Archive for the 'Viruses' Category

Jun 09 2009

Protection from Autumn’s Viruses

To stave off the viruses that often accompany the arrival of the fall season, bodyworkers must be extra vigilant in order to protect themselves and their clients. Learn what else contributes to a healthy immune system and tips to maintain an optimal healing environment.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Autumn brings back-to-school sales, a chill in the air and plenty of viruses to avoid. As a service professional with your door open to the public, viruses both mild and nasty can make their way into your healing space. Whether you provide bodywork to teachers or parents of runny-nosed children, receive a sneezing client on your treatment table or have someone under the weather waiting for a client in your reception area, autumn’s germs are everywhere. Keep yourself and clients healthy by learning to foster an optimal healing environment. Minimization of virus transmission and elimination of airborne germs will keep your massage practice from perpetuating the common cold.

Practitioner Resistance
Perhaps the most important component of a healthy environment is maintaining the bodyworker’s immune system. Someone who is ‘burning the candle at both ends’ will lack the strength necessary to fight off a communicable illness. Contributors include:

• Eating irregularly
• Consuming foods that lack nutritional value
• Drinking alcohol and smoking
• Working long hours
• Getting insufficient sleep
• Lacking movement or exercise
• Sacrificing fun and joy

Attention to general lifestyle factors will not only make a person feel better, but will also increase their immune system’s strength. Such factors include:

• Eating regular, healthy and nutritionally balanced meals.
• Supplementing diet with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea are all believed to strengthen one’s immunity to colds and the flu.
• Saving vices (alcohol and sugar consumption) as occasional treats.
• Quitting smoking. Tobacco smoking has been linked with the weakening of the immune system. Smokers on average take 25% more sick days a year than non-smokers.
• Setting limits on work. This will leave you more time for rest, relaxation, fun and sleep.
• Adhering to a regular exercise routine. Research proves that regular exercise strengthens the immune system.

The stronger a practitioner’s immune system, the less likely they are to act as a viral conduit from one client to the next.

Germ-free Environment
Excellent hygiene practices are crucial for minimizing contagion. This includes:

• Changing linens between every client
• Doorknob cleaning
• Scrupulous hand washing
• Air purification

Changing linens and cleaning doorknobs
While most practitioners understand the importance of linen changes, it is easy to become lax with this crucial practice. Even though a client appears to be perfectly healthy and may leave the massage table without any evidence of their previous session, the linens must be clean and fresh for each person. Since viral particles are undetectable to the naked eye, failure to provide fresh linens can easily result in viral transmission.

Doorknob germs are a prime suspect in the transmission of the common cold. An easy tip to minimize viral spread during cold and flu season is to keep some antimicrobial wipes handy, and wipe down doorknobs between clients.

Hand washing
To avoid catching a client’s cold; bodyworkers must wash their hands thoroughly and regularly, as well as refrain from touching their own face. If the therapist touches the client’s face (by performing any type of facial massage), be sure to follow immediately with thorough hand washing. Research has demonstrated that anti-bacterial soaps have no effect on the cold virus – it is the mechanical action of hand washing that removes the virus particles. In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended alcohol based hand gels as an effective method for reducing infectious viruses on the hands. However, subsequent research supports findings that the physical rubbing together of hands is the primary cleanser.

The following is a highly recommended hand washing protocol:

1. Turn on water to a moderate flow and wet hands.
2. Place liquid soap in hands. While plain soap is fine for routine hand washing, an antimicrobial soap is advised for use with an immune compromised client – or in the event of a blood or suspicious body fluid exposure.
3. Rub hands briskly for 30 seconds, including knuckles, between fingers and under nails. Wash up to forearms.
4. Rinse hands in a downward motion, from forearms to fingertips.
5. Dry hands completely with paper towel.

Disinfecting the air
Since viruses are primarily transmitted from person to person via cough or sneeze droplets, neutralizing airborne germs can prevent viral inhalation. While some practitioners may rely on aerosol spray disinfectants, many people (as well as the environment) are sensitive to these products. A natural, yet effective alternative is releasing an antimicrobial essential oil into the air.

When high quality essential oils are chosen, they can possess significant healing properties. Three essential oils typically relied on for their antimicrobial properties are:

1. Grapefruit
2. Orange
3. Tea tree

An easy method to disinfect the air is to use a spray bottle. Add 10 drops of a chosen essential oil to two ounces of water and spray the air in between clients. Another method to use in your healing space is an air diffuser. Use approximately six drops in a diffuser to maintain a continual dispersal of essential oil in the air.

