Fever: Friend or Foe (the science behind fever)

You probably know the chills, the ice pack on the forehead and the ear thermometer all too well. It’s the stereotypical image of a fever; and we’ve all been there. Most of us don’t know is what causes fever and what goes on in the body during fever. Even less of us know the benefits of fever and how it relates to the spine.

A quick biology lesson

Fever is simply an above-average body temperature.

Body temperature is determined by the balance between heat production of tissues, mainly the liver and muscles, and the loss of heat from other parts of the body. The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining the body’s temperature. Pyrogens are substances raise the hypothalamic set point (the temperature to which the body is set normally), thus causing fever. When this set point is raised, blood from the extremities of the body is brought to the core to decrease heat loss; shivering, which increases heat production, often occurs. These processes continue until the temperature of the blood surrounding the hypothalamus reaches the new set point. Resetting the hypothalamic set point downward (for example, with antipyretic drugs) initiates heat loss through sweating and vasodilation (the dilation of blood vessels).

Fever is naturally lowered by sweat; exactly what we artificially control with fever-reducing medications. Rare cases can occur in which the ability to control fever naturally is limited (due to brain defects, alcoholism, the effects of certain medications, etc.). In such rare cases, a doctor should help monitor the patient’s fever.

The degree to which some basic symptoms exist can suggest the cause of the fever. For example, severe, shaking, teeth-chattering chills—not simply feeling cold—suggest fever due to infection but are not otherwise specific.

How do I know what’s causing my child’s fever?

Of course, a fever is generally a symptom of a condition. Along with high body temperature, chills and shivering are common symptoms of fever; they are the body’s methods for temperature regulation. Other symptoms a patient may experience are from the underlying condition and not the fever itself.

God’s Purpose for Fever

God made the human body perfect in His view. The body is an excellent self-healer, and fever is a prime example of this trait; it’s clear that fever is not only a tool with which the body can regulate its own temperature when necessary, but it also acts as a cleanser and a healer (yes, fever actually cleanses and heals the body).

Check it out:

Germs live healthily at the regular body temperature of 98.6˚F, but temperatures of 102˚F, 103˚F, or 104˚F greatly weaken them and make it difficult for them to survive and limit their ability to reproduce.

Fever also purifies the interior cellular environment of the body. Just like mosquitoes need the stagnant waters of marshes and swamps to thrive, germs need a terrain overloaded with wastes in order to survive and multiply. The cleansed environment left behind by fever is not a favorable one for germs.

Extremely high body temperatures can create brain damage for a patient. However, the hypothalamus has a set point of 105.7˚F, which prevents such extreme body temperatures. Remember this when you are inclined to immediately run to stop your child’s fever. God created their body with some pretty amazing self checking mechanisms 🙂

Your point is…?

While medications may seem like the clear choice for healing due to their accessibility and timely effectiveness, their healing is temporary and shallow. Yes, they can relieve you of your fever. However, allowing the body to heal itself through fever is much more beneficial in the long run; medications do not provide the cleansing and killing of germs that natural healing provides.

The body will heal itself in the healthiest and strongest way possible; medications prevent the body from truly healing!

What does this have to do with my child’s back?

In order for the body to heal itself correctly, the brain must be able to communicate effectively with the body. More effective input from the body to the brain leads to more effective output from the brain to the body. The body communicates what it senses (and the brain responds) through the spinal cord.

Spine adjustment relieves stressed back muscles, leaving the brain with more capacity for other areas of focus, including healing and sensory message reception and response, while ensuring that the spine can work to its highest potential, allowing things such as fever to work correctly.

In other words, spine adjustment enhances the healing capabilities of fever. Who knew?

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