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  • Writer's pictureWalter Cohen

Osteopathy Boosts Immunity–Helping Protect Against COVID-19

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

In this era of COVID-19, finding safe and effective ways to protect ourselves is critically important to a lot of people. Osteopathy should be a key part of individual prevention strategy because it optimizes the body’s response in preventing and fighting infections from any source.

Like the current COVID-19 situation in 2020 there was no cure, no antiviral medications or vaccines available when the Spanish Influenza pandemic broke out in 1918-19. The outbreak was the deadliest in human history, killing tens of millions worldwide. One thing that made a difference was Osteopathic Manual Medicine, “OMM.” A medical review of over 110,000 confirmed Spanish Influenza patients who received OMM as part of their routine care showed a survival rate forty times greater than patients receiving standard medical care alone with no OMM.

How does osteopathy help prevent infection? This question is now all the more important as stay at home orders, are lifted, the economy re-opens and everyone faces the risk of contracting the virus.

Osteopathy is a medical science which acknowledges our own bodies ability to prevent and fight off infectious diseases such as COVID-19. A physician specializing in OMM uses precise techniques applied to the body with their hands to change its organization and anatomy improving immune, lymphatic, vascular and nervous system function.

Modern research shows osteopathy can improve immune function and help prevent COVID-19 by improving: · Lymphatic system function – The lymph:

o sounds the first alarm of infection

o helps deliver critical immune response

o removes metabolic waste

· Circulation – increased blood flow through arteries and veins to and from sites of infection:

o reduces chemical cytokines that produce symptoms

o reduces the severity of infection

o reduces the amount of virus the body must clear if infected

· Function of major structures such as:

o the respiratory diaphragm – the central piston of the body affecting multiple systems

o the thoracic inlet where all lymphatics drain

o the neck where improved lymph and blood flow better fight infections such as

COVID-19 where they first enter and start, in the nose, mouth and eyes

· Immune system organs such as the spleen which produce critical white blood cells in fighting infections such as Natural Killer, T and B cells

· Balancing the nervous system reduces stress decreasing cortisol levels which suppresses immune response - Decreasing cortisol through OMM boosts immune response

You can learn more about how the body’s immune, lymphatic, vascular and nervous systems function to boost immunity and the role of osteopathy in boosting these systems and preventing disease here.

Dr. Walter Cohen is an osteopathic physician who specializes in Osteopathic Manual Medicine in San Diego, CA. To learn more visit his website at He can be reached at his office at 858-587-1822

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