Friday, December 31, 2004

A Holistic Protocol that Works !

What is now working for me is a holistic protocol with a few anti-Lyme treatments and a LOT of emotional and spiritual support, including:

  1. Several critical supplements that detoxify Lyme and boost treatment effectiveness that I rotate through about one week per month including particularly cat’s claw (sawmento), wormwood (artimisinin), chlorella, and garlic, with occasional vitamins, daily minerals, and a few other occasional supplements.
  2. A complete diet overhaul, with a ‘candida’ type diet including organic/natural foods;
    use of fermented foods (home-made sauerkraut and Kiefer) and gluten-free grains (Amaranth, Millet, Quinoah, and some occasional Oats)
  3. Spiritual work (I read uplifting literature, read scripture, study related research, and take note of thoughts that occur to me) ;
  4. Meditations focused on the sermons of the great masters, with intensive focus on implementing better ways of thinking in my own life
  5. Emotional processing (I started about 9 months before Salt/C and was very important, and I believe a prerequisite for healing);
  6. Regular use of FIR sauna ;
  7. Use of heat packs for many days around the clock (including particularly on the thymus and around the neck which is unbelievably relaxing, now I just use them a few hours a day) the heat both relaxes and slows the Lyme activity;
  8. The Salt/Vitamin C protocol;
  9. Reiki/Quantum Touch (I almost always use them in tandem, they accomplish different things, feel different but are powerful together) in a ‘hands-on / hands-off’ type of treatment (I self-treat only if I haven’t treated anyone else that day);
  10. A unique type of meditation and brain balancing program I developed to help solve the ‘ADD’ problems I have had since my teen years (activating dormant areas of the brain, with the theory that the true cause of ADD is ‘love of imbalance’ programmed into the brain leading to inactivation of executive brain regions)
  11. Use of a special anxiety-reduction program with guided imagery (see – this works phenomenally well)
  12. Changes in personal life priorities (new set of goals more consistent with ‘who I am’ and ‘who I want to be’, this was VERY difficult to discover, it was not obvious, I used intentional dreaming and self-discovery meditations, it was an amazing experience and unexpected);
  13. A change in my career direction (to something that creates a natural enthusiasm in me and is more consistent with the new life priorities).
  14. Use of muscle testing to help me make many decisions such as to choose supplements. This works for me, it does not work for everyone. I am scientific about this and I 'calibrate' the muscle testing to see if it is working before using it (ask a test question with a known true response), and it does seem accurate.

Where was I before this protocol? Losing weight, even though I was emaciated. Mostly in bed, most of the day. I could sit at the computer for 2-3 hours spread throughout the day, but often it wore me out tremendously. I could not attend any meetings or be with groups of people.

And where am I now? I am now gaining weight, working 8 hours a day (at home), able to exercise gently, helping around the house, can sit for an hour or two now in meetings or with the family, and have much more energy. I can be with groups of people again. I can walk more than 50 feet now. I can read, think clearly most of the day, drive a car again... and so on.

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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Heat Pack for Tension - Important

I have made an amazingly simple discovery about the use of a heat pack for tension relief. The neck and shoulder area is where we carry most of our tension. This is much worse probably with Lyme disease. I am not the first to notice this, but I am a bit surprised at how important this has become for me. By using the heat pack day and night as I will describe, I have noticed a dramatic drop-off in tension, and an increase in the restorative power of sleeping. This has helped to resolve a chronic sleep problem that has plagued me for 7 years!

First, the heat pack. I use it for the neck and shoulders. I now wear one around my neck for hours at a time. You can make them to your liking (simple sewing) and fill with rice or dried corn (regular yellow, not popcorn). You put it in the microwave for 2 minutes or so to heat it. This has become a regular daily part of my protocol and it is very effective. I gave one to a friend and one to my daughter who also both have Lymes, and both report that it is very helpful.

I have found that much of the tension from Lyme centers in the neck and shoulder area, and relaxing that with the heat pack helps all of the other muscles in the rest of the body to relax. The corn is best if you have it, it seems to hold the heat much longer, with some residual heat still after an hour or more. Rice also works well. I have used the commercial gel-packs but they are inferior, and don’t get the heat to the skin the same. The grain-filled pack shapes perfectly to the neck and shoulder area, lots of contact and lots of heat to the muscles.

