The next time your doctor suggests you get a flu shot, ask him if you can look at some photos of sick people instead.
Pros: No needle, no mercury-based preservative
Cons: Looking at sick people might be kind of a bummer
But it just might boost your immune system too.
In a Canadian trial, subjects were shown photos of furniture. The next day they were divided into two groups. One group was shown photos of men aiming guns at the viewer. The other group saw photos of sick people.
Blood samples were taken from subjects before they viewed the furniture photos, and again after viewing photos the following day. Analysis showed a stronger immune response in the group that looked at photos of sick people.
Researchers believe this response might be an evolutionary adaptation that helps us survive epidemics, plagues, etc.
But chances are the immune response is short-lived, so for extended protection you might have to look at photos of sick people throughout the flu season. But don’t worry. I’m sure there must be an app for that.
“Mere Sight of Sick Person May Boost Immune System” HealthDay News, 4/29/10, healthday.com