The mainstream media are now reporting the onset of a swine flu â€œemergency.â€ Yet controversy is raging over the safety and efficacy of the government-approved vaccine.
The strain known as H1N1 supposedly hits children and young people the hardest. The elderly are said to be similarly at risk. Deaths are being reported, as are shortages of vaccine at some locations.
Government officials are making the TV rounds, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who says the vaccine is â€œsafe and secureâ€ and â€œright on target with an immune response.â€
Yet Americans are deeply skeptical. According to a poll by AOL news, 61 percent say they do not plan to get the vaccine. Only 21 percent are â€œvery worriedâ€ about the flu outbreak.
In fact the alliance between the federal government and the big pharmaceutical companies to push the H1N1 vaccine has ignited a populist revolt. The debate that is raging on Capitol Hill over national health care insurance had already exposed the health care industry as being far more concerned with profits than they are with people. H1N1 came along just in time to carry the revolt a step further.
An example of how the pharmaceutical industry is obsessed with the bottom line is shown by the difference in prices between proprietary medicines and their generic equivalents. A report by Life Extension magazine found that such well-known drugs as Celebrex, Lipitor, and Prozac had enormous mark-ups, topped by Xanaz, marked-up from 2.4 cents to $136.79 per 100 tablets!
No wonder many people are turning to alternative remedies, including improved nutrition or use of supplements such as vitamin C. To combat this, the government has gone on the attack, with the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission sending warning letters to over 140 product vendors. On the list is famed alternative healer Dr. Andrew Weil for statements on his website about his Immune Support Formula containing astragalus, an herbal mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine that is said to increase the bodyâ€™s immune response.
Another natural preventive for flu and many other illnesses is simply to drink plenty of clean, filtered water, preferably fresh spring or well water, or water that has been ionized through an alkanization process. Recently the Natural News website published an interview done several years ago with a Dr. Batmanghelidj, who published extensive research that demonstrates how many illnesses for which doctors prescribe expensive and dangerous drugs are really caused by dehydration, including many diseases affecting the elderly. Click Here
One result of dehydration, for instance, is deterioration of the walls of blood vessels. In order to repair the damage, the body produces more cholesterol, which Dr. Barmanghelidj calls â€œa waterproof bandageâ€ for the cardio-vascular system. Then, when this extra cholesterol shows up in blood tests, doctors prescribe powerful drugs like Lipitor which can have devastating side-effects. It would most likely be better simply to tell people to drink more water.
Finally, the enormous pressure being brought to bear on the population to take the H1N1 vaccine has added to a huge and growing controversy over whether vaccines are safe at all. An increasing number of commentators are linking the growing use of vaccines to what some call an epidemic of childhood autism and other neurological disorders. Recall that the swine flu scare of 1976 led to discontinuation of the vaccine back then when it caused a number of deaths and a surge in paralysis from Guillan-Barre syndrome.
See for instance, the work of Dr. Andrew Moulden of Canada, whose work has linked vaccines to a â€œsludgingâ€ effect in the tiniest blood vessels in the brain which may be related to onset of such diseases as dementia, multiple sclerosis, autism, and even schizophrenia, along with many childhood learning disabilities. Dr. Moulen has even suggested a possible link between the frequent administration of flu vaccines to the elderly and the onset of alzheimerâ€™s. Click Here
But there is an even deeper problem with modern medicine, which is that it is almost completely materialistic in its assumptions and approach.
Modern medicine views disease as a mechanistic process, caused either by â€œgerms,â€ chemical imbalances, or genetics. This leads to the assumption that for every illness, there is a physical cure, either by killing the offending micro-organism, restoring chemical balance through a pill, or cutting out the failed or offending body part by surgery.
The materialistic outlook has even taken over the practice of psychiatric medicine. If a person is depressed, disturbed, anxious, or unhappy, donâ€™t look at the possible causes in that personâ€™s outlook, environment, diet, habits, addictions, or value system. Just give them an anti-depressent or even an anti-psychotic. Never mind that these drugs may just suppress symptoms or even reduce the person to almost a vegetative state. On the surface, at least, they seem to be â€œgetting betterâ€ or at least causing less trouble!
But in some circles, an entirely different world-view is emerging. We know, for instance, about the holistic approach to medicine that sees a person as not just a bundle of chemical reflexes but a complete human being with a mind, heart, body, and spirit, all of which need to work more or less in harmony for optimum health to result.
But how often is this knowledge really practiced by people day-in and day-out?
A whole new industry of holistic health practitioners has come into existence, including those who practice acupuntrure, acupressure, reiki, hypnosis, massage, and body-work, including yoga, tai-chi, qi-gong, etc.There is also a growing awareness that a regular practice of prayer and spiritual devotion also benefits the whole person, including the physical body.
The deepest of these holistic practices may in fact be meditation. Meditative or contemplative prayer is a central component of religious practice within both the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, and meditation is the central discipline of all lines of Buddhism. Yoga also includes meditation, and in some types of yogic practice is the core discipline.
Are people who meditate more healthy? I am not aware of any scientific studies, but based on my own experience with many different types of meditation which includes association with various groups, schools, and teachers of meditation, I would have to say they appear to be. Or at least they worry less about their physical health, take illness more in stride, and are able to recover faster when it occurs.
One thing is sure: long-term practice of meditation on a daily basis seems to raise the energy level of the body. This makes a difference because the body is like an energy-filled vessel. If this energy leaks through negative emotions, unnecessary physical tension, and the constant churning of the mind, the body will suffer a general state of depletion, which is bound to make it more susceptible to disease. It also makes a difference if one avoids much of the jarring imagery churned out by the mass media through violent and disturbing films, TV programming, video games, etc.
These health-related factors which have been understood by traditional societies for millennia are also starting to be realized by millions of ordinary people in every walk of life. Combined with a nutritious diet, physical exercise, positive relationships, and productive work, a rich inner life of prayer and meditation produces a multitude of benefits, not the least of which seems to be improved physical health and greater resistance to infections such as swine flu.
By Richard C. Cook, Global Research 10/25/2009