The list of side effects for methotrexate was daunting so I just tried to ignore it. I noticed that my skin started to become thin, and I could easily see my veins through it which now appeared to be black. Every day in the early evening I would go through a spell where I would be cold, I would shiver despite how many electric blankets I had on me even in the heat of the summer. Getting going in the morning was the most challenging, especially trying to get out of bed and getting dressed. I found that any type of exercise would cause a flair up that had me in bed for days and sometimes weeks.
I decided not to let this disease control my life however and continued working, playing with my grandchildren, and taking walks with my best friend. For many years I believed I was doing pretty well until one day something new happened. Sores began to develop on my head and my hair started to fall out in clumps. This was very upsetting and painful in that I felt as though my head was on fire. I went to my rheumatologist who informed me that I had developed an allergy to the methotrexate and that I had to discontinue taking it. My doctor suggested a new drug that had become available, but I had to wait for insurance approval on it. Additionally I was apprehensive about this new drug which had been rejected in Europe because it had been found to only mask the symptoms of the disease and did not slow down the progression of joint deterioration. It also had worse side effects and I was afraid to try it.read more
For some reason, I was under the illusion that I could stop taking the methotrexate and be just fine, I was wrong. With each day that went by, I began to regress. My joints began to lock up one
by one, and the pain became unbearable. This is when I started to think about bee sting therapy which my daughter had been pushing me to do for years. She had done a lot of research and had found many testimonies of people with R.A. (rheumatoid arthritis) who had experienced great success with the use of bee venom therapy. At this point just the idea of getting stung by bees was preposterous! I hate bugs! I couldnʼt imagine even the idea of a bee crawling on me, let alone allowing it to sting me, it sounded like insanity.
It was not a coincidence that I met a gentleman in Florida with R.A. who had suffered the same prescription drug nightmare that I had. He had been confined to a wheelchair several years earlier when he decided to try bee venom therapy. He was experiencing great results from this therapy and no one would have known that he even suffered from R.A. My husband was very skeptical of the idea and still, I thought I would have to be desperate to try such a thing. Well, that day came. I got to the point where I did not know if I could go on, and frankly, I did not even want to. Thankfully my daughter with her gentle but persistent urging convinced me to make an appointment to just talk to Frederique Keller, L.Ac., that was in May of 2014.
We arrived at my daughterʼs house and I practically fell into her arms the pain was so bad. She, my husband, and I all went to see Frederique to discuss the possibility of my trying bee venom therapy. I was very skeptical and apprehensive and really didnʼt know if this therapy would even be worth a try. Frederique explained the process to me and I was assured through her confidence that she could help me. She did warn me about how hard it would be especially in the beginning as I had been on medication for such a long time. I decided right then to try it and began that day with a regimen of acupuncture and bee stings twice a week. Bee stings hurt!
In the beginning, this therapy was the hardest thing that I have ever done. I had a lot of inflammation and the bee stings were causing me to swell even more. I was terrified that I was doing more damage to my body than good, and the pain was truly unbearable. I donʼt know what I was thinking, I felt like I was torturing myself and the pain was just too much. My daughter and Frederique kept reassuring me that it would get better but they didnʼt have to go through the pain that I was in. I wanted to quit. I remember one night my hand swelled up to three times its size. I called my daughter to tell her that I could not continue with the bee venom therapy. My daughter then reminded me of my alternative, being on medication and eventually wheelchair-bound and in pain for the rest of my life. In an effort to give me courage she told me I was the strongest woman she had ever known. Hearing those words, I could not let her down. Frederique continued to assure me that it would get better if I could just commit and stick with it. She promised that I was going to feel better eventually, I just had to get over this bump. I have to say, I still had my doubts, and treatments were not easy.
Then, one day, after six weeks of treatments, I woke up feeling different. I was not stiff and could easily get out of bed. Remarkably, I felt full of energy and decided to take advantage of this “good” day to get some things done around the house. The next day I woke up feeling the same way so I got some shopping done. The next day, again, was the same and every day from then on became a good day. My pain was gone! I had so much energy! I did not believe that it would last and woke up every day expecting my body to hurt, but it did not! My skin tone began to change back to normal and my hair was growing back. The bee venom was definitely working. It has been a little over a year, and I am still stinging twice a week and living my life virtually pain-free. I now have bees mailed to me and my husband does the stinging (I still canʼt stand looking at them).
I truly believe that meeting Frederique Keller, L.Ac. saved my life and I will never be able to let her know just how grateful I am. As she has become a close friend, I also realize that she actually doesnʼt want thanks, she gets her joy in seeing you healthy.