I believe that the heat pack has the added benefit of chasing infections or parasites out of the neck region, or maybe even killing them. This is because it seems to do more than just relax muscles, it seems to lower the ‘load’ somehow. However, be careful not to over-heat the pack, or to let it cool a bit to touch before placing it on the neck, otherwise you may get a mild sunburn type of effect on the skin.

The heat pack has a long sleeve for the covering, and an internal pack with sections for the corn/rice. It should be about the length of a short winter neck scarf (2 ½ or 3 ft long), and you can then wear it any way you might wear a scarf. Sometimes at night I wrap it completely around the neck to warm the thyroid, which relaxes the body very quickly. Probably other shapes could be used also to cover other areas that are tense. You can purchase these types of packs on the Internet, but they are cheap to make. A quick and easy heat pack is made from an athletic sock (they are thick and won't leak grain). Just fill the sock about 1/3 full of the grain, then tie a knot in the end, or sew it shut. Then put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. The grain molds nicely to the body, and distributes the heat more evenly than most commercial gel packs.

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My Story - Lyme Disease

I believe I contracted the first infection in the Lyme Disease complex around 16 years ago, but only had a few skin rashes, unusual joint pain and unexplainable anxiety for the first few years. So I didn’t know how bad it was going to get… The bad symptoms showed up 12 years later when my stress load was sky-high. I was very busy in my church, working as a military research scientist and traveling a lot with an active research agenda, writing articles for publication in scientific peer-reviewed journals (stressful to write), presenting at national and international conferences, taught an online graduate course in educational psychology, and added two sons to our family making a family of 8. And I still took my wife out on a date most Friday nights, tried to help around the house, and my diet was OK, but I didn’t have time to exercise. There was not enough ‘balance’ in my life to offset the stress of my active lifestyle and still have energy to battle Lyme. I didn’t really know that I couldn’t do this much, I thought it would all work out because it seemed to be so ‘good.’ I know better now (I REALLY do).

At the point where my symptoms became intolerable (anxiety through the roof, depression for the first time in my life, start of digestive disorders, energy plummeting and adrenal exhaustion, CFIDS, dizziness, intolerance of ordinary viruses, etc.), I reflected a lot and felt that I had an infection, but that it was not well understood. So I worked with an Infectious Disease specialist, and among many other tests had my Western Blot test. I actually did show some antibody response on that test, but it wasn’t adequate for the medical standards at the time to show an active case. I should have explored that further, but maybe it is just as well that I didn’t because I would have been given antibiotics for several years which would have ruined my liver, which was already damaged by this time… Also most doctors did not understand then what is known now about Lyme, and how it ‘hides out’ in tissues chronically, and evades the antibodies so effectively that after a few years the immune system ‘forgets’ it is there. The Infectious Disease doctor could not find an infection, although he noted that my immune system was somewhat activated, so he just told me I was in the early stages of some sort of degenerative chronic condition, and in time I would know what I had. At the time I had no reason to question this diagnosis and dismissed the idea that I might have Lyme.

After that I went through intense misery for a few years, and developed literally every symptom you read about for every modern disease. I’m not making this up. I wondered why I was kept on earth. I felt like I was living in a bad horror movie all the time, in a torture chamber. I had seizures, an overactive but ineffective immune system, opportunistic infections, blood sugar crises, was bed-ridden for weeks at a time after having a cold, did not have enough energy to get out of bed some days, could not drive, could not sleep without sedatives, was unbelievably tired but could not relax and rest, and could not deal with any stress. My ears and eyes became oversensitive and I wore earplugs and sunglasses often. I could not attend church for several years (and still can not often) because I did not have the energy to sit in a chair for more than about 20 minutes, and could not handle the drive, the large crowds and all the noise and smells. I got multiple chemical sensitivity, massive food allergies, candida, got occasional blurry vision, had daily predictable energy swings with horrible late afternoons, had many severe muscle aches and pains (Fibro) and became gluten intolerant (no wheat products). I could not exercise at all, or walk more than about 20 feet without resting. I stopped digesting food properly and had to take hydrochloric acid and enzymes with all food. I lost all the weight I could lose, I became emaciated.