Grapefruit and orange are more desirable for most healing spaces because the aroma of tea tree may be too strong for client appreciation. Tea tree essential oil dispersal into the air is best at the end of the day, to rid your office of any remaining airborne germs.

Maintaining your own immune system, practicing excellent professional hygiene and using aromatherapy to keep your environment germ-free are all ideal methods for making your healing space a retreat from autumn’s cold and flu season.

Recommended Study:
Aromatherapy Essentials

References:, Common Cold, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. August 2006., Using Essential Oils, Elizabeth Van Buren Essential Oil Therapy, 2006.

Posted by Editors at 02:18 PM

© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute. <>

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May 06 2009

Important Swine Flu Update

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

I am going to reverse the order of my comment today and place it at the top of the article as I want to highlight an article written by one of the leaders in vaccine safety information awareness.

The latest depths of fear mongering the media has stooped into are really quite shocking. Barbara Loe Fisher from NVIC goes into more specifics in her article below, but one unbelievable example comes from Egypt where they ordered the slaughter of the country’s 300,000 pigs, even though no cases have been reported there. Even worse, there are twenty million people in Mexico City, and it is shut down as if there were a nuclear war.

Another example comes from a previously well respected natural health journalist that I no longer recommend, because of his inappropriate and confused positions. Yes folks, there is an amazing amount of irrationality out there.

But let’s focus on the positive!

I want to thank all of you who responded to last Wednesday’s original post on the swine flu (now largely being referred to as H1N1). I continue to regularly update the swine flu article with current statistics, so if you are curious as to the current state of the “pandemic” you can just click on the page for the latest numbers.

I have also included new information on why Tamiflu will NOT work for the swine flu

The swine flu article was the most popular one I ever published, so much so that it set new records for bandwidth at the data center (one of the largest in the country) which hosts this site. It was the 7th most viewed article on the entire Internet on April 29th and has received nearly one million views thus far. If you haven’t viewed the H1N1 flu article recently please review it as it has some important edits that were added.

This was largely as a result of your passing this vital and reassuring information onto to your friends and relatives. There is simply no question that this information has made a difference. It has been viewed by over one million people on this site and far more than that on the tens of thousands of sites it has been posted on across the Internet.

The media was literally trying to scare you to death and your actions, by spreading this article across the world last week, helped provide an antidote to their nonsense.

We have proved this model will work – and now has the unquestionable capacity to change the fatally flawed health care system.

To that end I am excited to formally announce the next generation of this site. For the last three years my incredible team has been working on creating the finest health social networking site on the web. We are in the final tweaking stages, and in the next month or so we hope to launch it.

Our new software platform will give the site the capacity to form a type of hybrid between Facebook and Wikipedia. The intention is to create and merge the finest collection of natural health wisdom in the world along with the ability to connect with your friends and family to provide support and assistance.

It is my primary focus for the near future as all my free time and energy is being directed to this project which has the capacity to change the health care system. I am meeting with many major health leaders in the country to brainstorm and better understand how we can explode this into the consciousness of more people.

You saw a taste of what is possible by your actions and this site with the swine flu, but this will pale in comparison to the new capabilities that this site will have in the near future.

The bottom line is that collectively we CAN change the world for good.

So stay tuned and in the meantime please enjoy Barbara’s excellent analysis.

Politics, Profits & Pandemic Fear Mongering

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Are you grabbing your face mask, stocking up on food and Tamiflu, locking your doors and keeping your TV tuned to the news to find out just how bad the “swine flu pandemic” really is going to get?

While Americans are being scared to death, few are noticing how much of their tax money politicians are giving to drug companies and government health officials to grease the skids to create more experimental flu vaccines and drugs and more effective ways to quarantine or force their mass use whenever a “public health emergency” is declared in the future.

Call me cynical but not clueless. The bird’s eye view I have had for the past 27 years at the National Vaccine Information Center has taught me one thing: the global alliance between Big Pharma and Big Public Health is a prescription for disaster that could extend far beyond a bout with the flu.

The international drama playing out right now before our eyes is an example of how citizens around the world can be easily manipulated by doctors and politicians engaging in fear mongering in the name of disease control to forward agendas that have more to do with ideology, power and corporate profits than health.

