Multiple Sclerosis

BVT for back pain

In April 2000 I hurt my back lifting and testing computers in a large nationwide retail store. Eventually surgery was needed on C3 and C4, C5 and C6, and C6 and C7. After the first surgery I inexplicably began to have strong spasms and tremors followed by severe pain. A second surgery was needed to remove radical bone spurs pushing in to the cervical spinal cord. Afterwards, the spasms and tremors came back, lasting for hours at a time after all the medication had worn off, causing severe pain and extreme discomfort. Two and a half years later-living with the tremors and massive pain and, as a result of the medication, feeling as though I was in a fog-I decided to wean myself off of all the medication and to see what would happen. I did this over a two-month period. I definitely felt much better emotionally, but the pain in my neck and lower back persisted, down my neck to my tail bone and down my leg to the bottom of my feet; my toes were going numb. After several months of this, I had reached the point of calling my doctor and going back on pain medication. Then came a phone call to my wife’s business from a client asking for an appointment for her taxes. She asked how I was doing; for a couple of years she had been trying to get me to come to her home for bee therapy. It was Reyah Carlson, our local apitherapist. I said that I was doing terribly, was in a lot of pain, and was having a horrendous time trying to walk. Each step was a task, like pulling weights behind me. My legs felt really tired, and the pain had returned with a vengeance in my neck, lower back, and legs. A chronology of my bee venom therapy, starting in February 2005: 1st week At the end of this week, the pain was virtually gone in my upper and lower back. 2nd week I no longer used my cane for short walks-only for long ones. I was able to walk without extreme fatigue in my lower extremities. 4th week I was able to sit on a chair in church without having to leave early because of the pain from sitting upright. 5th week I went to the barber for the first time in two and a half years. I also drove to the store and picked up some small items for my wife and myself. 6th week I started taking propolis for my stomach. I have been on Nexium for nearly 12 years. I will take it for three to six months; my personal goal is to see if I can wean myself from it. I also started taking royal jelly. It gives me added energy, and I feel good-physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This was after being house-, couch-, La-Z-Boy-, and bed-bound for nearly two and a half years after surgery, even to the point of fearing I would end up losing my driver’s license. 8th week I purposely missed these sessions to see how my body would do. To my surprise, I did quite poorly. I made up my mind to start back the following week. I won’t skip any more sessions. 9th week As of now I have a lot of energy and feel like a crisp $100 bill! A word to the wise: be sure to pace yourself during your bee sting sessions so you don’t have setbacks. Reyah was my witness to these grueling times, and she helped me through them. As miraculous as all this seems, I should give credit where credit is due-to God for giving us the bees, to my church family and all the prayers that have been said for me, and especially to my darling wife (who is my best friend) for all her sacrifices. Without her, I don’t know what I would have done. My utmost respect goes to spouses who are seeing their partner through some of those most difficult of times of their lives. – Gerald Emshwiller caroltax@pacbell.net January 07, 2009

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BVT for MS

Several years ago I saw a news program on the use of honeybees as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. I found this interesting, but surely I did not need anything that drastic, since I was working 40-50 hours a week as a nurse and I was fully ambulatory. How quickly things can change when you have MS. Nine years ago I had to go on disability because I needed a cane and could walk only short distances, I could no longer drive, I had tremendous fatigue, and I had to take two-hour siestas and still had to be in bed by 9. I also had intractable vertigo that no prescribed medication could help. Did I mention urinary incontinence? I had to go to the bathroom every few hours. This lasted until 2003, when I found Pat Wagner’s website- www.olg.com/beelady -and ordered her book, How Well Are You Willing to Bee? I also bought some long locking forceps and a “bee hotel.” I was able to get bees for free from a local beekeeper, who is a wonderful person, as most beekeepers tend to be. The treatment lasted six weeks, and my husband graciously gave me eight to ten stings three times a week (you start out with one or two stings to test for allergy). I also got an EpiPen prescription from my doctor, in case of an anaphylactic reaction. Lots of people think they are allergic to bees, but they don’t realize that a little redness at the site is not a true allergic reaction. When your tongue swells and you can’t breathe-for most people, this qualifies as an allergic reaction. Did it hurt? How you rate the pain depends on your tolerance, but it usually lasts only 30-45 seconds after you get stung. I would generally take two ibuprofen an hour beforehand and then ice the sites I was going to sting. I would use a warm washcloth on the site after receiving the stings, to help disperse the venom from the sites. Was it worth it? I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am now walking independently, although sometimes I overdue it and begin to stagger a little. I’m driving without hand controls or any other type of assistance, but sometimes I wish I had a GPS system. My fatigue has eased significantly, but my short-term memory is variable and I still have my MS moments. Summer is still my worse season, but I’m now able to do water aerobics outside, as long as it’s early in the morning. – Susan Brommage, R.N., M.S.N. suebee58@iglide.net January 07, 2009

