Happy Flu season everyone! Believe it or not if you are someone like me, flu season is not the end of the world. I stopped getting the flu shot when I was 19. I know most doctors tell me it is all in my head, but every time I got the flu shot I always got the flu. I’ve been without the flu shot for almost 10 years now and I have not gotten the flu once.
I have nothing against the flu shot, it’s not just me. While I do not have an actual study to provide for you, whenever I ask doctors and nurses why they do not get the flu shot, they always say they do not have time to get sick. What I think is incredible is that if you walk into any hospital (as I do daily with my volunteer gig) you see most doctors and nurses wearing masks, which means they decided not to get the flu shot themselves. When I asked some nurses why they chose to get the flu shot they responded, “because wearing that mask all day every day is the worst, and either I wear the mask or I must get the flu shot.”
According to the CDC the flu vaccine in the previous years has been 37-48% effective. What I think most people do not realize is that when scientists create the flu vaccine every year, they are simply guessing as to which strain will be prevalent that year, so there is a 50/50 chance that it will be effective.
The symptoms of the common cold and the flu can be similar. It is important to know the difference because while a cold can certainly leave you feeling miserable, the flu can lead to hospitalization or pneumonia. A cold usually starts with a sore throat, and the symptoms progress slowly. You can develop a runny and stuffy nose, headache, and possibly a slight fever. Flu symptoms come on fast and can include high fever, cough, headache, congestion, and sore throat. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur with certain kinds of flu strains. They also include muscle weakness and feeling very ill for days or weeks.
“Well, if I don’t get the flu shot, what am I supposed to do?” This is where I talk about black elderberry, also known as Sambucus Nigra. This berry has become very well known around the “crunchy” communities and people searching for natural answers. This berry contains anti-viral properties, especially those associated with the flu. This is why it is becoming so popular right now, not only can it help prevent the flu, but if you’re unlucky enough to get it, it can help speed up the recovery process. Black Elderberry is also good to boost your immune system. There are even studies that prove this works! I recommend people take it daily.
I personally take elderberry every day. It has kept me safe from colds, flus and stomach bugs for several years. Volunteering on an ambulance I probably take 10-15 people a month to the hospital around this time with the flu and I have never once gotten sick. I’d love to say it’s all my awesome genes, but I’m pretty sure elderberry has something to do with it.
I always recommend acupuncture + elderberry for optimal health. I get chiropractic and acupuncture treatments as often as possible to keep my body as healthy as it can be. For me, biweekly is the best plan and if I try not to go any longer length of time without it. Generally, in an acupuncture treatment, we discuss all the ways you can help keep your body healthy. We discuss a healthy diet, ways to manage stress and even essential oils that can help keep your body at optimal health. Each treatment is tailored to the specific person so that I can get you feeling your best quickly.
Acupuncture can be effective in helping to prevent the flu as well as treating its symptoms. Studies have concluded that this form of treatment helps patients by elevating immune-enhancing hormones and blood count up to three days after treatment. This means that acupuncture can help improve the immune system, which plays a key role in fighting off colds and the flu. Acupuncture can also help with symptoms by reducing chills, fever, body aches, sore throat, and cough by helping the body expel the virus more quickly.
Acupuncture for the flu targets certain pressure points in the body to help improve immunity and reduce symptoms. For example, certain points where the nose meets the eye socket can be targeted to help reduce congestion, headaches, and tired eyes. There are many different points that can be targeted with an acupuncture needle to help with symptoms and prevention. As an acupuncturist I can tailor a regimen to any individual’s needs. This is more effective than “one shot for all” approach.
I recently spoke with one of the women I volunteer with who told me she had tried every over the counter remedy for the cold/flu she has. “Caitlin, I tried Tamiflu, Mucinex, Elderberry, Echinacea, and Alka Seltzer drops and nothing is working! Some of them make me feel a little better, but nothing to write home about.” When I spoke to her about acupuncture and the way it could help her feel better faster she was skeptical (as most people are), but she decided to give me one chance. She came in early the next day and we went over what she was experiencing, any diet changes I would recommended and I even gave her an essential oil to take him and try to help open up her nasal passages. After I inserted the needles, I went into my office to start some paperwork and 5 minutes later she was standing next to me with all the needles still intact. “Caitlin! I can swallow again! I have had such thick mucus I haven’t been able to fully swallow in weeks!” While I was super happy to hear that, I told her to try not to move with needles in and I took her back the room to relax.
She was so grateful after treatment, but I told her if she came back 2 more times that week that I fully believed we could get rid of this for good. She came back and within a week she was back to work and feeling 95% better. Since she’s feeling so good, she’s set to come in once a month just so that she keeps her body balanced and prevents herself from getting sick again.
Each person is unique and it is my job to help figure out how best to keep each person healthy. So yes, I highly recommend elderberry to everyone whether they got the flu shot or not, but I do believe if you’re looking for overall healing, acupuncture with elderberry is the best way to protect yourself during the flu season.
Call me for an appointment today and start to feel your best again!