What is influenza, and what about vaccinations?

H1N1 and “Omiyage” – What’s the connection?

As you may know, part of my professional training and practice in Oriental (herbal, acupuncture, and Tai Chi) medicine was spent in Japan. Three years, in fact. I also translated Japanese medical research into English for more than 8 years. So that cultural experience has left a solid, positive influence on my understanding of health and international relations.

One important cultural custom in Japan is the exchanging of gifts. After one travels to another country, it is polite to return with gifts, native to that visited country, to give to those who couldn’t go with you. These gifts are called “omiyage.” It is actually an act of respectfully giving the other person a look at what the traveller got to enjoy and experience while away in a foreign land. That way the other person hears about the travel and can live vicariously.

Now that you know what OMIYAGE is, what does it have to do with H1N1? As you recall, H1N1 is the recent “designer” illness of the year you hear about and see splashed in the headlines all the time. The Swine Flu.  Let’s begin with three important questions, and then we’ll talk about natural remedies you can use to boost your immunity if you decide to avoid the vaccinations that were being developed for the swine flu before anyone had even heard of it.


1. Is there actually a flu crisis this year that is different from any other year? 2. Was the swine flu pandemonium (note that this is a different word from “pandemic”) with the first known cases this spring actually overblown response, later to be toned down significantly?

No, and Yes. In other words, 1. there are new flu strains/variations every year, and 2. according to leading authorities, the death rate for swine flu is no greater than the usual non-H1N1 viruses.

3. How come the flu strains change every year and why do they have strange names?

As you may have heard, we live on a planet with two hemispheres. You have seen that it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere when it is Summer in the Southern. The “winter” colds and flus (influenzas) often go from one hemisphere to the other, as well as from Europe and Asia (or elsewhere) to this continent.

Travel by air, and somewhat by sea, are partial culprits for this “cultural exchange” (think OMIYAGE) of mutating critters. When you see the flocks of birds overhead, calling out their songs to each other, and you feel the brisk autumn crispness of the air, you can rest assured, knowing that the birds as well will return with “cultural exchange” gifts during the return migration from winter breeding grounds.

So you see, all the talk about “jet colds,” “avian influenza virus,” and “Asian”/”Mexican”/”European” flus makes total sense to you now.

Q & A: 4. Is there a natural alternative to boost the immunity to dampen the effects of the flu bugs?

Absolutely Yes. We have a homeopathic remedy that has clinically shown to help deter developing flu symptoms and also to mitigate and dampen the duration and severity if someone has already developed a case of flu. In fact, I (Dr. Jay Sordean) have been testing this remedy (developed by others) in various supposed hot spots, like Mexico (in July), and on numerous air flights (most recent one was across the U.S. and back). All of these flights are natural breeding grounds for cold and flu “cultural exchanges” given the diversity of the travellers all mixed together for hours at a time in close quarters and with very little ventilation.  In spite of that, I have travelled with no ill-effects whatsoever.

Furthermore, this flu remedy has proven itself in our clinic with patients who were diagnosed with having “swine flu” by Kaiser hospital (although they were not actually tested or shown to be H1N1 “positive”—so I can’t be absolutely sure that they did have that type of influenza).

Call our clinic before you come in to pick up the remedy here (510-849-1176) to be sure that we have it in stock.