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Ever wonder why you get the shivers ?

Posted by admin - March 18, 2015 - Articles


I came down with flu like symptoms last week and crawled under the sheets with uncontrollable shivers.  I can’t even remember the last time I had it this bad….I mean my jaw muscles were aching !

So, why do we get the shivers?

The body recognizes a foreign invader and needs to crank up the temperature to kill the virus.   How it does so is pretty remarkable.  By slowing down circulation to the arms, legs and skin it directs blood flow inward to increase the core temperature.  Then it activates the large muscle groups ( the shivers ) to burn off extra fuel to increase the core temperature even more.  The result is a fever.

But it doesn’t stop there.   If the fever gets too high, it flushes the blood back to the skin to induce perspiration – the cooling effect.

And it keeps doing this back and forth – from shivers to sweating and back to shivers – until it maintains a core temperature ideal for killing the virus.

The body knows when to turn up the thermostat and it knows how to regulate it through blood flow and perspiration.   All done without any conscious will or effort.

And once the virus has been contained, the body’s immune system relays this information to the brain to restore temperature back to normal.

All of this is done through the highway called your nervous system.

This is why it’s so important NOT to jump the gun and reach for the Advil or Tylenol thinking that somehow YOU know better than the innate wisdom that guides you from within.  Instead, use a wet towel on the forehead or simply remove a layer of clothing to help the body regulate the fever.

Really, the best thing you can do is to simply get out of the way.  Recognize the power at work and allow it to do what it needs to do.

This means not getting caught up in the negative self talk …”how did I get this?”  or “I can’t believe I’m getting sick again”  or “What should I take for this”.  Your thoughts have a powerful impact on your body.  Negative self talk creates internal resistance that only works to delay the healing process.

Stay well hydrated to help the body flush out the foreign invaders.

Eat a soupy and broth rich diet to give the body all the energy it needs to fight the battle.

And last but not least, get adjusted.  Make sure your nervous system is clear of interference, so the brain and immune system are speaking clearly to one another.

The body knows how to heal.  We just need to be reminded of it every now and then…

To your health,

Dr. John Filo

Yonge Finch Chiropractic & Health Centre
5650 Yonge St.  Suite 1A – Ground floor
North York, ON

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