A good reason we get the Flu

Many of us will be struck down by the flu or a cold this season.  Upper respiratory system infections are the leading reason for people missing work and school and are the leading diagnosis in the office setting.  What if cold and flu is a sign from our body that something is not working?  For most people it’s considered an inconvenience and is managed with cold & flu medication, antibiotics and stimulants, ultimately covering up and stifling the natural processes of the body. 

When we have a cold, there are very few cells in our respiratory tract that are actually infected.  It is the significant immune response that is responsible for a majority of the symptoms that are expressed in the body.  Therefore, expression of cold and flu symptoms can be a sign of a well functioning immune system.  It is interesting to note that only one in every four of us that get infected with the virus actually show signs and symptoms of dis-ease.  So, how much does our emotional state and general health at the time have to contribute to the expression of this infection?  Think back to when you have experienced cold and flu symptoms…Were you run down, frustrated, overwhelmed, uninspired, did you have unexpressed anger, did you have a desire to withdraw, retreat and be left alone?  These can be very effective questions to reflect on when you are in a state of dis-ease.

Below is a section out of an email from Don Tolman, an international speaker in self-care and whole-foods.  The passage explains the purpose of the flu in our body, what causes it and therefore possible ways to support the body’s natural processes of elimination…

“The flu is not a disease that calls for panic or that needs to be “treated”.   It is a classic case of where some simple wisdom and logic needs to be applied…

You may have heard or read about my explanation of the flu before.  Basically, your body chooses to ‘flu’, particularly as the seasons become colder.  I often explain the process by using an analogy of “a house with a fireplace and a chimney – a FLU”.  The shortened version goes like this…

A house with a fire place has a FLU for the smoke to rise and leave so that it doesn’t fill the house with smoke to the point where you can’t stay in the house. The FLU has a VENT to open and close when needed. Your body actually FLUs and VENTS 24 hours a day. And sometimes it gets overwhelmed and opens up ALL the VENTS in the house (your body) for immediate clearing.

Whilst VENTING can be uncomfortable, it is completely natural and is the cure or method of clearing the debris out of your body. VENTING comes in the form of perspiration, breathing (20,000 times a day), sweating, rashes, muscle soreness, coughing, bowel movements, vomiting, fever, colds, and so on.

It’s interesting because these things all represent VENTING of filth and waste. When we don’ t support this process of VENTING by following the principles of health then the VENTS become clogged and blocked…which then leads to other SYMPTOMS.  Symptoms are literally a sign or signal of an offense still in the body – which today is typically referred to as “DIS-EASE”… 

…VENTING is actually about PRE-VENTING discomfort or dis-ease in the body that will otherwise form if you do not allow your house to clean out. The only way you can have a disease (discomfort), is if you don’t allow the process of eliminating the overwhelm to occur that has built up in your body.

So as the seasons change once again, rather than stressing out when you or your children get the sniffles or even a fever or cold, here’s what you could do…

  1. Avoid suppressing the symptoms with a pharmaceutical drug. Yes, you might get some symptomatic short-term relief, but the effects of the harmful toxic residues that are left behind will show up down the road.
  2. Realise that your body is ‘cleaning house’ during this period and the best thing you can do is to support it during the cleansing process.
  3. Take a hot, salt bath.  Cut down on your intake of meat and animal products and increase your intake of citrus fruits, wholefoods and good (unrefined) salt such as Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt.
  4. Drink plenty of clean water to help flush out your system.

There are also certain plants and wholefood remedies that can provide some instant relief and still support the body to vent (as opposed to shutting down your body’s natural defense).”

So, with the ‘cold and flu season’ fastly approaching, consider your lifestyle habits including your sleep quality and regularity, stress and anxiety levels, your response to stressful situations, the quality of food and water you fill your body with and your balance of work, rest and play.  Does your body need a rest, is creating dis-ease the only way that your body can get you to finally stop and give it the rest it needs?  After all, if you can listen to the messages your body is providing you, and consider your body and mind as a team, you can extract vital wisdom and greater wellness can be achieved.


Written by Dr. Jess Harvey B.Sc. (Anat, Phys), B.Ap.Sci (Comp. Med.), Ma Osteo., Registered Osteopath and Director of Head 2 Toe Health, a multidisciplinary clinic in Brisbane also providing Acupuncture, Massage, Life Coaching and Counselling – where we aim to get you as well as possible, as fast as possible, permanently.  We believe in a thorough approach to restoring and maintaining health and address many aspects of our lifestyles that can contribute to pain, stiffness, dis-ease and disease.  For any further information, please contact us on info@head2toehealth.com.au or 07) 3208 8308.

Don Tolman tours Australia regularly sharing his ancient forms of healing using wholefoods, you can read more about Don at http://www.dontolmaninternational.com/