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Bee venom therapy for MS

Who could have predicted my diagnosis of MS in early 2000? At 53 I was healthy and fit and joyous, ready to begin the next adventurous phase of my life. My brain became jumbled and crowded with theories. I needed to blame this on something. I had recently been through the upheaval of a divorce. Could this emotional turmoil phase have been the culprit? Was it pesticides, the pollution from the power plant nearby, the additives in my body cream? Or possibly Lyme disease? My two Labs were diagnosed with Lyme at the same time, and I did notice a small rash on my back, which a young doctor had dismissed as nothing to worry about. During the next few years I heard many stories of women who had also been diagnosed with MS: a young healthy runner-artist on my island, another young mother-designer in a neighboring town, and the wife of a furniture designer friend in Portland [Maine]. I was incredulous. I felt this was the designer illness of the 2000s, just as mitral valve prolapse had been during the 1980s. (I was diagnosed with MVP, as were two of my neighbors, during the mid-1980s—it has since vamoosed.) I knew immediately that I would never take any drugs, as I was dubious of the illness anyway and felt totally uncomfortable introducing a serious manufactured drug-company product into my energetic living system. My body said no—even when another acquaintance told me that not taking the drugs was akin to driving without a seatbelt. For me, taking the alien drugs was the danger. Margaret Lawrence, an artist friend, introduced me to Susan and Theo Cherbuliez, who had just moved to our area with their bees and their friendliness. Margaret thought that their work in apitherapy might be something to investigate. Theo and Susan are vital members of the AAS who began sharing their wisdom and experience of the bees with me, my family, and my friends. Theo began stinging my feet and spine over a period of two years. Now, if necessary, I order a box of bees from Ferris Apiaries in Maryland. I take my mixture of royal jelly, pollen, and propolis three times a day. During these past few years, the story of apitherapy and the bees has been my manifesto. I sing it across backyards and in coffee shops. The journey has been wondrous. I am healthier than ever. I have hope, energy, and curiosity about the future and am ready to spread the word of the healing power of the hive. All this is significantly different from the unnatural, pitiful, tragic, “woe is me” perspective that I first felt in the neurologist’s office seven years ago. – Carol Bass Yarmouth, ME cbass@maine.rr.com January 07, 2009

