Everywhere I go there are advertisements for Flu Shots. And every time I see one, I cringe. Why? Read on to find out.
First off, think of it this way, anything that’s being advertised that much is *BIG BUSINESS*. Yes, Flu Shots come from those Pharmaceutical companies that advertise other drugs on TV, in magazines, etc. The Flu Shot is just a convenient non-prescription way they can pad their bottom line.
Does the Flu Shot even work?
This question about the effectiveness of preventing the flu with the vaccine is hotly debated.
Here’s the problem with the flu shot: it is only supposed to prevent against 1 (one) strain of the flu (unless you get tri or quad versions, in which case you get 3-4 strains). And there are a few thousand strains of the flu, so if you’re exposed to one of the other strains, the flu vaccine isn’t going to help you. Thus, you still get sick.
Here’s another reason why its a problem: because the flu shot contains a virus, your immune system is activated and it goes to work. In some individuals, that may be enough to sufficiently exhaust the immune system, such that when a real flu virus is invading, it’s too tired to fight it off. However, in some people, the opposite problem is just as likely: your body doesn’t sense the vaccine as enough of a threat and therefore the immune system doesn’t prepare for war. Its like you never had the vaccine at all.
Just to be clear, I haven’t had a flu injection in a number of years. The last time I had a flu shot, was the season I suffered from the flu the worst and had constant colds. Since I stopped getting a flu shot, I haven’t had the flu since.
Crazy how that works, huh?
So let’s look at how you can stay healthy this winter and prevent the flu without a shot.
Prevent the Flu: On-going
As part of your ongoing health-keeping efforts, there are a number of things you should be doing. If you’re not already taking care of all these factors, start now.
1. Eat Well
Lots of (preferably organic) low-starch vegetables (leafy greens, cruciferous, brightly colored purples, reds, orange); some fruits; healthy fats such as avocados and their oil, coconut oil, Omega-3s; adequate source of naturally-occurring protein (not synthesized lab-made powders); occasional seeds and nuts; infrequent starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and turnips. These are all nutrient-dense building blocks that makeup a healthy body and a strong immune system. Here is what NOT to eat: sugar, artificial sweeteners, GMO foods, fried foods, too many grains, etc. All of these compromise the immune system in one way or another–usually through inflammation–which renders it unavailable to fight off invading flu-like viruses.
2. Sleep Enough
Deep sleep allows your body to rest and recover, repair and heal. Too little sleep tires out the adrenals and the immune system so the body doesn’t have enough left to fight. Its also the key time to relax (see #3). Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and in the winter, we need more. Let the early sunsets guide you to an earlier bedtime.
3. Reduce Stress
Whether its your mind stressed (work worries, anxiety over your to-do list, fears, etc) or your body stressed (excessive exercise, poor food, or lack of sleep), your body always feels it. Even if you don’t think so, your body is undergoing stress, switching into fight-or-flight mode. When the body is stressed, it’s worried about what will kill it in the next 30 minutes (attacks, crises, trauma), not what might kill it in the next 30 days, and to save energy for the stressor, it shuts off the immune system. Find ways to relax–deep breathing is one of the easiest.
4. Get Vitamin D
The single more important vitamin that will keep you healthy year round. Vitamin D is synthesized in the body after sun exposure. This is also the main reason why people get sick in the winter: lack of sun and therefore Vitamin D. If you live in, or frequently travel to, a place where its comfortable to expose your arms and lower legs to the sun, this is the best way to build up Vit D stores. If not, you need to supplement: buy a highly quality Vit D supplement or eat grass-fed beef liver.
5. Take Extra Immune Support
Some people may have more immune challenges than others, or just may be more suseptible to getting sick, especially if its been years of not following the above advice. In this case, give your immune system and liver a little extra TLC (tender loving care) with Orenda Immune. Numerous friends’ and my own experiences highlight this as a key to staying healthy when everyone around you falls victim to the seasonal flu.
6. Find Happiness and Closeness
It may surprise you, but emotional state does affect your immune response. Those who are depressed or otherwise feeling ‘blue’ are more likely to get sick. Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes. Touch, such as hugs or a massage or even petting a dog, is another potent immune booster. Find someone to cuddle with, get a massage, smile more often and you’ll set yourself up for a healthier winter.
Moving your body strengthens not only your body but also your immune system. Plus, it release feel-good endorphins, which boost mood (see #6). However don’t over-exercise as that’ll cause stress, exhaustion, and lowered disease resistance.
Prevent the Flu: As Needed
Sometimes you can feel like you’re getting sick before you fully succumb: scratchy throat, tiredness, low energy, aversion to cold. Now’s the time to stop the flu before it starts.
1. Get Extra Sleep
When you’re feeling sick, the last thing you should do it try to “push through it.” Your body is desperately calling out for rest. When you sleep and stop overworking yourself, your body can rest and repair, recover and heal. Get some sleep and give your body the best chance to fight off the invading virus.
2. Drink Tea
Any hot liquid is a good place to start–no cold drinks. Camellia sinensis (green, oolong, pu-erh) tea can be good because of its anti-viral properties. Hot water with lemon is a great detoxifier for the liver plus it contains Vit C. Ginger tea (boil water with fresh ginger) is a potent cold and flu fighter as its very warming and acts as an antiviral. Rose bud tea is also known in Chinese medicine to prevent colds. Read about my other favorite hot brews for stopping a cold. Any hot drinks will also soothe the scratchiness in the throat.
3. Take Supplements
Its never too late to start taking a Vitamin D or Orenda Immune supplement. So start now if you’ve not already been doing it regularly. (Try to aim for not more than 15,000IU of Vitamin D.) Vitamin C is a great last-minute solution to avoid getting sick, but it works better on colds than the flu. Some people like Echinacea, and it might work for you, but I’ve never felt a significant benefit from it. That being said, don’t discount the placebo effect.
4. Sip Bone Broth
The age old solution for illness: chicken soup. Bone broth is actually a better choice becuase of its nutrient density, which will help supply the body with essential nutrients for health and recovery. Drink it hot for its warming effects.
No, don’t run fast. Avoid eating, meaning fast. Yes, I know this is may seem contrary to the previous suggestion, but it doesn’t need to be. When we eat food, especially grains, GMO, soy, and other fake man-made ingredients, the immune system is alerted to deal with all the food entering the body and gets distracted checking for viruses and other invaders. So when you don’t eat, you free up your immune system to deal with the impending flu virus. With the bone broth, if you’re just sipping the liquid, there’s much less “stuff” and potential for contaminants the body needs to deal with. Liquids like broth, teas, and water are fine. Fast from solid food for a faster recovery.
With all of these healthy principles and quick tips to prevent the flu, you can feel confident you can skip the flu shot and still stay vibrantly healthy this winter.
As always, you are empowered around your health to make the best decision for you. Adopt the long term healthy principles, see how well they can work for you, and you may never need to give the flu shot a second thought. But, if something does start creeping on you, just follow the 5 fast-acting tips to keep that virus away; also you might need to take that as a sign to slow down, sleep, de-stress, and enjoy life smelling the roses again.
When you follow these steps, winter will pass with not more than a sniffle and you’ll be grateful you kept your money, instead of giving it over to Big Pharma for something you don’t really need. Spend that money on a massage or a few minutes in a tanning bed instead, both of which will probably do more for your immune system and flu-prevention that the flu shot.
Leave a comment below and tell us: Do you get a flu shot every year? If not, what do you do to not get sick?