In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an international call for all nations to do whatever it takes to increase public appetite and demand for annual influenza shots as the main strategy to prepare for an influenza pandemic. In April 2007, the WHO used money donated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to fund the creation of influenza vaccine manufacturing plants in Mexico and other countries one week after the FDA gave Sanofi Pasteur a license to produce an experimental bird flu (H5N1) vaccine. Sanofi Pasteur is just one of many drug companies the U.S. government has given millions of dollars to for the creation of bird flu vaccines.

On February 19, 2009, the FDA’s Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) discussed whether to give approval for the testing of experimental bird flu vaccine on American infants. VRBPAC consumer member, also NVIC’s Director of Patient Safety Vicky Debold,PhD, warned that testing of an experimental pandemic bird flu vaccine on infants in the absence of a real epidemic and without assurances that unapproved novel oil based (squalene) adjuvants (AS03, MF59) are safe, could pose unacceptable risks in terms of inducing severe immune dysfunction.

On February 27, 2009 it was confirmed that an influenza vaccine maker, Baxter International, had released a mixture of seasonal influenza viruses mixed with unlabeled live bird flu viruses to facilities in Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Slovenia. Baxter, which is waiting for a license to manufacturer bird flu vaccine, explained it was an “accident” and that no harm was done.

On April 23, 2009, the world heard the first news reports about a mysterious pig (H1N1) and bird (H5N1)and human hybrid influenza virus that was making people sick near a Mexican pig farm. By April 30, the WHO had issued a Phase 5 “Alert” warning that the world was facing an imminent pandemic influenza epidemic on the strength of several hundred cases of “swine” flu and less than 10 confirmed deaths.

The pandemic flu panic that has an especially strong grip on people living in Mexico and the U.S., thanks to the governments of both countries declaring a “public health emergency,” has been a good thing for pharmaceutical companies in the pandemic flu business.
Wall Street revealed that the pandemic scare sent stock prices soaring for drug companies making anti-viral drugs, rapid flu diagnosis tests and influenza vaccines. Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Novavax, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, BioCryst, and Vical are among the drug companies likely to benefit from the world pandemic panic.

In all the chaos that has Americans running to drug stores to buy face masks, closing schools to wipe desks down with rubbing alcohol and avoiding public transportation, there is action being taken behind the scenes by politicians and government health officials to prepare the way for implementation of future quarantine and mass vaccination of citizens with experimental vaccines and drugs that have by- passed normal FDA regulations for demonstrating purity and potency of pharmaceutical products.

A “public health emergency” has become an excuse to grease the skids and rush to market experimental drugs and vaccines that are not subject to product liability in the civil courts.

The mandated, mass use of multiple vaccines has become big business in the last quarter century since the U.S. Congress passed a law in 1986 shielding vaccine makers and doctors from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths and the numbers of vaccines recommended by the federal health officials for American children multiplied from 23 doses of 7 vaccines to 48 doses of 14 vaccines from birth to age six. For older children and adults, there are several dozen more federally recommended or state mandated vaccinations.

All of this liability protection and government vaccine mandating has been a boon for vaccine profit- making and public health agency empire building. In 1986, four drug companies made and sold vaccines in America and, by 2007, after corporate mergers and acquisitions there were six drug company giants making and selling vaccines in the U.S.

Today, there are more drug companies seeking to enter the lucrative multi- billion dollar U.S. vaccine market as financial predictions for global profits from the worldwide vaccine business by 2010 have climbed to more than $20B.

Politicians should not bow to additional pressure from vaccine manufacturers and public health officials to by-pass normal FDA standards in proving safety and efficacy of pandemic flu vaccines and their components for the purpose of rushing them to market in response to the pandemic panic that has been created. The swine flu debacle of 1976 should have taught Congress that lesson.

A rational perspective that reduces pandemic fear and includes common sense advice for staying healthy in every season is being offered by holistic health doctors, such as Joseph Mercola, D.O. and physician Congressman Ron Paul, M.D. The next time you turn on the TV or the radio or search the internet for the latest news on the flu pandemic, take a deep breath and consider all the natural ways to stay healthy and resist influenza or any illness : washing your hands; eating nutritious food; drinking plenty of pure water; getting enough exercise, rest and sunshine, and lowering stress – which includes not walking around filled with fear, anxiety and dread.

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