Of course I kept searching , and often lived on faith and hope that I would survive all the torment. I studied all kinds of alternative healing methods and tried many of them. I spent thousands of dollars on supplements but none did more than give a small boost, or they made me worse. I had little social support because I ran a small business and had to be careful to look attentive when around other people so they assumed I really was OK, but I wasn’t. At this time my family also was having difficulties, which compounded everything, my oldest daughter nearly dropped out of college as she started getting chronic fatigue, and had to drop down to one or two courses per semester. There were many other family problems and issues which I won’t elaborate, it wasn’t fun. I learned a new meaning for the words 'patience’ and 'endurance.' I felt like I was in prison, and even envied real prisoners in jails who at least had the energy to exercise in their cells…

Finally, a year ago I was persuaded by my current doctor to try a live blood cell analysis (dark field microscope), and it showed a strange bacteria form in my WHITE blood cells. The white cells are unbelievably toxic, and the doctor (Dr. Bradford, the same MD who invented the microscope!) said there was only one possible explanation, only one type of common bacteria could live like that in the white cell – and that was the spirochete (only Syphilis and Lyme are caused by spirochetes). This meant that I probably had Lyme. But I already had a negative test for Lyme, so I studied the issue and found that the Western Blot test is only effective if run within a few months of infection (I had already been fighting symptoms for 12 years when they ran this test!)… So I had the Bowen test, the new and much more accurate Lyme test, the direct fluorescent test. I showed a positive on that, and on a subsequent vision screening (most people with bad Lyme have some vision disturbances and/or chronic headaches because the neuro-toxins from Lyme are lipid toxins and get in the oils in the eyes and brain).

And the journey from there, the past year, has shown me why there are so many different treatments being used for this same set of symptoms, including energetics. The treatment path is almost as difficult as the diagnosis path. This is because this bug is a real ‘plague’ in the body, and very hard to eradicate. Lyme does not work alone, it appears to be part of a community of parasites, bacteria and viruses that work synergistically to take over the body and convert the ‘victim’ into a perfect host – they have learned to alter neurochemistry to trigger thoughts and behaviors that make your body acidic, cold, and sedentary, just how they like it. BTW, if you are often cold, and you suspect a chronic infection, welcome to Lyme. This is because Lyme is unique in preferring a cold body, almost all bacteria prefer a ‘warm’ body and grow better when warm, but Lyme is compatible with a virus-infected body, and viruses do better with lower temperature (this is why the body has a fever when trying to kill a virus).

Anyway, what eventually has started to work for me was a group of holistic treatments combined with the Salt/C protocol. After nearly 8 years of misery and suffering, I am finally on the road to recovery.

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Friday, December 10, 2004

Adrenal Fatigue and Lyme Disease

Adrenal fatigue is complicated. I have had it very bad, and went through most of the standard emotional or stress reducing treatments, with only marginal improvements. Cortef (cortisol) was great but very bad for the digestive system as it is a steroid. Licorice was critical to my turn-around, but so were personal changes. Later I found out that licorisce (I used DGL) helps regulate salt.

Here is a place that REALLY understands adrenals, but does not know as much about Lyme, this is from Posenecker: - I use their Licorice products. I've added a few other adrenal links on my main blog page.

Here is the scenario I believe is happening with Lyme with adrenal problems, and must be reversed holistically, with salt as part of the treatment:

1. The person starts off as a high stress-level personality or lifestyle. This means you are constantly thinking, achieving, or have high anxiety or stress load. Or you have lots of problems and you are not happy and continually trying to resolve them. Or something in your past is giving you perpetual high stress loads. Perhaps some other health issue may also do this (like having EBV or HHV6, or allergy to amalgams). Or you have untreated ADD, or something like that. You have a high 'total load'. This stress load is handled fairly well before Lyme, but it is a 'precondition'. This is because chronic high stress lowers immune function. I know a lot of people balk and say 'it's not in my head' and I agree. But don't deny the facts, and the lowering of immune function due to stress is a proven fact (studies conducted with Med students proved that their immune system was depressed during exams). So we DO need to work in our mental response to stress, because we need every shred of immune function we can get to beat Lyme.

