Claire Wakefield -Naturopath
Vaccination. This word is probably the single most emotive word in this country today. It literally has the ability to divide a room, a social media thread, or even a family or friendship.
Everyone has an opinion about it, and from my experience there are more than two sides to this argument- nobody is wrong. Statistically, vaccination has done some great things on a global scale! But, stats aside, the argument for 'vaccine injury' is very real. I have seen it with my own eyes.
With the government legislations changing this year, it is becoming more and more difficult to make proper INFORMED choices for our children. The 'blanket' approach to vaccination, in my opinion, is a naïve one- of course some children will be more reactive than others!
I have been watching this saga for some time now, and I feel the time has come to put forward my two cents on the matter, and hopefully help ease the fear that some parents have developed after reading all of the headlines which are flying around at the moment.
Firstly, I'd like to put forward the suggestion that vaccines are NOT the SOLE cause of disease. In fact, I might go as far as saying that they may not even be the SOLE cause of 'vaccine injury'(!!) I know that’s a strange statement to make, but what I'd like to do is put forward the idea that they might just be the finger that pulls the trigger on an already-loaded gun.
I see a lot of children in my Naturopathic practice, and I get to know the families who have children that have reacted to their shots. I am also lucky enough to be in the position to be able to understand these children extensively, and often they have a predictable health history preceding their shots.
Common scenarios; Formula-fed babies, babies who were born via cesarian, babies who have eczema, chronic reflux or colic, children with recurring ear infections or chronically enlarged tonsils, children who have allergies or a family history of allergies (both diagnosed and undiagnosed). The list could go on!
I am not by any means suggesting that all of the babies and children who have any of the above WILL incur a reaction from a vaccine.. But it is a given that all of the above are signs that something is not in balance.
As a naturopath I like to get to the root cause of things. Reactions are symptoms of a bigger picture, and I believe that a reaction after immunisation is like the popping of a champagne cork- inside the bottle it was fizzing away, just waiting for a catalyst to tip it over that edge.
I believe the reactions we are seeing, are products of environmental/toxic overload; nutritional imbalances; poor gut flora; inflammation, and overburdened detoxification pathways.
I will write again soon on some of the latter factors, but for today I'd like to focus on the heavy metal component of my view..
Remember that toxic load is accumulative- children who have higher rates of environmental toxin exposures will always have a higher potential toward vaccine injury, and unfortunately this exposure begins well before they are even born.
Toxins are a part of our everyday life. For example, here in South East Victoria we have coal burning, fluoridated water, leaded fuels, agricultural chemicals (both presently used, as well as the soil of old farmlands that can still hold some of these toxins), chlorinated swimming pools, industry.. the list goes on really.
Due to their chemical nature, the majority of these poisons are lipophilic, or fat soluble. What this means is that, once they establish levels in the body, they are shunted away from our circulating blood and into our various fatty deposits; including nerve sheaths, and our central nervous system (aka, our brain).
When a person loses weight or detoxifies, these chemicals are released from body fat and re-circulated prior to elimination. If this person is a pregnant female, the body will use the growing baby as a dumping ground for these chemicals, and that baby is then born with already-high levels of those toxins.
So how might vaccinations play a part in this?
Vaccinations contain a mixture of potential chemical issues, including antibioitics, preservatives, heavy metals, and chemicals such as formaldehyde (which are present to render the viruses 'inactive'). They are also administered intravenously, which means they bypass our natural defences such as our saliva, gastric acids and epidermis (skin barrier). What this means for us, is that these chemicals undergo none of our normal 'processing' prior to reaching our bloodstream, and then our organs.
Without pointing the blame at anything in particular, if a child or person incurs more toxins than they can process, it is a given that their body will display the symptoms of toxic overload. This is not rocket science.
Unfortunately, as stated earlier, these toxins have an affinity for the central nervous system, so in this case that 'loaded gun' might go off in the form of behavioural or cognitive impairment.
What can be done?
Ideally, for those of you who are planning on having a baby in the future, it is wise to detoxify and balance your system WELL BEFORE conception. Prenatal detoxification not only reduces any chances of trans-placental 'poisoning', but it also gives both parents a chance to strengthen their systems.
For those who are already pregnant or have children, one of the best place to start is with a hair mineral analysis.
Hair analyses are probably one of the most accurate ways to assess the tissue levels of minerals in the body. From these tests we can identify any toxic accumulation of any of the heavy metals which could contribute to the' total toxic load', and therefore potentially vaccine injury- these include Mercury, Aluminium, Arsenic, Cadmium, and Lead.
We can also look at the nutrient minerals which are imperative for correct immune function, such as Selenium and Zinc.
By assessing a child's levels as young as possible (and by this, I mean as soon as they have enough hair to generate a test!), any toxic accumulation can be addressed and tailored, gentle detoxification methods can be put into place to help their body eliminate and re-balance.
In true Naturopathic philosophy, it is far easier to prevent a catastrophe before it arrives, meaning that assessment, and therefore knowledge, is by far the best tool any parent can have to help combat their fears.
Hair mineral analysis is one of the non-invasive tests I offer parents in order to assess their child's individual biochemistry prior to vaccinations. In part two of my vaccination series, I will focus on liver detoxification, how it is crucial in the processing of vaccines, and what other factors might come into play.