Thank you, Frederique.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS & APITHERAPY
One year ago, June 2009, I began yet another new treatment for my uncontrollable rheumatoid arthritis disease, my fourth drug change. My doctor put me on a fairly new drug treatment that was supposed to be a strong medicine to use against RA; the medicine was Rituxan. Rituxan is an IV infusion drug that is very expensive, $200,000 a year or $50,000 a treatment, to maintain my arthritis and beat back the pain I was experiencing.read more
I did have some insurance coverage to assist with the expense. When receiving this new medicine, I was required to lay down for 5-6 hours while the poisonous chemicals ran into my body. Within the first half hour, my body’s natural response to this poisonous chemical was allergic in nature, so I had to stop the treatment and take some liquid Benadryl to make my body able to take in these chemicals. Oddly enough after all that work to make my body accept these chemicals, this expensive drug stop working after 6 months. And I was, yet again, waking up in the morning next to my husband crying because of the dread of getting out of bed and having to move my stiff painful body. On a side note, my husband had been trying to talk me into bee venom therapy (BVT) for months and after the “best” medicine around stop being effective I was more than willing to try something new, even if it seemed scary. I remember the first time I went to visit Dr. Cherbuliez, who I refer to as “the man who gave me back my life”. I was sitting next to my husband on the ride down to Freeport, scared and quiet. However, after meeting Dr. Cherbuliez my nervousness subsided and I was now anxious and curious to see what would happen. I knew I could not get any worse. Well, I found out that bee stings do not hurt as much when you know it is going to happen. They actually created a warm feeling throughout the joints that both hurt me and felt really good. Now after 3 months of BVT I am off my anti-depressant (Celexa), all RA medicine, and even stopped taking my Nexium pill (although sometimes the bee venom will make my stomach slightly upset). My husband, who is very supportive, learned how to sting me and I now get stung 17 times a week at home (and I estimate it only costs 15¢ a bee). What a terrific treatment for RA! I guess the best comment I have received was from my co-workers who thought I was crazy when I started this treatment and amazed at the results they saw as I transformed from a miserable sore person to a happy, more energetic person. Thanks Dr. Cherbuliez and to my husband, without both of you I would not be having the great summer and life that I am now.
– Carol Reed, Leeds, Maine
BVT For Arthritis Pain: Stung By The Realization
Ouch! I jumped a bit in pain. I’ve quietly walked into a friend’s garden to his beehive. Holding a clear masonry jar up to a hole in the hive, I knock on the top of the wooden box. Lots of bees are moving into the jar, but one has stung me, and lots of the others are buzzing around me. Oh, no! Another has flown up my coat sleeve, and now another up the other sleeve.
Last June I would have panicked and run from the hive.read more
No…. Last June I would never have walked into anyone’s garden to collect a jar full of bees. I become calm and stay still, hold the jar against the hive and slowly slide it away from the little hole and let all the buzzing ladies fly around me and slowly crawl out of my sleeve, and eventually all return to a cluster around the entry to their home. Sliding the lid back on the jar, I feel pleased with this successful harvesting of my new helpers. My husband, William, and I return home with Calypso, my standard poodle service dog, have dinner, chill the bees slightly in the fridge to slow them down, capture them in tweezers, and sting each other before going to bed.
Few of my friends would consider this a normal Saturday evening—and before last summer, neither would William and I. In April I told my rheumatologist that my arthritis pain was getting much worse and that I would consider taking an arthritis drug. My pulmonologist and GP were concerned about the side effects, so I said, “No, not yet,” and just put up with rheumatoid and degenerative arthritis pain, stenosis, asthma, and type 2 diabetes. It was the time when meds for one would start causing cross-complications with the others. So, just grin and bear it (and take ibuprofen 10-15 times a week).
I couldn’t walk enough to exercise my dog, so arranging doggy play dates was crucial. In August I was throwing a bright orange ball for the dogs to play with, but it rolled down the hill behind the fence. I could see the ball, so I reached around the pickets to get it. One of the dogs romped up to play this new game with me, and reached back around to paw at the ball and try to get it. Suddenly, I had a sharp pain in my left hip. I must have pinched a nerve. Then another sharp pain in my right leg, and another. Oh, no! Yellow jackets! I shouted out to my friend. She said, “Don’t move; be calm and they’ll stop stinging.” I stood still about 20 seconds and then said, “No way! I’m getting out of here.” I ran out of the garden, still being stung. My bright raspberry-colored shirt was covered with yellow jackets. I threw the shirt on the ground, and my friend ran inside for baking soda and an EpiPen. I had at least 25 stings, and they were very painful. As my friend was applying moist soda, I suddenly realized that I had no pain. I had run up the hill (ordinarily, I would limp slowly) within a minute or two of the first stings, and I now was moving around with no hand, neck, hip, or foot pain. “Okay, no more baking soda, and don’t take out the stingers.” I just calmly stood there and felt elated about feeling so good. The dogs had two or three stings each and were fine; their long curly fur had protected them. Some of the yellow jackets were still crawling and buzzing around on my shirt. We sat down to talk about this serendipitous moment. I recalled that years ago my sister-in-law had used bee venom therapy for MS. At the time I had thought it strange. Now I knew that I was going to find out more about it right away. What a great job my service dog had done, leading me into the proverbial “hornet’s nest.”
I walked much more than usual that evening, feeling quite comfortable and not limping. For three days I moved more easily than usual and was energetic and excited about what this might mean. On the third day, some of the pain in my lower back and legs returned.
After contacting the AAS, I found a local apitherapist, Kate McWiggins, who was able to see me right away. Kate did not expect me to have a bad reaction to the honey bees, since I’d had so many yellow jacket stings with no allergic response. Still, she gave only three stings to start. Even so, I got relief from the pain within two minutes of the stings.