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MS

Whenever I look back at the sequence of events that led me to today, I always feel awe and wonder. It all started with my friend Carol, who has MS. She was diagnosed shortly after we both started nursing school. She decided nursing wasn’t for her, and went into a banking career. I continued on and became a cardiac nurse. After trying many of the MS medications, she felt nothing was really helping. But what else was there? One day, unexpectedly, a fellow approached her with the name of a beekeeper who did a treatment for MS. Because of my medical background, she asked if I would accompany her. I didn’t know that this would open a whole new life for me. We made arrangements to talk to the beekeeper; just to talk about it. We found ourselves sitting on a porch bench with five people who had come for “bee therapy.” I was quite nervous. There were bees flying around everywhere. Mr. R. kept a hive of bees on that very same porch, for easy access. He always said they were better than a burglar alarm. I listened intently that day to the testimonials of those gathered for their “bee therapy.” At least three were prior beekeepers. They received “bee therapy” for arthritic knees, hands, and shoulders. One man was there for carpal tunnel, one young girl for MS. She was Mr. R’s miracle case. She started the bee therapy pretty early after being diagnosed with MS. She doesn’t even use a cane now. She taught aerobics for a while, takes care of her three small children, and holds down a job. Not only does she do the therapy, many years later, but now her sister does it too, having herself been diagnosed with MS two years ago. After hearing the testimonials, observing the process, and doing some individual investigation, my friend Carol decided she would make a six-month commitment to the therapy. We started out three times a week. She would drive to my place, and then I would drive us to Mr. R’s for the therapy. Eventually I became very interested in the whole concept. Mr. R. showed me the ropes, so to speak. A gentleman of almost 90, he pointed out certain sting points for arthritis, Bell’s palsy, MS, headaches, and asthma. I sat with him for many hours. I never tired of listening to his accrued knowledge, mixed with stories of the success of bee therapy and nature tales. I felt as though I had enrolled in a class of natural healing. It wasn’t just the bee therapy. I was learning a new respect for the weather, patience, and an acceptance of how little control we really have, the effects of the rain on the plant and insect world, the importance of pollination for our crops, the production and harvesting of honey, its richness and nutritive value, even some recipes. It was wholesome in philosophy, including mind, body, and spirit. It allowed me to look at our earth in a new respectful, appreciative, and protective way. The bees themselves taught me many lessons-such as that with persistence and focus, all is achievable. I learned about life inside the hive, bee communication, and bees’ specific roles. It was all so fascinating! Then came the day when Mr. R. said that the student would become the teacher, and I started giving Carol her bee therapy. Before long, I was doing apitherapy on Mr. R’s people, and even Mr. R. himself. After about a year or so of my becoming more involved, more intrigued with the bee girls, my husband drew my attention to some mail from the Center for Complementary Medicine, in Pittsburgh , that enclosed an application for an extensive course in Shiatsu, a healing acupressure massage. With hardly a second thought (so unlike my planning, thorough mind), we enrolled in a 260-hour committed certification program. I knew that this was just meant to be. not even realizing at the time that it would play a huge part in my future. My husband and I studied hard. Everything else was put on hold. We learned many acupuncture points and acupressure techniques. There was a full clinical experience, complete with written papers and case studies. I felt it almost equaled my nursing training. Throughout it all, I continued to do the bee therapy on Carol, who was observing increased movement and energy, and a few others. But now I wanted to observe the bees in their daily living. I talked to the local beekeepers, of whom many are ministers, and met many wonderful men and women. I learned there was such a thing as an observation hive. I had one made special for our own little place, and had a hole cut in the wall for outside access. This allowed me to watch the bees in their natural setting. I observed many really interesting things, like the bee dance, the capping of honey, the queen’s entourage, the laying of eggs, the difference between drones, workers, and nurse bees. The books all came alive, not to mention the education for the neighbors, their children, and their children’s friends. The observation hive also permitted the bee therapy to continue during the winter. Life is truly amazing! The Shiatsu instructor, an inspirational woman who lives her talk, recommended bee therapy to one of her clients, Miss M., who has fibromyalgia, depression, and arthritis. After more than a year of receiving bee therapy, Miss M. too is an avid advocate. Her energy has increased, and she is now living life with joy and enthusiasm. As life moved on, I felt the need to have an outside hive also, to take off my own honey and use the hive products for health and healing. This has been a real adventure! Apitherapy and its good results have spread by word of mouth. People have found my bees, and me, and have come from as far away as 300 miles, round trip. At present,
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BVT for MS: Dancing with Bees

As man and his world deteriorate progressively each day, the bees build and produce without respite as they have been doing for the past 60 million years. I spent two years in a wheelchair due to (I am convinced) an invisible neurotoxin invented by mankind: my dental fillings containing mercury. Since the beginning of my illness (multiple sclerosis, diagnosed in 1999), I have never taken a single chemical medication, and progressively, slowly but surely, one beautiful day, apitherapy succeeded in lifting me from my wheelchair, on June 6, 2006. For the last year and a half, I have been blessing my bees each day and anxiously awaiting the 20 stings they lavish upon me twice a week. Add to that honey, pollen, and propolis diluted in a large glass of water that I drink each morning upon awakening. I can easily have access to my bees through two holes that are located in the panel of my mini-hive. Nature never lies! I tried all of the imaginable natural therapies possible without one ever having succeeded in stimulating the strength and optimism that the bees have inspired in me. After the first three months of my treatment, my physical state worsened to the point that I spent 48 hours suffering from vomiting, diarrhea, and body aches. After this, progress was slow but steady. To further promote the positive effects of apitherapy, a therapeutic hive was recently started with the help of my doctor and a beekeeper friend. These confined bees are nourished by a pocket of honey that has been flavored by the essential oils of my treatment. My first session with this special venom started on September 29, 2006; we are awaiting the results. Twice a week I open the entry to the hive so that my bees may make a cleansing flight. Then, at nightfall, I close the hive. Eventually, special chromatographic and electrophoresis testing will be done to determine if the composition of the venom has undergone modifications. Conscious from the beginning of traveling a long and difficult road with this alternative treatment, I can now measure the results. Nature is grand! I have written a longer account of my experience, as one would write a journal, in order to help others. The book will be dedicated to my fellow sufferers of MS, in the hopes that it will give them the strength to fight this disease. Contained in the book is a picture of a bee gathering nectar from a beautiful flower while I take my first tentative steps with the help of crutches: this is the symbol of life and the newfound hope I have, thanks to holistic, or green, medicine. Ten small steps for me and one big step for all those who believe in nature and its benefits. It represents the victory of true solidarity, the interdependence among minerals, plants, animals, and humans. – Maryse Pioch-Prades Vias plage, France pioch2@hotmail.com January 07, 2009

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