There is no one right way to care for your body. Optimal health takes on a different meaning for each individual because we are all unique. There are many different avenues to consider as you strive to reach your optimal health potential. With winter and flu season just around the corner, it is never too soon to start building a natural defense against colds or to consider other options, such as a flu vaccine. Like most decisions in life, the best decision you can make is an informed one.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention a flu vaccine is the most effective way to guard against colds and flu. However, it’s almost impossible to predict the strain of flu that’s going to hit, which makes it hard to match the proper vaccine. If not well matched, it’s possible that NO BENEFIT from vaccination may be observed. During years when the viruses in the vaccine and circulating viruses are very well matched, it’s possible to measure substantial benefits from vaccination in terms of preventing influenza illness. This is one reason why the flu virus can be deadly for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems; therefore the vaccine could be lifesaving for these high-risk groups.
However, for the majority of the population, the vaccine may be unnecessary. What may make you take a pause is that most vaccines still contain harmful ingredients including formaldehyde, a flammable human carcinogen used in building materials and household products, hydrocortisone, which is prescribed for use only on skin as it can be toxic if ingested, and mercury, a known neurotoxin. In addition to toxic ingredients, the flu vaccine may have side effects including allergic reactions, fever, muscle aches, runny nose, headaches, sore throat, and cough. Sounds a lot like the flu!
As an alternative, there are many natural ways to build a strong, healthy immune system including a well-balanced diet, supplementation, stress management, acupuncture and chiropractic care. Some supplements to keep in mind are garlic, zinc, and Echinacea. Garlic contains antibiotic properties and is known for fighting the common cold and has an overall positive effect on boosting immunity. The latest research shows zinc may shorten the duration of a cold and even prevent one, if taken regularly, and Echinacea may help strengthen the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells.
Stress weakens our immune system and overall health. Research shows chronic stress (stress which lasts more than a month) can increase your risk for colds. On the contrary, effective stress management reduces the risk, duration, and even severity of colds. Acupuncture helps to manage the effects of stress on the body, while at the same time boosting the immune system. And last but not certainly not least, chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost the coordination of the nervous system and immune system, improving the body’s ability to fight off colds and flu more effectively!