Kate showed William how to catch the bees in the tweezers and hold the stinger end to my skin until the girls stung me. For the next few weeks we did stings at home every three days, increasing them by one each time. We returned to Kate for more bees and more supervised stings every week. I continued to feel better after every session.
It got easier for me to walk. The pain in my shoulder significantly decreased. Most of the time my hands and feet are pretty much free of pain. My lower back pain, a problematic disc, and bursitis pain in my left thigh are alleviated for several hours after stings. And my breathing has improved—I’ve used my rescue inhaler for asthma about 30% less than a year ago, and my peak flow measure of lung capacity has increased about 10%.
Without noticing these improvements, I would never want to get bee stings. They hurt at first and are uncomfortable for a day or so. Just as the stings quit itching, it’s time to sting again. It takes almost an hour. When I get stung, I cry out and sometimes kick. It’s not fun. But this is nothing compared with the pain of arthritis.
I had problems with weight gain and increased blood sugar levels. Kate communicated with a doctor in Romania (Dr. Stefan Stangaciu) and California (Dr. Andrew Kochan). After following their advice, I managed to lose the six pounds I had gained, and I got my blood sugar down to normal levels for me. I felt totally cared for and informed by these experts!
I increased the stings to seven and backed up a bit after a weekend of feeling flu-like, feverish, and chilled: a possible Herxheimer reaction. We worked back up to eight, and I have not yet gone above that—I’m concerned about possible anaphylaxis. There is much more arthritis pain to address, so I will soon return to Kate to have her walk me up to more than eight stings at a time. She is a gentle, nurturing, experienced apitherapist. What a hopeful and helpful journey this is!
– Marlene Anderson
In February 2005 I received two bee stings on my right lower back for chronic pain that I have had for years. The stinging was done by AAS board member Jim Higgins during the Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course in Los Angeles. Here it is a year later, and my back continues to feel great! I had previously been treated with acupuncture, physical therapy, and muscle relaxants, with no relief.read more
In early May, I treated a 71-year-old friend who has severe osteoarthritis of the right hip. She had great difficulty walking, and she dragged her right leg as the pain radiated down to her big toe. I administered two bee stings a week apart. With the second sting, she felt almost immediate relief. Since then she has been able to walk normally with no difficulty and no pain. She is even dancing! She is enormously grateful for this treatment and for the wonderful bees.
I have administered BVT to several people in the San Antonio area and a man from the Houston area. All have had excellent results. I encourage everyone to use the products of the hive, in combination with proper nutrition.
– Fidelia Rodriguez, LVN
In 1996 I developed osteoarthritis in both knees. My doctor put me on Celebrex, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which I took for a year and a half. Once I had started the Celebrex, I could hardly tolerate a day without it. However, my condition was gradually worsening. Meanwhile, I had read some negative things about NSAIDs and wanted to stop taking the Celebrex.read more
Against my doctor’s advice (he wanted me to double my dose!) and with the help of Dr. Stangaciu, Dr. Aguirre, Fred Malone, and other members of the Apitherapy-List, I started bee venom therapy. This helped me go off the Celebrex within two days!
Over the next several months, my condition continued to improve. After about a year I stopped noticing any improvement, but I continued the BVT occasionally for another six months or so just to be sure. I still have limitations, but I’m feeling much, much better now than I have since I developed the disease.
– Yvonne Bernal
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.read more
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.
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.read more
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
Bee Therapy for 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. read more
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, my belief in bee therapy has never been stronger. I am able to supply skeptics with a well-founded but basic rationale regarding the healing response of the bee therapy. My passion is education, so I have given many lectures to local groups, professionals, and laypersons. My mission is to promote the hive products and a more natural, gentle way of life. I have a lending library for those interested in researching this fascinating topic, and a few videos that I share gladly. My individualized therapy includes coaching on diet, hive products, and stress reduction. Included are take-home acupressure points to practice and use when needed between bee therapy sessions.
A session consists of a Shiatsu bodywork routine, which releases muscle tensions and works on stiff joints, followed by a gentle bee therapy session. With the bees placed on strategic acupuncture points, tendon bands, and spinal nerve areas, results appear more effective and specific.
I am now practicing as a hospice nurse part time. But two days a week I also spend time with wonderful, grateful people who have found relief, added energy, and increased movement from their bee therapy. Some have fibromyalgia, MS, chronic fatigue. Others have arthritis, carpal tunnel, depression, warts, or scars. Still others have asthma, menstrual problems, lower back pain, sinus problems, or bursitis.
My husband and I participate in a networking system of beekeepers. We help find apitherapists across the country to take care of people we know who are traveling, or relatives and friends of those we now treat who are too far away to come to Pennsylvania . Many beekeepers take off honey and use the pollen for allergies, but have been unaware of the healing properties of the honeybee sting.
After being shown some pertinent sting points for bursitis in his elbow, one such beekeeper was actually able to reverse his disability. He now stings not only himself but also his preacher and the preacher’s wife. He is truly a “Bee-liever.”