2. You get Lyme or something like Lyme, perhaps you get it worse or chronically because of lower immune function (which can be partly due to chronic stress!). Once Lyme sets in you get some symptoms like being sluggish or joint pain, and you have to push yourself to keep going. This creates more stress and further lowers the immune function! But this infection doesn't stop, it becomes chronic so you 'adjust' your life and find ways to push harder, or maybe you just get mentally stressed out because you can't push anymore. This situation WEARS OUT the adrenals, this is because your glucose is not working right and you are relying on the adrenals to keep going. But because you are the type of person described in #1 above, you don't want to stop, just keep pushing.

3. Your cortisol level goes up and starts getting 'stuck' - this is a weird response that seems to happen to a lot of us. Probably because of the combination of the signals Lyme is giving your body (an infection to fight), plus your own attempts to keep a high-stress life going. Cortisol is chronically high, programmed that way in the mind-body. Lots of new weird symptoms, you can't relax even though you are intensely fatigued. This is the high Cortisol that won't adjust anymore.

4. The adrenals and/or hypothalamus/pituitary start getting worn down. Your body is using lots of adrenal substances to battle Lyme (and co-infections) as well as maintain your activity level (which may be too high). The adrenals no longer can maintain both a reserve and a high capacity. Normally you have adrenal reserves throughout the body, but now the reserves are gone, and you rely on 'current production' of many hormones, particularly cortisol. This is why if you rest for a few hours you may have a few hours of energy. The body was able to build a tiny reserve, but as soon as you use it, you crash again. To use a common auto metaphor, you are 'running on empty' and adding fuel a gallon at a time...

5. Your cortisol level now goes down, and you don't have enough, and become progressively incapacitated as may key biologic functions require the adrenals (especially the immune system). Healing the damage and fighting Lyme both take a lot of adrenal functions. But if you still are the type of person described in #1, you yourself are continually depleting the very adrenalin your body needs to be healed, because you spend energy as soon as you get it, and don't build a reserve.

This is the essence of Posenecker's argument, but I have added the Lyme perspective...
How to fix this? Here is what is helping me:

1. Change the personality and lifestyle, and possibly the career and interests and become a person who doesn't need so much adrenalin. Sound impossible? IT is FUN - you can find what you love, maybe what you SHOULD have pursued early in life, and find a way to be satisfied by that. I changed career goals, as well as life priorities and my way of thinking. This is complicated but very engaging, it takes a few years to succeed. This may involve managing anxiety, resolving past emotional hurts, changing your beliefs about yourself, etc. You are trying to alter your life to give your adrenals a break. This is essential, in my opinion. If you are 'stuck' then probably this is what is missing. This is because you MUST take adrenal load off to heal adrenals, they also need adrenalin to heal! You must learn a lot about yourself to succeed, getting help is important, because this is an 'individualized' problem and you may not see the issues clearly.

2. Try some long-term adrenal support supplements. I can not take much Vit C, although I tolerate it better if it is time-released, or if it is buffered (Esther-C is the best buffered form I have found). But the best adrenal supp I have found is licorice, but it must be the right form. Baschetti from is the best I have found but even DGL from the store helps. Also 'End Fatigue' tablets - they have adrenal substances. They are as good as Cortef, in my experience, but without steroids. The licorice, BTW acts as a re-uptake inhibiter to adrenalin - it extends the usefulness of the adrenalin you do produce. Take EXTRA adrenal supps when you are sick with a virus (cold or flu). Also, take days off and rest without much adrenal support. That way the adrenals won't get conditioned to the supplements all the time and will 'get the message' that they need to heal.

3. Take the slow route to killing the Lyme. Pulse strategies work well. I rotate several 'proven' anti-Lyme supplements (Cat's Claw, Artimisinin, Salt tablets, Oregano Oil) and take days off. Also, I rotate FIR sauna and am planning to start Rifing soon. I got lots of great ideas from Journigan's book for Lyme treatment that help with the holistic aspects of overcoming this.
BTW, I think Lyme is so hard to kill for some of us precisely because of the low adrenals. The adrenals are needed for detox and immune functions... So maybe this is very important for some of us.

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