Flu: stop it with sunlight. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.Flu is a killer, and the angst regarding Chinese flu is reason to “enlighten” the world about healing sunlight.
First, the flu is serious and threatening. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and others estimate that yearly deaths from flu range from about 12,000-80,000 per year. Additionally, (no surprise here), research also shows that cold and flu outbreaks are almost completely seasonal. In the northern hemisphere, they occur primarily in December through March. In the southern hemisphere, they occur June through September. Therefore, that is almost exclusively in winter in both hemispheres. In addition, the outbreaks in each case occur in times of lowest sun exposure.
Can the shots kill you?
So why not just a flu shot and some aspirin? Because flu shots, along with whatever good they do, can be fatal. One of our friends from California learned this the hard way. His doctors talked him into getting a flu shot to protect him from disease and discomfort. He then contracted a disease called Guillain-Barre (gee-yan-buh-rey) Syndrome. Loss of muscle strength, loss of or altered sensation, and sometimes paralysis are manifestations of the disease. Our friend had all of those manifestations. He had previously been a hiker, and he enjoyed trekking for up to 100 miles carrying a pack. Guillain-Barre reduced him to a bedridden invalid, and ultimately killed him. Few people succumb to Guillain-Barre, but it seems like a mistake to take the chance. However, I am not telling you not to get a flu shot. That decision is between the patient and doctor.
Stop the the disease by using the most natural method available: regular, non-burning sun exposure.
Personally, the influence of seasons on my tendency to contract colds and flu had a highly significant influence on my interest in sunlight. Until the age of thirty-five, too much of my winter life was spent fighting flu and colds. My first head cold would occur in autumn around mid-November and would keep me in bed two or three days. The illness would then subside over several weeks. Then I would contract whichever flu or cold was in vogue. These ailments took a toll on my life. Most of my friends would suffer one cold per year while nature blessed with up to a half-dozen. Winter was an unhappy time, and I dreamed of leaving the cold weather of the central Nevada-Utah border and moving to warmer climes.
Then came the late spring, summer and early fall. Goodbye flu!
Then came the late spring, summer, and early fall, when I mostly worked on my father’s ranch. The sun blazed from dawn to dusk and I soaked it up. The work on our ranch was intense. We started those sunny days with morning feeding of animals, followed by irrigating, hauling hay and performing other outdoor tasks. Despite the long hours, I loved the sun, and it made the hard work worthwhile. Whenever possible, my shirt came off, and because of my deep tan, my friends called me “brown man.”
Those were my halcyon days. I was happy and healthy and enjoyed a vigor that was lacking in winter. Later I realized there was never a flu or cold (or any other disease) under the summer sun. Whether this was due to increased vitamin D production of some of the other marvelous additional effects of sun exposure is unknown. Please remember that swallowing a vitamin D capsule can never provide the innumerable benefits of sunlight. BTW, after being a sun-seeker for most of my life, I have never had a skin cancer of any kind. Interesting for an older, blue-eyed, light-skinned Caucasian, who, according to the “experts,” should be a prime prospect for melanoma.
Stop the flu by using the most natural method available: regular, non-burning sun exposure.
The increased incidence of flu and colds during winter associates to sun deprivation. We know that most flu and colds occur in times of low sun exposure.
One of the most recent scientific analyses indicates a profound influence of sun exposure on flu. Researchers tested number of hours of sun exposure per week in Taiwanese children. In addition, they compared that to the incidence of flu among those children. Seven 7 hours of sun per week associated to a 33% reduced risk of influenza hospitalizations. Furthermore, in my opinion, 7 hours is not enough.
Would sunbed use also reduce risk?
Another possibility occurred to me several years ago and influenced my thinking. An elderly friend of mine asked how he could reduce the colds, flu and discomfort he was experiencing each winter. I suggested regular tanning-bed use. He followed the advice and the following winter had no sign of a cold. Either the UV light protected him against his usual respiratory infections, or it was just luck. The research suggests it was the former, via increased 25(OH)D levels or due to other factors. Vitamin D stimulates the production of anti-microbial peptides that fight infection. For more information on sunbeds, visit this link.
When the sun is available, take advantage of it in a non-burning fashion. If the sun is not available, use a sunbed in non-burning fashion. Stop the flu before it stops us! Happy sunning!
For more information on sunlight, flu and other diseases, visit http://sunlightinstitute.org/ and read my book, Embrace the Sun.