“Flu season” is almost upon us, and with it, influenza vaccine propaganda is everywhere.
I don’t use the word “propaganda” lightly. It has a negative connotation and implies that misinformation is being fed to people to manipulate their beliefs and their actions.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we see when it comes to the influenza and the flu vaccine. And it’s only gotten worse over the last 10 years.
But wait, you say, thousands of people die every year from the flu. We have to get the influenza vaccine so that we are totally protected against getting the flu. And we have to get it every year. They're totally safe!
None of those statements is true.
Let’s break down nine (9) of the biggest myths about influenza and the influenza vaccine.
Whew. My previous blog about why I’m not afraid of measles has gotten over 21,000 hits and 5000 Facebook likes in 3 days. People are so hungry (ahem) for nutritional solutions to health care issues. The feedback for the blog has been overwhelmingly positive, though I have been called all sorts of untoward names. Someone even said to me that using whole food nutritional strategies to boost the immune system was akin to “snake oil.”
There is so much fear out there. There are so many people who truly believe that pharmaceuticals such as drugs and vaccines are the only answer, and without “modern medicine”, we are are all going to die. I have such compassion for people who live in that fear, because a) I used to live that way, and b) it’s not a joyful way to live.
So let me reiterate. We don’t have to be afraid.
In the first segment of our 3-part Empowerment series, I discussed why it’s so important for patients and providers to feel empowered, and how we can use the Internet as a way to stay informed on best current practices. Today, we look at an uglier side of our health care system based on the outdated beliefs that the health care provider is always right, and Western medicine has all the answers.
Except in trauma, Western medicine excels at suppressing symptoms, but it’s not so good at helping people to heal. (I define healing as coming back as strong or even stronger than before the illness or health issue developed.) Even worse, our health care system is rife with practitioners – from all ranks of medicine, both conventional and alternative – who believe that they know better than their patients. And rather than using information to empower their patients, they use fear, coercion, and sometimes force to manipulate their patients into “patient compliance”, making them go along with treatments that are expensive, not evidence based, and/or may cause harm to the patient.
I know these are strong words to use. The problem is, people contact me every week because they want options. They question why their doctor is “requiring” that they or their child endure a treatment or intervention that might cause them harm, whether those treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, or supplements. They feel intuitively there must be a different way, but their provider is not providing them with any options.
It’s the ugly side of our health care system, and it is hurting patients.