And why do I sing the praises of this natural bee therapy so highly? It’s because I bear witness to its healing effects. I now do the bee therapy on myself for carpal tunnel, migraine headaches, and back pain. My husband takes bee therapy for carpal tunnel and an arthritic knee. And Nezzie, our springer spaniel, gets bee therapy every now and then to decrease a non-malignant fatty cyst.
– Connie Frank, R.N.
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.read more
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
While Training for a Marathon
In mid-2004, while training for a marathon, I fell down a flight of stairs and was rushed to a local emergency room. I was X-rayed and diagnosed with osteoarthritis on my right knee. With severe pain, I could barely walk. Heating pads, knee wraps, and massage equipment became a central part of my life.
I visited the local hospital’s orthopedic department head, who immediately scheduled me for surgery in September. Stunned by the sudden diagnosis, I decided to do more research and get a second opinion. As a believer in alternative medicine, I did not want to opt for surgery without considering other possibilities.read more
My herbalist suggested prolotherapy, a treatment for chronic pain, which I’d never heard of. Research on the techniques and doctors associated with it led me to Dr. Andrew Kochan’s website. His reaction to my condition was to look at my X-rays before providing treatment. He recommended first trying apitherapy and then reviewing my injuries as we progressed. After testing to be sure I wasn’t allergic to bee venom, I started a series of bee stings on my knee. I have since completed four marathons and several half-marathons, all pain-free. I exercise and train daily basis. I have lots of energy and lead a healthy life.
In June 2007, while running uphill I landed wrong on my left foot. My Achilles tendon was injured and painful. I went back to Dr. Kochan for more apitherapy. I did well after only a few treatments and began training again with my group for another marathon.
In October 2007 in a car accident, my body was thrown around and dragged like a rag doll. I sustained a severe abrasion to my left foot over the great toe, bruises from my waist down on my body, and second-degree abrasion and burns and a hematoma the size of an orange on my right arm.
I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room, where X-rays determined that nothing was broken. The next day my doctor prescribed silver sulfadiazine ointment and Betadine wash. When I said I would be using honey for my burn, he looked at me as if I were crazy; he had never heard of such a thing. I was told that the wound might need skin grafting in a couple of months.
That was not going to happen. Instead, I went home and called Dr. Kochan’s office. Meanwhile, I took charge of my own healing. I washed the burn wound with saline wash, used clean gauze and applied honey to the wound, and wrapped the wound with non-stick wound gauze. For the bruising and swelling, I started taking Arnica montana (a perennial herb) three times a day for about two weeks, together with Bromelia, a pineapple enzyme. Bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis also became part of my daily routine.
That evening, I received a call from Dr. Kochan’s assistant, Ray, and I recited my homemade treatment. At an appointment the next day, Dr. Kochan checked for infection of the wound and encouraged me to continue the wound dressing of honey on the burns. I did these daily, and Dr. Kochan or Ray examined the healing twice a week. In addition, I received bee stings on my right arm around the hematoma and on my lower back, which had been twisted in the accident and continued to be painful.
All the bruising and swelling subsided in record time: just two weeks. The skin is healed and the color is almost back on my arm. I did not need a skin graft. The abrasion over the ankle took a little more time, but it too healed completely within six weeks—again, no graft needed.
I am enormously grateful to have found apitherapy and honey treatments. I think we should all stock our home cabinets with an extra bottle of honey for emergencies. I keep a supply of honey and any honey products that I can find.
Thank you, Ray and Dr. Kochan!
– Velma Thomas
Knuckles & Wrist
My wife, Joan, age 50, has had epilepsy since she was 18. There is no warning when she is about to have seizure, and she often falls unexpectedly.
In the spring of 1995 Joan fell and dislocated two knuckles on her right hand. After a trip to the emergency room, she was told by the orthopedist that she needed physical therapy to gain control of her hand. read more
She had about 20% range of motion in her fingers. At best she could almost form the number seven with her right hand. Making a fist was impossible. She tried to learn how to write left-handed, as she could not hold a pen. After six weeks of physical therapy, Joan had gained about 10% more range of motion in her hand. Her knuckles were swollen to three times their normal size, and she was in constant pain. Her doctor said that she would have arthritis in her hand and would most likely be in pain for the rest of her life.
I had known Pat and Ray Wagner for over 20 years. Although I was aware that they were stinging people for various problems, mostly MS, I hadn’t thought about having Joan get stung until Pat and I spoke on the phone and she suggested that we come by to have her sting Joan’s hand.
Pat gave Joan two bee stings in her knuckles, and we waited for the bee venom to work into her hand. Pat was understanding about the pain and did everything possible to minimize it, but she continued to have “that smile” she has when stinging someone: she knows that the pain is nothing compared with the benefits we get from the stings.
We chatted for about 30 minutes until Pat removed the stingers. To our amazement, the swelling in Joan’s hand had already subsided by at least 50%. After another half hour, at Pat’s request, Joan made a fist and started to cry. This, Pat said, is why she calls them “God’s Bees”!
