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Healthy, Holistic Ways to Avoid and Beat the Flu

Natural healing options can keep the flu at bay and the body healthier all year.

Well, it's here again.  The yearly flu terror has begun.  Granted, this year's strain does seem to be particularly nasty, and it has caused deaths nationwide already.  The flu is a serious airborn virus that can lay you low.  It can be deadly to the immune impaired, elderly and small children. Now we are finding that the flu shot, touted as it is, may not be all the protection we have been led to believe. In some cases, the shot is less than 60% effective in preventing influenza.

Why, you may ask, is this so? Because as you must know, there are literally thousands of strains of influenza. The virus is a past master at mutation.   Every year, they take a chance and decide which is most likely to be the strain that attacks. Sometimes they get it right and other times, not so much.  If you want your hair to curl, here is a quote from the former head of the FDA's vaccine control department,  Dr. J. Anthony Morris :

"There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza. The producers of these vaccines know they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway."

Don't come for me with the burning torches! This was said by the head of a very powerful department in the FDA! When I read this quote, I snorted green tea up my nose in shock!

I never, ever get a flu shot.  I'm not advocating that you do the same, it's my choice to forego the yearly ritual.  The sickest I ever got in my life was the one time I got a flu shot. The year was 1980 and I contracted every bug, virus and respiratory infection floating around that year. I had pneumonia so badly that I feared I might not recover. I have never had another flu shot to this day. Later in my life, I found Natural Healing and I believe that it has saved me a lifetime of illness and pain. 

I am exposed to patients who come into the office with varying degrees of sickness and contagion. This may be dumb luck, but I think it has more to do with the steps I take to prevent infection and boost my immunity.

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I wash my hands, a lot. I wash my hands every time I handle something in a store or shake hands with someone or use a grocery cart.  I use soap and water and also hand sanitizer when I'm out.  I avail myself of the sanitary wipes they offer at the entrance of most grocery stores and I wipe the handles of the cart as well as the steering wheel of my car.

I keep my fingers out of my mouth and nose, I refrain from rubbing my eyes and I don't stick swabs in my ears. Call me crabby, but I avoid kissing folks on the cheek and/or the lips. Never, ever kiss your kids on the lips during flu season.

I use an all natural spray to deodorize the air and kill airborne bacteria and viruses at home. It's made of undiluted essential oils of grapefruit, lime and eucalyptus and it not only kills nasty germs, it will open your sinuses like a cannon blast. I spray it in my room before bed and I spray it on my pillows.  I spray it in my office when someone sneezes and spreads droplets of contagion all over the place. You can make the spray yourself using essential oils, or you can purchase it at www.herbdoc.com.

I take colostrum every day, four caps with eight ounces of water. I often take Airborne before going out and when I have been in a large group of people.

I drink water, keep warm and try to get enough sleep. I wash all my towels and bedding in hot water and oxygen bleach.  When the dog comes in after her walk, I use baby wipes on her paws and muzzle.

I use a sealed system vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and I wash my floors with a solution of natural orange based cleaner. Then, I finish it off with a good going over with my steam mop. I do this every day.

I eat a good diet with lots of dark greens and I juice once a week. I buy frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones since you have no idea who was fingering the broccoli rabe or sneezing on the snap peas before you bag it up and take it home. Salad bars are also a nightmare, sneeze shields or not!

At the very first sign of an ache, I load vitamin C, double my colostrum and take occillococcinum immediately. You can purchase Dr. Schulze's  excellent cold and flu "shot" at the aforementioned web site and they are very good to have on hand.

I also advocate the use of a facemask when you go out in crowded public places. Planes, trains, malls, and your workplace are all dandy venues to get the bug. I would rather have people give me funny looks than spray me with their viruses!  It is a matter of etiquette to do so in Asia, where you would be thought a boor if you had a cold or flu and didn't mask.

Above all, stay positive! It seems to me that the media is never so happy as when it gleefully terrorizes us with dark news of epidemics and disasters. Watch cartoons instead of the news. Laughter boosts your immunity.

If you're sick, STAY HOME. If your child is sick, KEEP HIM HOME. Better to make up your work than to be the cause of spreading contagion. Staying home and taking care of yourself can also shorten the duration of your illness. How many times have people gone to work sick only to become even more ill? Not to mention making their work and schoolmates ill as well. Same for going back too soon and relapsing.

Tell your children not to share drinks and snacks with friends and to wipe their desks down with germicidal wipes. This is especially important when they begin to change classes and desks.

If you are coughing and sneezing, do us all a favor and cover your mouth and nose when you do so. I am always disgusted at the discourtesy of those who seem to think they have no germs to spread or that we all love inhaling droplets of their sputum. Be responsible when you are ill.

Remember, the flu is a virus. Antibiotics are useless against viruses so taking them for the flu is not only worthless, it makes you more vulnerable to resistant strains of bacteria.

Fever, unpleasant as it is, is your body's immune response to infection.  You can tame a very high fever with cool catnip tea compresses in your arm pits and groin and by taking a warm bath with a cup of dead sea salts in the bath water. Drink lots of water to flush cellular debris and avoid dehydration. Keep Pedialyte and Gatorade on hand.

Taking the flu shot is up to the individual, but there are many ways to fight and boost your immunity without it.

Dr. Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or e-mail. Call 631.472.8139 for an appointment.

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