To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate?
That is the Question
It’s that time of year again. Days are shorter, nights are longer, leaves are hinting of the changes ahead, and flu shots are being sold on every corner in America. In the last 3 years it seems like everyone from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, senior centers, and township buildings are offering flu shots to the public. In todays article I want to explore the vaccine issue and talk about what you should do if you choose not to get the flu vaccine.
Last week my expecting wife and I went in for a 31 weeks pregnant check up at the OB’s office. Since my wife was pregnant, the OB strongly recommended she get the vaccine to prevent her and our baby from getting the flu. He stated it was safe for my wife and the baby. After respectfully declining the vaccine, we were given a handout outlining the potential pros and cons of the vaccine to take home. To my surprise one of the contraindications to getting the flu vaccine was being less then 6 months old. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why my unborn baby can be exposed to the vaccine, but a child less then 6 months old can not.
While discussing the issue with our OB, I came to a realization: our OB thought we were not getting the flu vaccine because of the potential side effects related to it. While that might be part of our decision on not getting the vaccine, it is not our number one reason. Our number one reason is that both my wife and I are very healthy people with strong immune systems. We have both had the flu just one time in our lives and our bodies kicked the flu’s butt in about 3 days. Why risk the “possible side effects” for something that even if we do get will probably not be a big deal.
While you could probably convince me on the benefits of the flu vaccine for the immune compromised, it just seems like an unnecessary gamble for the average healthy person.
I don’t want to focus on the potential side effects of the flu vaccine in this article, however I do want to share one statistic that scares me. According to Hugh Fundenburg, MD, PhD, one of the world’s leading immunogeneticists who has published over 850 peer-reviewed papers, “if an individual has 5 consecutive flu shots his/her chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease is 10 times greater then if they had one, two or no shots.” He states that this is due to the cumulative buildup of mercury and aluminum from the influenza vaccine.
The focus of this article will also not be on the growing body of evidence that questions the effectiveness and efficacy of the flu vaccine. We are going to focus instead on how to improve your immune system naturally.
How to improve your immunity
If you decide not to get the flu vaccine lets talk about 3 things you can do to keep your bodies own innate immunity working in top shape.
The first and fastest thing you can do to get your immune system working better is something that most of the people reading this article are probably already doing, getting your spine adjusted. While you might have found your way into a chiropractic office because of back pain, there are many other benefits you will experience to your overall health. While your chiropractor fixes your back you will most likely notice that you just don’t get sick as often as you used to. The reason for that is that when your spine is in proper alignment and your nervous system has no pressure on it, your immune system will work more effectively.
I have seen it many times in my office and in my personal life that one’s immune system gets stronger after their spine gets healthier. We also know this through research. Specific immune markers have been proven to increase following an adjustment. What is even more interesting is that when patients were followed over a number of months and years of chiropractic care (i.e. keeping their spine and nervous system healthy) their immune markers got better and better each blood test. WOW!! Powerful stuff!!
The second thing you can do to improve your immune system is SLEEP. Have you ever been working your tail off at your job and at home for a couple weeks or even a couple months in preparation for going on a vacation just to get sick on that vacation? I know I have.
There is a reason for that. The reason is stress and a lack of sleep have a very large effect on your immune system. You can’t be healthy without sleep. It is the rest and repair time for your body. All people need between 7 and 8 hours of good sleep regularly to stay healthy and strong.
One way to keep track of this is to use a product called Wakemate. It is a wristband that you use at night to help monitor how long you sleep and how deep you sleep each night. The wristband syncs to your smart phone and keeps track of the quality of sleep you have. By identifying patterns in your sleep you can find ways to improve it.
The third think you can work on to improve your immunity is diet and supplementation. The performance of your body is directly tied to what you fuel it with. Feeding it lots of good clean water, fresh veggies and fruits, meats from healthy animals, and some dietary supplements can be one of the best investments you can make for your body.
Supplements can be a very key part of a healthy diet for two reasons. One, if you are like me there is just not enough time in the day to get 10 servings of fruits and veggies purchased, cleaned and cooked each day. Second, the foods in our grocery store no longer have the dense nutrient content they once did. Did you know that it would take 50 lbs. of today’s grocery store spinach to get the same amount of Iron that was in 1 lb. of spinach back in the 1930’s? WOW!!
Three supplements that are great for your immune system are a good general “whole food” supplement, fish oil, and Calcium Lactate. Beyond that there are many others that show efficacy including Echinacea, Vit-C, and trace minerals.
In summary my plan to avoid getting the flu this year is not to inject myself with dead flu parts and god knows what else, but to focus on improving my body’s innate ability to take care of itself through keeping my spine and nervous system healthy, sleeping enough, and eating healthy foods. This is a formula that has been around for a long time with good success for many people.