5 Incredible Ways Your Body Helps Keep You Safe

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Amazing things your body can do

Your body is like a superhero fighting for your survival!

Practicing Chiropractic in Bellevue for the past 13 years, I’m always amazed at the stories I hear from people about overcoming injuries.  The human body does so many things that we don’t think about, or don’t even know about, that help keep us safe and healthy every day.  Our bodies heal injuries, fight off infections, build muscle (or fat…) and even build babies.  The human body is truly capable of some pretty impressive feats.  With that said, here are 5 of my favorite defense mechanisms employed by your body for your protection.

1.  Coughing and Sneezing

Coughing and sneezing are powerful weapons your body has to help eliminate foreign matter like dust, irritants, bacteria and viruses from your body.  Since the lungs are sterile, your body has to make sure the bad guys don’t make it that far and get you sick.  Sneezing helps to eliminate foreign matter from the nose and throat, and can do it at nearly 200 miles per hour.  Coughing accomplishes the same feat, removing matter from the throat under high pressure.  But don’t forget to cover up because the same mechanisms that help to keep us safe can make others sick.

 2.  Fever (not the song)

If bacteria or virus particles do make it past some of your defenses, you may end of with an infection.  A fever is a rise in body temperature above normal, and is one of your body’s defenses to help in battling that infection.  Your brain actually causes your body temperature to rise through chemical reactions, and this excess heat can help to kill the infection.  You may shiver and feel cold while your body temperature increases, but once it levels out the chill disappears.

3.  Your Immune System

Your immune system is like a security force, circulating around your body looking for bacteria, viruses or other invaders.  If a threat is found, the immune system goes to work attacking thoes foreign invaders.  White blood cells actually engulf and ‘eat’ them, while other white cells produce antibodies against disease.  Once the battle is over these same white blood cells take a snapshot of the bacteria or virus and can remember it for the rest of your life.

4.  Fainting

You’ve probably heard of someone who has fainted at the site of blood or needles.  This is the most common type of fainting and serves a very important purpose.  People can become so anxious at the sight of a needle that a nervous system reaction occurs in the body that causes the blood pressure to drop.  If the blood pressure drops too low, the brain can’t get enough oxygen and the person faints.  This is actually a clever mechanism employed by the body where your brain literally tells your body to lie down, making it easier for blood (and oxygen) to rush back to the head.

5. Fight or Flight Response

This is an incredible survival mechanism that’s triggered in the body in response to a threat or stressful events.  It’s literally your brain’s way of preparing your body to either fight or run away from the threat.  Once triggered, adrenaline and other hormones are released into the blood stream causing a cascade of events.  The lungs dilate so you can take in more air, blood rushes to your muscles to fuel them for action, your pupils dilate making vision sharper, you start to breath faster, and you become more aware of your environment.  And all of this happens in seconds!

Your body truly is an amazing piece of machinery.  If you take care of it, it will serve you faithfully for years.  But remember, sometimes your body needs a little extra help.  If you get sick please remember to visit your doctor and don’t take any chances.