Post vaccine syndromes present unique challenges for our healthcare system because they are often misdiagnosed and always difficult-to-treat due to the nature of internal disease processes. Traditional Chinese Medicine embodies a conceptual framework and treatment protocols for correcting immune regulation problems consistent with post vaccine syndromes.
The vaccine paradigm originated during the 1500s with the Chinese variolation practice of exposing healthy individuals to smallpox naturally via exposure to the wild virus existing in nature and leading to “infection” through the normal channels beginning with the Wei Qi system. A normal/natural immune response to exposure or to a mild infection engenders life-long immunity or “resistance to disease” against future infections via the complex sophisticated self/non-self, pathogen-recognizing surveillance and memory system that begins with the Wei Qi system. Thus, the linguistic connection of “disease exposure” to “disease prevention” was born. This same premise was presumed to be the case after variolation was succeeded by vaccination; however the biomechanics of immune response with vaccination is radically different due to the location of the infection. The basis for both variolation and vaccination is to stimulate immunity. With variolation, the sanctity of the interior was safeguarded by the front lines of defense (the skin and mucosal lining of respiratory /gastrointestinal tracts) because the pathogenic evil was exterior. With infection by injection, the body is not reacting to a natural immune challenge.
Medical literature is replete with evidence that substantiates the dangers of vaccination, and all vaccine manufacturers include in their vaccine inserts warnings about these risks. The most serious risks, common to all vaccines, have to do with a massive allergic reaction and shock to the central nervous system (encephalitic trauma), the consequence of which may be death or irreversible damage to nerves and tissues. Common to all allergic responses (thus all vaccinations) is a multi-system defense/survival mechanism designed to neutralize and purify the body of substances that have been identified as “non-self” and/or as noxious to one’s health. The human immune response to the identification of any foreign substance that has penetrated the protective Wei qi borders of its skin and mucosal membrane tissues always involves a killer reaction upon the foreign invader as well as the surrounding collagen and other connective tissues. The sequela of this biomechanics sets in motion a pathogenesis of inflammation and possible tissue-embedded infection leading to tumor growth and other morbid states.
Blood stagnation and blood stasis (Xu Yu) is a common pattern in post vaccine syndromes. The primary effect of hyperergic reactions is on the small blood vessels of the nervous system, typically capillaries but occasionally involving arterioles/venules and sometimes even major arteries. Excessive non-specific immune hyper-stimulation (ala vaccination) causes large numbers of white blood cells to be released into the blood stream. Unusually high levels of white blood cells in the blood causes blood sludging (hypercoagulability/thrombophilia) and blood-clotting at the micro-vascular level of the capillaries, thus blood stasis. The white blood cells clog up the entry points for the smallest capillaries and cause ischemia (deficient supply of blood/oxygen) which, in turn, damages normal neurological and organ functioning. The damage can be instant or gradual and accumulative. Ischemia, thus blood stasis, can happen anywhere in the body where there are small blood vessels and capillaries: brain, heart, kidneys, liver, mesentery/abdominal, skin, legs/feet, joints.
In addition to tissue damage from lack of blood and oxygen, impaired blood flow prevents the immune system from reaching the pathogens to destroy them. In weakness, there is a lack of nerve energy/qi and where there is a lack of nerve energy/qi, there is less surveillance capability (self/non-self recognition) and less defensive power. Thus, the pathogens/infections are able to take up residence in areas of the body that are weak. Embedded inside tissues, the persistent infection creates a chronic inflammation that leads to future nodulations, tumors, etc. (TCM maintains that masses/tumors are the result of blood stasis and/or phlegm accumulation). Thus we have a pathogenesis where mutually engendering pathomechanisms exist simultaneously.
If the strength of the qi is strong and the body is intact (as it is with children/adolescents), often we are unaware of the hidden infection (i.e, the growing menace) until months/years after vaccines have been administered, when the pathogenesis of the infection (the chronic inflammatory state) becomes more pronounced and/or palpable.
According to six-stage/channel theory, when Shao yang fails to contain circulating pathogens the disease enters the yin phases/stages from which it is much harder to dislodge and ultimately results in stasis. The six channel theory laid out in the Shang Han Lun is not restricted in practice to the assessment of acute illnesses. It has a long history in China of being used to analyze the whole range of complex diseases where multiple patterns/diseases exist at the same time (hot/cold, vacuity/repletion, etc.). The most important formulas for modern times (i.e., chronic inflammatory diseases) are thought to come from the Shao yang category.
In post-vaccine syndromes, blood stasis is the pathogenesis of pathogenic influence. The inflammatory process due to pathogenic influence always causes edema and often flaring of heart fire. Thus the treatment to dispel blood stasis requires additional consideration for excess heat, damp/phlegm accumulation, flaring of heart fire and possibly blood/yin or qi deficiency. As subclinical infection is a causative factor, the treatment of the underlying patterns will drive the infection out as health improves. The physician/practitioner must be observant and prepared for the expression of this noxious energy and putrid substances.