Eleven years later, Joan has been stung several more times. In 1999 she fell and shattered her ankle, needing 23 pins to put it back together. After surgery and removal of the final cast, our first treatment was with Pat and Ray. Since then, Joan has had her ankle stung several times, again with amazing results. She recently developed some ankle pain, so it’s time to visit Pat and Ray again.
I too have taken advantage of God’s bees and have had my back stung a few times a year to help with five herniated disks. I also have my knees stung at least twice a year and have had stings in other places that cause me pain. People I know who have seen Pat and Ray for various problems have also had positive results.
And Joan’s hand? She has never had any more swelling, problems with range of motion, or pain since her first stings. God’s Bees are truly amazing.
– John Sherbert
Bee venom therapy isn’t a well-known treatment for ligament or tendon injuries. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed until about a year ago.
I’m 14 years old, and I participate in track and field and cross-country. In March 2004 while running track, I developed an injury in both Achilles tendons. I was unable to participate in track that season and had conventional therapy 2 to 3 times a week for 5 months. My pain was diminished, but it remained constant at a lower level. read more
Fortunately, my doctor was aware of alternative treatments for the injury and referred me to Andrew Kochan. During my consultation Dr. Kochan decided that bee venom therapy would be the best treatment for me. On the first day he injected me with a small amount of venom to see if I was allergic to bee venom. (I wasn’t.) Then he numbed my ankle by icing it, and he stung me with 2 live bees. The stings were in the 2 areas of my ankle where the pain was the most severe. My ankle was sore for the next 2 days, but as the week progressed, I realized that I no longer had any pain. At my next visit, Dr. Kochan numbed my other ankle and stung me with 2 more live bees. Once again, my ankle was sore, but I was pain-free within a week. I started running about a week after the treatment was over, and I resumed training 2 weeks after my treatment was complete.
Bee venom therapy has had a big impact on my life. It allowed me to participate in a sport that I love, and it rid me of constant pain that I had dealt with for 5 months. Thank you so much, Dr. Kochan, for all of your help!
– Joy Samuels
Skier’s Thumb | Ulnar Collateral Ligament
“This is an A+ recovery. We’re not talking B or C here. Considering the extent of the damage, this is an A+ recovery.”
These were the comments from my doctor at my final appointment for the hand injury that occurred in April 2005. I knew I had done something seriously wrong to my hand, but when I turned on the light and looked at my thumb, twisted and sticking up from the back of my hand, I almost passed out. read more
At first I thought I could grab it and twist it back into position, but I couldn’t figure out which way to turn it. I knew I’d have to go to the emergency room. It was 1:00 a.m. I had run to answer the phone, tripped, and flung myself around my home office-not a smart thing to do. I know people will always call back, but with teenage kids and on-call duty for work, I had to answer the phone. I hit my hand so hard against the desk that I dislocated my thumb. The ER doctor shot the hand full of Novocain, twisted the thumb back into place, and wrapped the hand and wrist into a cast. He referred me to a hand specialist, saying that I most likely would require surgery to repair the torn ligaments.
The hand specialist did an initial exam and then scheduled an MRI. The injury was described as a severe skier’s thumb or ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb. During the exam there was no pain when the doctor pulled, twisted, and pushed the thumb around. I took that as a good sign. He said it was a bad sign, because it meant that the ligaments were completely torn and I would need surgery to repair them. If the ligaments are completely torn they will not reattach themselves and heal; they have to be sewn back together. Fortunately, he decided to wait and look at the MRI results and let the hand rest before doing anything so intrusive.
At work I told everyone my story. I’m glad I did, because a colleague, Mark McWiggins, suggested that I try bee sting therapy, and the sooner the better. I was game: the doctors were looking at surgery, and that was the last thing I wanted. Mark introduced me to his wife, Kate. She started out by using arnica ointment to help with the swelling. Then we set up an appointment for the first bee sting. From my childhood experiences with bees, I knew I would not have a serious reaction, so I felt okay about getting stung. I was more worried about my doctor’s reaction to this. I did not want him to notice the bee stings, so I decided to have the stings timed between my appointments with him and my physical therapy sessions, to allow the swelling to go down. In fact, once I had received physical therapy a couple of times and learned the exercises, I canceled many of the sessions. The therapist wanted me to come twice a week, but I only went every two weeks. I did the exercises every day, because I knew this was one way to get full functionality back in my hand.
Kate was wonderful and came to my house to do the bee stings. During the first session, she explained all the risks and warned me about all the discomforts. I thought, “yeah, yeah, let’s just do this.” So she picked a bee and did a test sting on the arm that was not injured. I was surprised-I’d forgotten how painful that stinger is and I was amazed at how much the spot swelled up. So I realized that I should sit up and pay attention to Kate. I’m glad she was being cautious and taking it a bit slow. She then decided to do micro-stings on the injured spot. I’m glad she did that, too. When she stung the injured area, it was like a hot needle going into the joint. She applied liquid propolis (Glenn Perry’s aqueous solution), and that immediately calmed the injured area. An hour later, though, the area was swollen and itching. It was worse than annoying, but I kept reminding myself that this was the healing process and better than surgery. The hand was swollen, hot, and itchy for about two days, and then things settled down.
