care landscape continues to evolve, research efforts like this contribute to a deeper understanding of the body’s interconnected systems and the role chiropractic care might play in enhancing overall well-being.