Troll through Facebook, turn on the news, or go to the main page of Yahoo and it’s all there. Bold scary letters, threatening titles, and fingers being pointed in every direction of who to blame and how to control the most recent flu epidemic. As a chiropractor, I have no doubt that my fellow colleges have our opinions on some of these hot topics like the flu vaccine, the CDC, mandatory vaccinations, etc. Today, we will steer away from the nitty-gritty details of those issues and will focus on how we can help our patients stay level-headed and informed so they can make the best decisions for their health and well being.
Depending on your country, your state, etc. there is a very tight scope of practice when discussing medications, vaccinations and most medical procedures. First, I share articles on my Facebook page. I encourage my patients to “like it” and I start a slow creep of information through social media. I have had more than one patient ask me if I get the flu shot or why I posted a certain article on Facebook. I gladly tell them why I do or don’t participate in certain medical procedures.
I try and stay away from emotionally charged or bold statements like, “The vaccine isn’t designed to prevent the fake flu, unless pigs can fly.” (Realfarmacy.com) In my mind, addressing this statement in any capacity won’t help. Now we sound just as crazy as mainstream media.
I like facts. For example, “[According to CDC statistics,] ‘influenza and pneumonia’ took 62,034 lives in 2001, of which 61,777 were attributable to pneumonia and 257 to flu. In only 18 of those cases, the flu was positively identified.” (Realfarmacy.com)
Isn’t that statement nice? This statement comes from the CDC which has numbers and shows some stats that are a quite a bit harder to find in the news.
So are you trying to tell me that I can read articles, publications, and research papers from other countries? Are you kidding me; I am an American! Ok, all kidding aside, there is a massive amount of research and information coming out on all kinds of issues plaguing Western countries. Europe has different laws, regulations, and governing agencies that allow for different testing then what is being done in the US.
Let’s say your trying to educate patients on the other side of the coin, like with the flu vaccine (for chiropractors we usually have more than one topic we like to educate patients about). I like to give patients other sources to educate them. My favorite place to start is in European journals. I usually go for England. Hey, why make life more difficult? No verb conjugating necessary.
Even concerning the flu epidemic, I went to bmj.com for the British Medical Journal. They have research and articles from as far back at 2013, discussing the CDC, the flu stats, and different ideas concerning the vaccine.
Ultimately, going online for any kind of information can lead us straight down the rabbit hole of worry, fear, and disgust. This leads us into tip number three.
I think, no matter what epidemic, media induced mania, health crisis, etc is overtaking the world at any given moment, we as chiropractors can be the beacon of reason and hope. Before the strong hold of western medicine, what did people do to stay well? What do you do to stay well?
Proper exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, and of course getting adjusted are part of my health care routine. Explaining how adjustments help the immune system is a great place to start. Do you have supplements or an herb line? My go to has been Standard Process, which has a great line of products for the winter season to help bolster the immune system.
It appears, at least in my mind, that as a whole, the western world has lost sight of how the human body works. We all have this amazingly complex machine that requires a combination of basic needs to keep it running properly. It just seems that the more we use western medicine, the more we have to do to counter its effects. This is where we tell our stories, give them new sources of information to read and explain how through adjustments, we affect the nervous system, and in turn, the entire body. I try never and speak ill of western medicine (because sometimes it is necessary). It’s up to us to help stop the complete reliance and blind following that I see in so many people in our Western cultures.
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Kassandra Schultz DC