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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Flu Bug is Bugging Me

No, I don't have the flu, nor am I ill in any way.  This flu season vaccine thing is just bugging me.  If there is a flu season, and its from Sept to March, where does the flu disappear to from April to August?  Is it hiding in the closet? Is it floating in mid air waiting for September?  Where is it and why don't people "catch" it during the summer?

These are the questions I have had for quite a few years actually.  I can't remember ever having influenza so I am no expert on the illness or how it makes you feel, but I have done some research on flu vaccine.   Understand, of course, that this is my own opinion, not to be used as any kind of medical advice. Flu vaccine is made available all over the northern hemisphere from Sept to March.  Some people in the business world are required and forced to be vaccinated, others who may be elderly or pregnant are recommended to get the vaccine and they do it.  According to the CDC, the flu vaccines are only 19% effective.  WHO and CDC get together and try to guess which flu strain will be coming in the next year so they can put together some sort of effective vaccine for that strain.  Then the real reason for the vaccine, MONEY.  They can sell the vaccine to you and me, (not me) and someone becomes wealthy. The vaccine is helpful to many but many more are just bothered with the side effects of the shot. According to Healthline. com, some of those include muscle aches, headache, fever, runny nose and sore throat, hmmm, sounds like the flu doesn't it?

So, back to the original question, where does the flu go in the summer? Gotcha!! It doesn't go anywhere!!  It's right here where it always is. It's just not growing and sharing its self with us as well as in the winter.  Cold air creates the ideal conditions for the influenza virus and it can survive better in the cold winter months so therefore, we "catch" it, and share it with each other.

What I would like to discuss now, is, how to lessen your chances of catching it or at least how to make it more tolerable.  Keeping your body healthy is the best vaccine.  Easy enough, right? Good Health is fairly cheap and doesn't take time out of your work week to lie in bed or visit a doctor. Eating healthy foods and getting plenty of rest can keep your body in shape for any season. 
Food gives your body the strength it needs to produce its own natural vaccines, and eating seasonal foods is even better.  For the month of September it's best to be eating apples, pears, peaches, apricots, and grapes,winter squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, and Jerusalem artichokes, all of which help to balance blood sugar and boost the immune system. Also, drink enough water to flush the system regularly.  A healthy gut is a healthy body.

The other vital part of remaining healthy during flu season, is the mind.  How do you react to flu advertisements?  The idea of advertising the flu is just not right folks.  It seems to me that we only advertise to make money, right? Then advertising the flu must mean someone stands to make money from it, right? But how do these ads effect the community in which they are playing around the country?  The power of suggestion is real. According to the Association for Psychological Science, "what we expect, influences our behavior for better or for worse".  As we hear and see the suggestions in articles and advertising for the "up and coming flu season", our mind will expect it and we will become ill.  Keeping a healthy outlook and a positive mind will help overcome these suggestions.  Know that your body is healthy, keep a positive attitude about life in general. Make an effort to do self talk each day and lift your spirits before starting out.  Exercise and meditation are excellent forms of mindfulness that can help you resist the power of suggestion and negativity that surround you everyday.  Be in tune with your own body. It knows what you need. More rest, more or different food, more water, or more fun.

The body is a powerful machine and it can resist. The healthier we are, the less likely we are to get the flu bug.  Keep a smile on your face and a positive thought in your mind and you are on your way to being the best that you can be. 

Best wishes for the week : )