Sharon Ufberg, DC offers advice and news about whether or not to get a flu shot this coming season.

by Sharon Ufberg, DC

With all the media coverage about Swine (H1N1) flu , more of your patients than ever will be asking for advice about whether or not to get a flu shot this coming season.

Here is some good news to share. In August 2010, the World Health Organization officially stated that the Swine (H1N1) flu pandemic is over. That means that all the worries of a worldwide flu disaster are history. There has been lots of buzz about why the flu scare got so blown out of proportion and who may be to blame. For a comprehensive dose of flu related information, I recommend Dr. Mercola’s site. Below are links to two of his postings with lots of statistics and references to help better understand the flu vaccine controversy.

We, as practitioners, are often turned to for trusted advice amidst a media onslaught of Pharma advertising about health care issues, the flu shot controversy is no exception. Collect the facts and be prepared to share what you know.

I always advise my patients to get as much information as possible before making any health care choice for their family. Helping patients find reliable sources to make those decisions is one of our most important responsibilities. Emphasizing decision making based on what has been proven to be safe, effective and necessary is a good start.

I do tell my patients that I never have taken a flu shot and do not recommend the vaccine based on current studies for my family. Increasing resistance to disease and a lifestyle that leans toward prevention is my mantra. Encouraging a regular exercise regimen, eating a whole food, organic diet, drinking a clean fresh source of water, getting adequate sunshine and controlling stress levels is still the best way I know to stay healthy as the colder, darker weather seasons approach.

While enjoying a nice warm September day, it is hard to believe that cooler weather is right around the corner. We know to expect an increase in contact with people with cold and flu symptoms. Now is the time to remind our staff and patients to take extra precautions and recommit to a few good habits that can make a profound difference in our overall health this coming season.
Here are few easy-to-follow ideas that everyone should already be doing:

1. Increase the time and frequency of hand washing. Get rid of any of those anti-bacterial soaps but be sure to use warm, soapy water and wash frequently throughout the day and especially before meals.

2. Maintain a sufficient level of exercise. This gets harder as the days shorten and the weather cools. Advise the setting aside of time to find some variety in workout routines especially adding some options that may be done from the comfort of home. The internet is filled with free, interesting and diverse videos to follow for every age and energy level. I find and sample new yoga videos year round.

3. Encourage everyone to keep up their vitamin and mineral supplementation. Especially being sure to recommend getting enough Vitamin D and Vitamin C. Having a handout with the supplements you recommend and their dosage plus a trusted supplier helps patients tremendously.

Enjoy the lovely autumn weather and be well!

Links to flu vaccine information via