We live in the most sanitary culture in the history of the world. Never before have anti-bacterial soaps been so widespread. Many Americans bathe or shower every single day. Most of us live indoors for most of our lives and drive with the windows up in air-conditioned cars. Personal care products and cleansers take up whole aisles at grocery stores... and they're not even considered food!
Although this sanitation movement has done a remarkable job in helping to eradicate the incidence in America of many nasty diseases (especially the fecal-borne diseases like cholera), there have been other unintended consequences of being so clean. Cleanliness has often meant walling ourselves off from the natural world. In fact, we often fight off bacteria by using strange concoctions of powerful chemicals that come with a long list of side effects!
Our bodies have immune systems which are primed and ready to identify and fight enemy bacteria and viruses. But if the bacteria and viruses simply aren't present because of the antiseptic conditions, then our immune systems tend to act a little funny, like identifying non-enemy particles as enemies. After all, the immune system has to do something besides twiddle its thumbs!
So, in an antiseptic world, neutral particles like plant pollen or dust are suddenly identified by people's immune systems as foreign bodies and viciously attacked. There has been a shocking spike in the last forty years alone in the incidence of asthma, seasonal allergies, food allergies, dust allergies, and a whole variety of other allergies.
In related news, two recent news articles caught my eye. In the first, a study reports that Amish children who grow up on farms were found to have a surprising resistance to asthma and allergies. The Amish, in general, practice natural farming and do not use many chemicals or pesticides. Also, by growing up in the natural world alongside animals and plants, these children are exposed to a wide variety of bacteria and viruses, allowing their immune systems to develop very strongly. When the immune system is busy identifying bacteria, it appears to understand that dust and pollen are not threats. In the second article, a researcher found that girls who play in dirt grow up healthier than their indoors counterparts.
Chiropractors have always known that true health lies in moderation. Moderate exercise is always better than extremely active exercise or no exercise. A moderate diet is always better than overindulgence or starvation. It could be said that our modern American antiseptic life is also an extreme, and true health lies a little bit in getting back to nature and simply playing in the dirt.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
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Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, S.C., proudly located in Peoria, IL.