by Dr. Denise Chranowski, co-founder 8WW program
Many patients ask me about the flu shot. I can tell you honestly that not one of the 5 chiropractors in our office has EVER had a flu shot. That’s about 260 human years not receiving a flu shot. We practice and believe in a holistic lifestyle. That lifestyle follows the approach that the body is a self-healing, self regulating organism. Yes, we do occasionally get sick. But we inherently trust the wisdom of our bodies to heal us of our sickness. Now of course for that to happen we actually have to practice what we preach. We have to eat right and exercise. We have to get adjusted and we take our supplements. We practice mindful meditation and we get frequent massages. Therefore it is not just good luck that we rarely get sick and we more rarely get the flu, it’s good choices.
Dr. Dane, my twin brother and co-founder of the 8WW program, frequently says that a motto he lives his life by is “you can’t have it both ways.” So if you choose to not eat right and to not exercise, if you choose to not get adjusted regularly or strengthen your peace of mind muscles through meditation and massage, well then perhaps you’ll feel differently about the flu shot than I do. But by getting a flu shot what you are saying is that you prefer an outside/in approach. You believe in the medical approach to the treatment of disease. So then you must ask, ‘does getting a flu shot actually prevent the flu?” The answer will surprise you.
The Lancet in October, 2005 published a systematic review of all previous studies testing vaccines for the flu. It showed that they are NOT effective in preventing the flu or “influenza-like illness” or pneumonia in the elderly population. Another article published in the Lancet, February 2005 concluded they could not find a single study that assessed reductions in mortality, serious complications or even community transmission of the disease in the vast database of research papers that they searched.
I reached out to Dr. David Brady, a former professor of mine at Texas Chiropractic College and currently Vice Provost of Health Sciences at University of Bridgeport. He had this to say about the flu vaccine.
“Other examples of concern and potential political and economic influences in the flu vaccination debate include when, in response to the supposed swine flu pandemic back in 2009, vaccine manufacturers rushed out the H1N1 vaccine and put it into mass production. Pharmacies and health clinics nationwide seized the opportunity to distribute the shots, handing them out to millions through various vaccine outlets and convenience-based H1N1 stations. Millions received the vaccine containing 25 micrograms of thimerosal, which is made up of approximately 50% mercury, causing the vaccine to contain over 250 times the EPA’s safety limit for mercury exposure. Cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome began springing up world-wide, a deadly nerve disease that government health officials admitted months later was linked to the H1N1 vaccine.”
Here’s the bottom line – rather than depend on an outside-in approach, such as a flu shot, to “get you” healthy, we advise an inside-out to get and keep your immune system strong so that you don’t get sick in the first place. Get adjusted, exercise, practice meditation, eat a healthy diet, supplement with good vitamins and get massaged. That’s our approach.