We have a lot of patients who have been asking whether we “believe” in getting the flu shot. This is a multi-faceted issue and we cannot assert that we know the RIGHT answer. However, we can present some food for thought that can help YOU make your own decisions.
Problems with the Flu Shot:
- There are no long-term studies on the safety of the vaccine. That’s right—literally none.
- The flu vaccine is shockingly ineffective. The CDC reported that last year’s vaccine only worked 29% of the time. And for senior citizens, the number was far lower. The Cochrane review of ALL randomized controlled trials of the flu vaccine up through 2018 found it to be between 2.4% and 6% effective. This means that only one out of every 41 people who receive the flu shot are actually protected from the flu.
- The flu vaccine may actually INCREASE your likelihood of getting the flu in the future. A 2006 study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Infection found that people who got the flu shot every year from birth were 2-4 times more likely to get the flu as adults and seniors. Additionally, receiving the flu vaccine one year increased the chances of getting the flu the next year. Another study found that people who had received no vaccines in the past five years were the least likely to get sick with the flu. They found that naturally-acquired immunity (from contracting the flu) is the best protection from future infection.
- The Cochrane review found no evidence that the vaccine prevents hospitalization. They found no evidence that the vaccine reduces severity of symptoms, except for a mild reduction in headache.
- The flu vaccine contains aluminum (heavy metal toxicity contributes to dementia, autoimmune disease, and serious illness) and glyphosate (the toxic ingredient in weed killers that has been classified by the WHO as carcinogenic).
- From a Chinese Medicine perspective, any immunization causes a pathogen to be introduced bypassing the body’s natural immune system. The result is that the body pushes the pathogen into “latency” in the joints and spine. With aging, the body is less able to suppress the latent pathogens and they emerge as inflammatory pain disorders such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as autoimmune disorders like hashimotos thyroiditis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
How to prevent the flu naturally
Your best defense against the flu is keeping your circadian rhythm in good working order. This is your body’s internal clock, and it’s designed to be in sync with the earth’s 24 hour day/night cycle. You can set your circadian rhythm each day by getting direct sun exposure to your eyes and skin, especially at sunrise and sunset. The light from the sun stimulates the photoreceptors and vitamin A in our cells. This triggers the production of proteins (such as BMAL-1) that help regulate the immune system. Studies show that when BMAL-1 is removed, the flu virus replicates much more quickly.
Other ways to support your circadian rhythm are by confining mealtimes to daylight hours and by avoiding exposure to blue light (TV, computer, and cellphone). If you do use technology at night, wear blue-light-blocking glasses, which are available at reasonable prices online.
- Vitamin D- Acu-Na Wellness Center carries high quality vitamin D by Metagenics. It is excellent for immune function and our bodies don’t produce as much in the winter due to low sun exposure. As a great bonus, vitamin D also supports healthy bones by increasing the absorption of calcium.
- Livon Lypospheric Vitamin C 1,000 mg- this highly absorbable form of vitamin C is the most potent available antioxidant and immune support. It should be taken once per day for prevention and can be increased to three times per day if you are sick. Starting the 3,000 mg vitamin C protocol at the first sign of illness reduces cold and flu symptoms by 85%.
- GZQ Cold Formula- This Chinese herbal tincture contains a potent blend of anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs. It is highly effective to stop a cold when taken at the first sign of illness (usually sore throat). It also shortens the duration of a cold significantly.
- Immune Plus- from the same herbalist as the above tincture, this formula is excellent to build the Wei Qi which is the body’s exterior defense system that prevents pathogens from penetrating to the interior of the body (i.e. lungs). Weakened wei qi is associated with frequent illness, allergies, and even insomnia/anxiety.
If you feel a cold or flu coming on, CALL US FOR AN URGENT ACUPUNCTURE SESSION! Most of the time we are able to halt the progression of the virus with a combination of acupuncture, gua sha, and herbal medicine so you can avoid getting really sick. Acupuncture is also excellent for prevention, as it stimulates the immune system and supports your body’s natural detox pathways to keep your defenses strong.