Kate was willing to come out to my house to do the bee stings once a week, but I felt bad because of the distance and time involved. I got brave and told her that I could do the stings if she would provide some bees. She brought me about 20 bees in a mason jar, plus the equipment. As a result, I was able to pick the bees up, and I did one more round of stinging. I was so happy to have my own bees. I kept them in a nice spot in a kitchen cabinet, and there they stayed for about a week. I thought it would be easy to sting myself, but I kept putting it off, waiting for the right moment. It was a bit harder than I’d thought.
I finally decided to give myself another sting, because after each session there was a noticeable difference in my hand and I wanted to continue that healing. This was about six weeks after the injury. Both my physical therapist and my doctor were impressed with how quickly I was getting motion back in my hand and thumb. By now the idea of surgery had been dropped, and now the therapist and doctor were focused on getting as much range in motion back into my hand as possible, considering the injury and my age (50). The therapist measured my uninjured left hand and set those measurements as the goals for the injured right hand. So it was easy to see progress, and this gave me an incentive.
Back to trying to do a bee sting on myself. It’s not easy. It was easy to take a bee in the tweezers, but to set the bee on my hand and to know that he was going to sting me and that it would hurt was another matter. I knew that I was thinking too much about the process, so I switched gears and started thinking about the benefits and how much better my hand felt after the stings. With that in mind, I was able to set the bee right on the most injured area. It took a lot of concentration to remove the stinger with the second set of tweezers to try to do micro-stings, as Kate had done. It really is painful, and it does not get easier with each time. I wish I had the skill to do the micro-stings.
So I continued with the bee stings and the physical therapy sessions, timing the events so that the therapist would not notice the stings. She was curious about the slight swelling, but she was so impressed with the progress in the range of motion that she concluded that things were fine. She said she did not have an answer for the swelling. I felt bad about not being forthcoming with the information about the bee sting therapy, but I believed that the members of the medical community see things only one way and would not be open to an alternative approach. It was a lack of trust on my part and on theirs.
Many people had told me I would never get the full range of motion back in my hand and that I would always have some pain in my hand after this type of injury. I’m happy to be able to tell them that this is not true! Two months after the injury, the doctor gave me an A+ for recovery, and I’m so glad my right hand is back to normal. Yes, the ER doctor was good when he initially set the thumb. And yes, the hand specialist was good; I’m glad he took a conservative view about surgery. And yes, the physical therapist gave me good exercises to do. And yes, I was determined to get well. But the bees did a tremendous job, too.
– Cheryl Sykes
Bee sting therapy has made a believer out of me! My apitherapist, Reyah Carlson, has produced some amazing healing for calcified tendonitis in my right shoulder. An MRI showed the problem in late 2003, right after I’d strained my shoulder lifting heavy luggage. Despite six weeks of physical therapy, there was still very limited range-of-motion in my shoulder and pain when I tried to raise my arm to do simple things like wash my hair. read more
Having known Reyah for many years, I finally decided that conventional medicine was not working. I’m not afraid of bees, but I was reluctant to try apitherapy. I shouldn’t have been, because Reyah was excellent – she carefully explained the process and how the venom works, and she increased the number of stings over several weeks, so I never had a big reaction or was too afraid to continue. For about four months in early 2004, I had a total of about 200 stings. The painful places where the calcifications had been embedded in the tendons no longer hurt, and I could raise my arm fully. I could also resume my gym workout and move the shoulder during my running without pain.
I now get monthly touch-ups of a few stings just to keep the calcifications from lodging again and creating a problem. I’m very pleased and grateful for what bee sting therapy did for me, and I would not hesitate to use it on another part of my body if I have problems in the future.
– Karen Bates
My path as an aspiring herbalist has brought me to the Honey Gardens family in time to join in the fall harvest. As the bees work to build up a secure winter cache, we work hard beside them, ensuring their winter survival while also gathering honey. When I arrived, I had been diagnosed with Lyme disease, received from a deer tick while in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. With my energy low and joints stiff, on certain days it was quite painful to work. At Honey Gardens, I soon became aware of the treatment called bee venom therapy, where bee stings on varying pressure points and meridians of the body can help to remedy ailments such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Lyme disease. After being stung for several weeks now, I feel a dramatic increase in life energy and a decrease in stiffness in my joints.
Some people believe that bees have a divine way of stinging you where it is needed the most. This has been my experience. On a two-day trip to gather honey, I received a great many stings. One memorable sting was when a bee crawled inside my boot and stung my inner ankle, on an acupuncture point where I have been receiving bee venom therapy, known as spleen six.
I truly have been blessed by working with the bees, not only learning more about them and their sweet gifts, but also receiving the strong healing qualities they share with us.
– Dave Stier
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.read more
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 find some pleasant surprises along the way. My skin, hair, and nails are healthier, and people tell me how well I look. And these benefits do not cost thousands of dollars!
– Hilda DeVries, Grand Rapids, MI
Back Pain & 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. read more
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,
Bee Venom Therapy For Skin Cancer
You know me. I’m the one who, in a conversation about too much sun, says, “I’m not worried. I have dark skin and I tan right away. I never burn.”
