Do you want to avoid the flu and stay healthy?
Here is information to help you avoid the flu. Are you worried about staying healthy during this cold and flu season? If so you are in good company of concerned citizens. There are whole families suffering from the current creeping crud. This article is about things you can do to keep yourself safe and sound.
First let me says that if you want to avoid the flu: this is prime time to come in for immune boosting acupuncture. (See my special offer at the bottom.) Science shows that acupuncture naturally ramps up the activities of your immune system to help keep you strong, when you are exposed to colds or flu.
Rather than freaking about the cooties floating about, I encourage you to take steps to enhance your remarkable immune system, boost that remarkable immune system AND help others do the same. Here is valuable information about exactly that!
What doctors say to do about how to avoid the flu
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends:
Get a flu shot.
The best form is the inactivated influenza vaccine or the recombinant influenza vaccine. At this time, the CDC is not recommending the nasal spray, also known as live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) for the 2017-2018 flu season.
”High-risk” populations strongly encouraged to get the flu shot include:
People over 65 years of age,
Children (older than 6-months)**,
People with chronic health issues such as: asthma, COPD, emphysema, diabetes, and heart problems.
**Please note that flu shots are not given to children under the age of 6 months. However, it is strongly recommended that child caregivers are vaccinated as a precaution. 1
But I have heard the flu shot is not working?
Yes, you may have heard that this year’s flu shot is not effective for the virus strains which are circulating. So how does this help you to avoid the flu? It is correct that the effectiveness for the current flu vaccine is lower than in past years. Getting a flu shot will not necessarily guarantee that you do not get the flu. However, it can give your body some benefits with respect to developing antibodies similar to the viruses which currently causing illness in our communities.
How are flu shots made each year anyway?
More than 100 flu centers in over 100 countries do year-round surveillance on flu viruses. Thousands of samples from patients from all over the world are collected and studied before each flu season. In February of each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) determines which viruses are most indicated for inclusion in the flu vaccination for the Northern hemisphere. (In September of each year, the WHO does the same for the Southern hemisphere.)
Vaccines then are researched, tested, and assembled for our part of the world to be available before the end of October. If you live in the United States, it is best to get a flu shot before the end of October. There are 5 World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centers which are giant laboratories all across the globe participate which in research and development for each year’s flu shot.
Atlanta, Georgia: The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC
London: The United Kingdome Francis Crick Institute.
Melbourne, Australia: The Victoria Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory.
Tokyo, Japan: The National Institute for Infectious Diseases.
Beijing, China: The National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention.
Why do flu shots sometimes fail ?
When people get the flu even after getting a flu shot, it is not for lack of effort by the-powers-that-be developing the season’s flu shot. There are many variables that come into play with respect to getting the flu or staying healthy. Here are some reasons why a flu shot might not give optimal immunity.
- The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that proposed viruses to be included in flu shots be grown in chicken eggs. After being grown, they then must be tested and after those steps, a vaccine goes to production. However, some viruses do not grow well in chicken eggs. That is the case for the H3N2 flu strain which is a main player on the flu stage right now. It does not grow as well in chicken eggs; but can wreak havoc within the human body. All flus are “bad flus”. However, H3N2 is even bigger player. A version of it was responsible for the 1918 flu epidemic as well as the Swine Flu outbreak in 2009.
- This year’s H3N2 strain actually mutated during the development stage of the flu shot. This complicates effectiveness.
- Some strains of flu can occur late in a flu season. So, they are essentially unknown during vaccine development time then pop up late in the season and make people sick.
- On top of the above variables, the US population overall has had less exposure to H3N2 in recent years. When a flu strain circulates around communities, people will develop immunities. However, if large segments of the population have not recently been exposed to a specific strain such as H3N2, then that strain will have more of an ability to cause illness.2
How to help avoid the flu:
During flu season: get acupuncture at least once per month!
I currently have special immune boost sessionsàpriced at $89.
Your first immune boost treatment also includes one set of complimentary
homeopathic oral remedies too.
These are ideal to take during cold and flu season to help keep immune support going in between sessions. The remedies are safe for children and adults, do not taste bad, and can be used whether you get or do not get a flu shot.
During flu season: wipe off items which easily spread germs. Anything touched by many hands can spread viruses. Here are some day-to-day items you might not necessarily consider:
Glasses in restaurants,
Magazines in waiting rooms,
Counters at the post office and grocery,
Shopping carts and baskets,
Computer equipment & mousepads,
Tray tables and armrests in airplanes or on buses.
There is a lot value in physically knocking off little cooties which can hang out on surfaces and in public places. Carry alcohol based hand sanitizer or bleach based wipes with you. Use these on things you touch after you know someone else or lots of someone(s) have likely touched the same thing. Invest in bacteriostatic computer mousepads and make sure to wipe off computer equipment used by many parties or in homes with children.
During flu season: avoid touching your face while out in public and wash your hands immediately upon arriving home.
During flu season: refrain from shaking hands.
Although it might seem socially off-putting, it can be the difference in keeping you healthy. One of my clients flies all over the world weekly for her work. During flu season, she declines business handshakes and simply, cordially says:
“I would shake your hand but during this intense cold and flu season my doctor has advised that I temporarily avoid handshakes.” The most recent time she declined a handshake the person with their hand extended admitted he was ‘fighting a cold’. Her good habit of declining handshakes at this time of year shielded her from an exposure.
During flu season: avoid refined sugar as much as possible.
It reduces immune function.
During flu season: take in a small amount (i.e.: a teaspoon) of local honey once per day
. It improves immune function.
During flu season: cover your neck or neck and ears when you are outdoors.
A simple scarf will do the trick. This is especially important to do in windy or damp weather. Oriental medicine considers the acu-points at the back of the neck to be delicate areas, which are easily attacked and can lead to cold and flu exposures.
During flu season: refer to the Centers for Disease Control website especially for weekly updated reports.
This is very helpful link if you or a loved one fly a lot to different parts of the U.S https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm
Thank you for reading!
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Karen Reynolds, LAc, RN Acupuncture for Optimal Health
All content here is written personally by me in with the goal that it is be helpful to you. As long as you include the link for this blog entry to credit me as the author, it is fine to repost or share if you wish.
For scheduling information and appointment availability, do please visit my website at: KReynoldsAcupuncture.com.
~Karen Reynolds, RN, MS, LAc