Pain

BVT for Back and Scar Pain

1999 was the year that would change my life forever. After being a funeral director and an embalmer for 17 years, one day I woke up not being able to shut off my alarm clock because I had no feeling to my hand. After some medical tests and an MRI I learned that I had a ruptured disc in my cervical spine along with a herniated disc in my lower back. The journey that I would take over the next several years included 5 cervical surgeries, one lumbar surgery along with the placement of an intrathecal pump for chronic pain as well as plenty of physical therapy. Due to the repetitive surgeries along with my initial injuries I have been left permanently disabled with daily chronic pains. The intrathecal pain pump that was implanted in my abdomen and connects directly to my spine, helps cut the chronic pain but doesn’t eliminate all of the pain. Now to fast forward to 2010: I am still disabled, but wanting something to do, I decided to learn how to become a hobby beekeeper. Well part of my beekeeping process was to join the Mecklenberg County Beekeepers Association as well as the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association, which is where I attended the State meeting on March 5 & 6, 2010. During that weekend state meeting there were several key note speakers but the one who sparked my interest over the others was on the topic of “Apitherapy” by Frederique Keller, L.Ac .Her presentation was amazing and I couldn’t wait to attend her practical workshop because I was riddling in pain since my intrathecal pain pump had stopped working all together a week before and I was waiting for it to be replaced. In the mean time, I was given oral painkillers which barely touched the pains that I was feeling. So after Frederique finished her lecture, I approached her at the stage to ask if it would be possible to receive some Bee Venom Therapy and she said that she would gladly try to help me. As we walked to the classroom where the workshop would be, I had discussed my past medical history with her and she assured me that I would be getting some relief with apitherapy. As the workshop began, Frederique asked me to come to the front of the classroom, which was filled with beekeepers, and asked me to give my medical history to everyone. As I took off my shirt, it was obvious from the scars on my spine and back that I had been through many surgeries. Since I had only been stung once the year before by a honeybee, it was important that I received a test sting to make sure that I wasn’t allergic to it. I passed that test with flying colors. So after 5 minutes, I was asked where I hurt the most. I responded that I am in extreme pain from the small of my back and down both legs. Frederique than stung me on the right side of my spine at the level where I would wear my belt. I felt the pinch and then the burning of the venom. But within 5 minutes, I had no pain in the small of my back or any pains down my legs. I wouldn’t have believed it if I had not experienced it myself. I did get another sting at the top of my buttocks because I still had pains running through my pelvis and again within 5 minutes, those pains were gone. I was advised to get bee venom therapy 2 to 3 times a week as well as mini stings on the multiple scar lines on my back to improve my quality of life. I assured her that it wouldn’t be a problem since my friends and I are beekeepers and are willing to learn more about apitherapy. I have since spoken with Frederique days after the workshop and informed her that I was pain free for 10 to 12 hours. She was surprised that I had gotten relief for such a long time but was glad I did and even offered to treat me whenever I come to visit family on Long Island. – Steven Coradini, North Carolina, sesejjt@yahoo.com March 15, 2010

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Pain, Stress & the Immune System

We heard it over and over again: “You have the best of both worlds.” We lived in Florida in the winter in a beautiful villa surrounded by palm trees, flowering shrubs, and flowers that bloomed all winter. In the summer we enjoyed our cottage on beautiful Lake Michigan. For 13 years we lived a life filled with gardening, swimming, golfing, music, and dancing. In Florida we were part of a church that has over a hundred ministries, so we found plenty of worthwhile things to keep us busy. We were as happy as one can be in an earthly paradise. Our fantasy world fell apart in June 2005 when our second son, Bob, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 55. That same month a nephew died of cancer. We were filled with hope for Bob when we saw his determination to fight this dreaded enemy as he filled his summer with a healthy lifestyle and his beloved activity. But he lost his battle with cancer and died in December 2005. We were numb with grief. Just two months later we traveled to North Carolina to attend the funeral of another nephew. This time it was a case of deep depression and suicide. We did not question the wisdom of going. We knew we had to be there for my sister and her family. I had not really come to grips with my own grief, and the weariness I felt on returning to Florida after the funeral was indescribable. I ignored my physical state and believed that keeping busy with all my activities would help me through my grief. What I was ignoring was the stress-caused fatigue and depression, which led to a complete breakdown of my immune system. I was diagnosed with a virus that caused sores in my mouth, plus pneumonia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I had no appetite and could not chew food, as I was suffering from dry mouth. I lost 13 pounds, which I could ill afford. After being hospitalized twice with vials of antibiotics put into my veins, I returned home with a rash covering my body. After each visit to the doctor with a new prescription, I developed another rash. Added to all this was sciatica pain, which made me miserable. I decided to give up on traditional medicine and turn to alternative medicine-peptides, supplements, chelation (the removal of heavy metals from the body), prolotherapy (a treatment for chronic pain that entails strengthening the ligaments and tendons), and ultraviolet light therapy. You name it, I had it, at the cost of thousands of dollars. Slowly I recovered some energy, but I began to believe I would never fully recover. A year and a half later, in the fall of 2007, when I could no longer deal with the pain from the sciatica, I went to visit my chiropractor. Seeing my suffering, she tried to help me. After the treatment she told me about Kristine Jacobson, who was having success in treating many different illnesses using apitherapy, or bee stings. I laughed loud, it sounded so ridiculous. How could bee stings be of any help for all my problems? But crazy as it sounded, I took Kristine’s card and called her that very night. My first visit to Kristine’s house lasted about two hours while she explained apitherapy in full. Still skeptical-and my husband, John, even more so-I decided to give it a try. I began having bee stings three times a week. It became a regular routine of stings, propolis, bee pollen, and royal jelly. After a few weeks the intense itching from the bee stings subsided. My visits to Kristine’s house became quite social, with all of us “stingees” enjoying our visits and improved health. Cathy, the excellent Bee Club cook, provided goodies that took some of the sting out. Our only fear was the occasional bee flying around, ready to sting us where it was not needed. If it happened to land on Kristine, we all wanted to take the sting for her. After about a month of stings I began to feel my mood change. I was less depressed, as my immune system slowly recovered. I had more energy, and my sciatica disappeared with just a few stings. I no longer suffered from constant headaches, and my concentration improved. I was able to sleep without waking up frequently during the night. A scar from recent surgery diminished, and the itching stopped. The yeast infections that had plagued me for so long disappeared. After three months we began to work on a problem that developed 50 years ago when a virus attacked the nerves in my face. This had caused a loss of feeling in my lips, and the numbness gradually spread to my whole face. Kristine began stinging my head and lips. After the first few stings I began to feel the stings slightly. We discontinued that treatment when I left for Florida in January 2008. We will continue the stings, believing in the miracle of healing and in the likelihood that the feeling in my face will come back after 50 years of numbness. Last Friday was my first visit to Kristine’s Bee Club after returning from Florida. I was happy not only to see everyone but also to hear that I had been missed. Because I had been away so long, Kristine started with a small sting. This was interesting, because I felt that I was coming down with bronchitis, to which I’m susceptible. Over the weekend I followed Kristine’s advice to breathe vinegar fumes and then drink it. I have been able to sleep without coughing. I was really pleased about that because two years ago when I became ill, it all started with a slight tickle in my throat. That doesn’t seem like enough to damage the immune system, but one thing had led to another. If you want to boost your immune system, I would advise you to try apitherapy. In addition, you might
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