Sunday, November 16, 2008

It’s “flu season.” Is the flu caused by “germs”?

The Germ Theory of Disease tells us that germs are the cause of disease. I have a different theory.

Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines “Germ Theory” as, “Theory that certain diseases are the result of the presence of pathologic microorganisms in the body.” The same dictionary defines “germ” as, “a microorganism, esp. one that causes disease.”

So, do germs cause disease? To answer that, let’s delve into another important and time honored theory, the Fly Theory of Garbage Dumps. The Fly Theory states: “Garbage dumps are due to the presence of the flies that buzz around them.” I hope you get a good chuckle from this tongue-in-cheek analogy. We all know that flies do not cause garbage dumps; on the contrary, the dumps provide the environment that allows the flies to proliferate. We find flies everywhere, but large concentrations tend to exist where the environment allows them to, like at your local sanitary landfill.

Tomorrow you may go to work, school or the store, and be sneezed on by someone who has the latest bug that is going around. You may catch it, or you may not. If germs caused disease, you would catch the bug every time you were exposed to it, and so would everybody else. Germs are ever present so if germs were the cause of disease we would all be sick all of the time. To quote Bartlett Joshua Palmer, D.C., known as the Developer of Chiropractic: “If the ‘germ theory of disease’ were correct, there’d be no one living to believe it.”

Like flies, germs are everywhere. I learned in a pathology class that the average person in one of our nation’s cities will inhale 10,000 different types of viruses, bacteria and fungi every day. Right now there are more bacteria in your mouth than the number of people sharing our cozy planet. We will never be able to avoid germs; they are an inescapable part of our everyday existence. Germophobes provide a comfortable home to as many germs as Charlie Brown’s hygienically challenged buddy, Pig Pen. No problem. Our immune system allows us to live in harmony with them. If you "catch the bug" it's because your internal environment is in a state that allows pathogens to proliferate. Your cold or flu symptoms are normal, healthy immune responses keeping you in harmony with your external environment.

Germs are present in disease, but they are also prominently present in perfect health.

Should you get a flu shot?
Check out this funny video first!

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