Is the flu shot effective this year?

The flu shot. How effective is it this year?

This flu season could be a doozy. With an early round of influenza circulating, the question on the minds of many is, “Will the flu shot protect me?” If not, what can I do about it

If you’ve already had the flu shot, you’re not in the clear. Every year there are a panel of experts who try to guess what strain of the flu will be most prevalent. The experts send their predictions to the drug companies who make the vaccine. As the Washington Post reports, this year everybody got it wrong. The H3N2, a common strain of the virus, has arrived earlier in the season and has become “different or drifted from what was originally predicted.”

Simply put, this year’s vaccine isn’t a great match for the strains that are circulating. Already, doctors have seen a more severe flu. This outbreak has lead to more hospitalizations and deaths than previous years.

With the bad news, comes good.  First, doctors suggest you still get the flu shot. The current vaccine is effective against 50% of the flu circulating. Without it, some doctors say you are leaving yourself unprotected. At Aligned Modern Health, we respect that vaccination is a personal choice for you to make with your primary care physician. This is why we offer a variety of health services that compliment your wellness strategy.

With or without the flu shot, a growing number of people are opting to boost their immune systems and lower their risk for infections with Acupuncture. For thousands of years, Acupuncture has been used in tandem with the earliest forms of vaccinations. As early as the 11th century, the Chinese were using smallpox vaccinations along with what we now call Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

In TCM theory, our first line of defense starts with our “qi energy” (pronounced “chee”). It circulates under our skin, regulating sweating and immunity. This controls  the opening and closing of our pores which helps prevent disease and infection.

A healthy body is governed by balanced qi, which is needed for an effective immune system. As Acupuncture becomes more popular, research is proving that it actually works. Science shows that Acupuncture treatment increases white blood cells in the body and improves their actions. This moderates the immune system and allows it to quickly react to any threats. Doctors call this “The Augmentation Theory,” which also beneficially raises levels of triglycerides, specific hormones, prostaglandins, gamma globulins, opsonins and overall anti-body levels.

Evidence shows this positive bi-product of all acupuncture treatments can benefit your health whether or not you’re feeling under the weather. Prevention is the first step. In addition to acupuncture, we  encourage a balanced strategy that includes: lowering levels of stress, sleeping well and regularly, and eating quality food in the appropriate amounts. Complimenting our wellness offerings, we also offer an integrative a Functional Nutrition Program that addresses a variety of conditions that impact your immune system.

To ensure your body is fully equipped with it’s natural capacity to fend off the flu, please click here to learn more about our Acupuncture and Functional Nutrition services.