To Get the Flu Shot - or Not to Get the Flu Shot?
Dr. Samantha Ristimaki, BSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
The change in temperature in the fall has us starting to think about preparing for the cold months that lie ahead. The fear of getting sick during the winter months has people lined up outside walk-in clinics eager to get their yearly flu shot, but have you ever wondered how effective the flu shot really is and does the benefit really outweigh the risk?
At the end of the day, the risk of catching the flu can leave you suffering from fever, cough, chills, sore throat, body aches, fatigue or headaches that typically last about a week. Pneumonia is the major complication from the flu. If you are elderly or have chronic breathing problems, perhaps this is worth considering, however this is not typical in most adults under age 65.
The flu shot does not provide any guarantee that you will avoid the flu. There are 500 different types of influenza viruses that cause the flu and the flu shot is based upon 3 different strains of viruses that were prevalent during the flu season in China & Australia. It’s an “educated guess” as to what may be flying around this winter.
The viruses are essentially grown in an egg medium and mixed with other ingredients of which the long-term effects are not known or studied.
• Mercury tops the list simply because it is the most toxic non-radioactive metal on this earth. Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, one of the world's leading immunogeneticists, states the chances of getting Alzheimer's disease is 10 times higher if an individual has five consecutive shots than if they have one, two or no shots. This is likely due to the mercury-derived preservative and aluminum content of the vaccine.
• Formaldehyde can cause proteins to irreversibly bind to DNA in the body and is carcinogenic to humans. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says formaldehyde is immediately dangerous to life at 20 ppm; yet, you will get a dose of 50-200 ppm depending on the flu shot you receive.
• Anaphylaxis to measles-mumps-rubella vaccines has been linked to children with an allergy to gelatin, an ingredient also in the flu shot.
• Adjuvants are capable of accelerating the activation of the immune system. Once an abnormal response is “turned on,” there is no switch to “turn it off.” After more than 75 years of use, researchers admit that the mechanism of action for most adjuvants is still “incompletely understood.”
• A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Triton-X-100 states the following: “Harmful if swallowed. Toxicology not fully investigated. The product may contain traces of ethylene oxide or dioxane, which are probably human carcinogens.”
• Polysorbate 80 causes infertility in female mice and testicular atrophy in male mice.
• Some flu vaccines contain MSG or may be contaminated with latex, which can be very problematic for those with sensitivities or severe allergies.
• How many healthcare consumers know which manufacturer your flu vaccine is sourced from? When was the last time you were asked, before receiving the flu shot, about allergies to eggs, latex, MSG, or the like?
Also, not reported is that the flu vaccine can actually weaken the immune system for the 2 weeks following the flu shot. In fact, many people come down with the flu shortly after receiving the shot. The antibodies produced as a result of the flu vaccine lose their efficacy after 2-3 months; therefore the vaccine does not protect you for the entire flu season.
Staying Healthy: Alternatives to the Flu Shot
Your immune system is your body’s best defense against infection and supporting it through regular hand washing, adequate sleep, good nutrition and stress reduction go a long way in avoiding infection. But what if you really don’t want to get sick? Naturopathic Medicine offers a few options:
The immune IV is an intravenous injection of high concentrations of vitamins and minerals to support the immune system. The immune IV contains vitamin C, vitamin B5, B6, B12, B complex, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium at doses higher than you could take orally. Because the injection is administered intravenously, the absorption rate is 99- 100%, much higher than the absorption through the digestive tract. The immune IV is given 1-2 times per month to prevent colds and flus, and also when a patient is feeling sick, run down, stressed or fatigued. Often the immune IV is given before traveling or before a stressful event to give the immune system a boost. The immune IV is not active against any specific strain of virus or bacteria and can be administered if the patient is already ill.
Homeopathic Flu Prevention Shot
The flu prevention shot contains 2 homeopathic remedies derived from mineral and plant sources that activate the body’s immune defenses against viruses and bacteria. When used in combination, these homeopathic medications have been shown to increase the infection fighting capabilities of white blood cells by 41%. The homeopathic flu prevention shot is safe and effective and can be administered if the patient is already ill.
Homeopathic Flu Prevention Tablets
These remedies are taken orally to help the body ward off cold and flu by strengthening the immune system, thereby shortening the duration and severity of symptoms should you come in contact with the influenza. The flu prevention tablets are also safe and effective for patients who are already experiencing cold and flu
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A Reminder of the Benefits of Massage Therapy
Ewa Tekien, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist
When provided on a regular basis, Massage Therapy can extend beyond simply soothing the aches and pains of your muscles. Research indicates the many benefits for young and old alike.
What are some of the benefits of Massage Therapy?
• Relieves anxiety and stress
• Treats and heals soft tissue strains or injuries
• Promotes relaxation and improved sleep
• Improves flexibility – which aids in the prevention of future injuries
• Strengthens the immune system
• Improves circulation and lowers blood pressure
• Improves one's sense of well-being
These are just a few of the many benefits. One can obtain both emotional as well as physical benefits from massage. Regular massages are an investment in your health and should be a part of everyone's overall health and wellness plan.
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