A few years ago I noticed a sore on my forehead. I thought I’d burned myself with a curling iron. But months later the sore kept breaking open. When I mentioned it during an annual exam, my doctor had it tested. Then the dreaded phone call: skin cancer, a basal cell carcinoma. Surgery was scheduled: a scraping-or scrapings-layer by layer, followed by a test to determine when all the layers with cancer cells had been removed.read more
Meanwhile, my husband, Jim, had neck and shoulder pain from a car accident. Nothing helped. Then a friend, Kristine Jacobson, persuaded him to try bee therapy. “Nothing else is working,” she grinned. “It can’t hurt!” After a consultation, Jim started on the bee products and bee stings, with immediate results. During one session, he mentioned that I had skin cancer. Two days later Kristine was peppering my sore with bee stings. First one sting, then 2, then 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 stings, in and around the sore.
Surgery day. During the numbing time the doctor noted, “Numb deeply-this has been here too long. We’ll need to do more than one scrape.” After one scrape I joined other patients who had bandages on their nose, eyes, cheeks, ears, and neck and were waiting for further-2nd, 3rd, even 4th-scrapings. Finally I heard my results: they got everything the first time.
While I was being stitched, the doctor asked what I’d been doing. Had I been poking the sore? There were dead cells or scars all around the cancer cells. “Bee stings,” I whispered. Silence. All I heard was a needle stitching my forehead. Finally, he said, under his breath. “Sometimes our bodies do weird things just to protect themselves.” That conversation was over!
Later, when having the stitches removed, I learned that the numbness in my forehead might last two years before the feeling returned, so I’d probably want to have plastic surgery and have the other eyebrow pulled higher to make both of them seem more even. I looked like a monster. My eyebrow was shaped like an upside-down ‘V,’ and the scar was terrible. Fortunately I had long bangs.
I went back to Kristine’s house three times a week. As I was numb anyway, there was no reason not to sting. Again the stings: on top of my head, on my forehead, and on the scar. Within a month the feeling was back and my eyebrow began relaxing. Now I can’t find the scar, and I don’t need plastic surgery. Today Jim and I say, “Thank God for the bees, and thank God for Christine.”
– Ann Ashby, Michigan
BVT For Psoriasis
Before I started apitherapy, my legs were pretty bad. I’ve had psoriasis for about 20 years and had tried doctors’ treatments and every over-the-counter remedy I could find. At best I would have remission, only to suffer a comeback of the condition and new patches. My shins were so awful that I refused to wear shorts. The itching was so strong that I would scratch myself and draw blood. read more
A friend and his wife were using apitherapy for entirely different conditions, so I asked whether it might be able to help me. I was at the “What have I got to lose?” point.
What I did was to gradually increase to 16 to 18 stings down both sides of my spine and stings directly on the patches on my legs. I had to start around the patches, as the skin was too tough for the bee stinger to go through. But after a while the hair grew back and the stinger was able to penetrate.
After just a few months my legs have healed wonderfully. The primary remaining indication is skin discoloration. No more itching(oh, thank you, Lord), scaling, or new patches. Other patches on my buttocks and back have healed or are healing without direct stinging. The “after” photo of May 4, 2006, shows a work in progress. The scaling is gone, and the remaining spots are almost extinguished.
I started with two sessions a week and am continuing the same schedule. Each day I apply a topical bee-products-based cream purchased through the “Bee People” network. I’ve also found creams like this at a honey farm’s commercial outlet.
Incidentally, my minor bouts of arthritis in my shoulders have stopped. That’s the frosting on the cake!
– Irl Henderson
BVT For Skin Rash
I began to develop a rash on my body in February 2002. My dermatologist thought it might have been caused by a blood transfusion I had been given. The rash got progressively worse as the year went on, so much so that by December I was admitted to the hospital and given huge doses of prednisone. This made the rash less aggressive, but it remained with me. I was kept on a regiment of prednisone.read more
I then went to a specialist who thought it was caused by a parasite (dust mite). In addition, he said that my immune system was compromised because of chemotherapy and radiation I had received, following cancer surgery in early 2001.
I met Reyah Carlson in September 2004. She believed that my condition was due to excessive toxicity in my body and suggested bee stings, starting with 3 or 4 and gradually increasing to 22 to 25, twice a week. I wasn’t able to see her twice a week, only occasionally, but I did manage once a week most of the time for about nine months. After Reyah left California, I continued to get stings from Ray Seipel in Dr. Andrew Kochan’s office in Encino, California.
My rash is now completely gone. I continue to get stings one a month to improve my immune system and to keep in check a slight arthritic problem in my fingers.
I can’t emphasize enough how this has changed my life. The itching is gone, and so is the redness of my skin. I am so comfortable now, not having to worry about my appearance and, most of all, that irritable itching.
God bless His bees, and Reyah, for everything.
– Dan Ackel
In 1992, at the end of a season of “camp” nursing, in which I would live communally, I found my feet infested with several plantar warts. I decided to apply a few stings. I placed 6 “bee kisses” around the periphery of the wart. Immediately I noticed that most of the area immediately around the wart remained white, indicating that it was receiving no blood supply, probably because of the wart. Three days later I applied another 6 “bee kisses” around the periphery of the wart. read more
Within less than 6 weeks, the wart turned blackish and fell off, leaving a pink-lined crater that filled in with time. The amount of affected area was astonishing – it was much larger than I would have guessed. This helped me understand how difficult it was to get the “mother” seed with other types of treatments I had tried. Although I only treated 3 of the warts on one foot, all the others on that foot, as well as on my other foot, vanished. And they have never come back.
In 2002 my niece, then a high school junior, asked if I would sting her plantar warts. I treated 2 of hers on one foot in the same manner. These too fell off in about 6 weeks and left a pink-lined crater that has since filled in. Her other warts on both feet vanished as well. Nor have they returned. I have since treated 11 people for plantar warts; all of them experienced the same success.
Yes, it does hurt, and sometimes the pain seems unbearable. However, it only hurts for a short while, and then it lessens. So it is well worth the final result.
Perhaps it affords immunity for life. I certainly hope so! Although it’s too soon to claim this, it has been 13 years that I’ve been free of plantar warts.
– Kate Chatot
Treatment for Animals
Summer Calf – Flies and Maggots
My daughter, a holistic horse veterinarian keeps a herd of grass-fed Scottish Highland cattle. One spring she purchased some cows to increase the herd. Unfortunately one of the cows was due to calve in the middle of summer. Now this is not a good time for Highlands to calve. The weather is entirely too hot and humid in Virginia, even in the mountains.
“Just slather it on,” I said. “The cow will just lick it off,” she said. “No she won’t” “The flies will get all over it.” “No they won’t.” So I simply smeared honey on both sides of the calf. The next morning my daughter was surprised to see that the cow had not cleaned it off and no flies were apparent.
The calf was smeared with honey twice a day. The maggots, of course, were gone. The skin was healing beautifully. Today you cannot see any traces of the “maggot attack.”
– Ann Harman, Flint Hill, VA
Last February my sister in Minneapolis asked me to treat their beloved dog, Snickers, for Cushing’s disease, since the standard veterinary treatment was prohibitively expensive and had unpleasant side affects. Cushing’s disease, which strikes animals as well as people, is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland or the adrenal gland. It stimulates an overproduction of corticosteroids in the body; the first outward symptoms are increased thirst and increased urination. For a dog of working owners cooped up in the house all day, this was a big problem.read more
I obtained aqueous propolis solution from Glenn Perry and followed his protocol. Because Snickers weighed about 70 pounds, she received one teaspoon of propolis three times a day, as close to eight hours apart as possible for three months. Within a week, she was symptom-free. Her energy level improved, and her water consumption and urination returned to normal. A bonus result was that hundreds of what the vet called “doggie warts” literally fell off her body. Because she was an elderly dog and quite sedentary, she developed a mild bladder infection some months later. However, when the vet checked her urine and blood, there was no sign of Cushing’s disease.
As a footnote, Snickers recently died peacefully of old age after enjoying the summer.
– Kate McWiggins
BVT For A Basset Hound
My 12-year-old basset hound, Hunter, had trouble getting around. She was slowing down, and her back was stiff and inflexible. She’d been getting regular acupuncture treatments, but one day, she couldn’t get up at all. I carried her everywhere she needed to go for a week. I helped her stand when she went outside and wondered how to help my old friend. read more
I was considering the conventional prednisone treatment when I suddenly had a hunch and phoned apitherapist Kate McWiggins. I had heard that bee venom therapy worked for people, and I asked if it might work for dogs. “I don’t think she’d like getting stung,” I said, “but do you have it in a form she can eat?” Kate said she had bee venom pellets, so I ordered some immediately.
Within one day of taking the pellets, Hunter got up and walked on her own. It was a shaky start, but by the end of the week she was able to walk up and down the ramp outside on her own. Each day she continues to improve. I am amazed at how well she stands and walks now. I just ordered more pellets, since I now consider them to be an essential part of her health routine.
My old dog also eats about 1/4 teaspoon of pollen a day, which has made a world of difference in how clear her eyes look, especially in the spring. She takes propolis to help boost her immune system, and now and then she sneaks a lick of apitherapy honey.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that this therapy has worked for her. I wish I’d known of it with my last basset hound, who died last year. I hope that more holistic veterinarians will become aware of this as an option for our four-legged friends.
– Debra Daniels-Zeller
In 1988 my wife had had a bone spur in her wrist for almost three years. Three doctors in Grenada and Barbados had been unable to provide relief.
So we decided to try BVT. Her treatment consisted of an application of three to six stings over and around the spur every other night for four months. Before each session, some crushed ice wrapped in a piece of cloth helped reduce the affected area’s sensitivity to the pain of the stings. The first week was frustrating, as the stings seemed to actually increase her discomfort. But we kept at it, and at the end of the second week she noticed a big reduction in the pain, as well as the absence of a feeling of “tension” (her word) around the area.
At the start of the second month the size of the concretion started to diminish, and by the end of the fourth month it had disappeared. Sixteen years later, she has had no recurrence at the site or elsewhere.
– Jorge Murillo-Yepes