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Acupuncture for healing Lyme

I've written about acupressure for pain relief, now let's talk about acupuncture. Yep, the kind with the needles.

Recently, I got the chance to talk with an acupuncture doctor in San Francisco Bay area, Palo Alto to be exact. This region is home to IGeneX Inc. and Google, and it is also where to find Jenny Qui, currently a doctoral student in Chinese Traditional Medicine. Jenny is focused on using acupuncture to help alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain, and Lyme disease in particular.

Jenny Qiu is having great success treating Lyme symptoms. The alternative medicines, to some people, are actually more traditional than what we call “traditional” or conventional medicine. That is because Western medicine, including antibiotics, only came about at about the turn of the 20th century, a hundred years ago. And acupuncture, acupressure, herbal tinctures, homeopathy, and bodywork (among others) are treatments that have been around for centuries.

Jenny explains that acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine treatment, is used alongside Chinese herbal medicine to treat any infectious disease. But she wanted to find out if it can help minimize symptoms, such as joint pain and chronic fatigue, caused by Lyme disease.

Her research has convinced her that Lyme patients can get relief using acupuncture. She is currently writing her dissertation on her work.

“Since 2008,” says Jenny, “I have been treating a Lyme patient at my clinic. He comes in biweekly for acupuncture treatment.”

The patient, who is also a patient of San Francisco Lyme disease expert Dr. Raphael Stricker, was diagnosed with Lyme in 1989. Jenny says that according to him, “acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has been, by far, the most helpful and effective treatment for his major complaints of joint pain and chronic fatigue.

“The patient has minimized his use of Western medication during his years of alternative treatments,” she adds.

The Western cure for Lyme, antibiotics, can cause problems that have far-reaching effects on the immune system. The seat of the immune system lies in the intestines. As antibiotics destroy the pathogens in the guts, and they also decimate the friendly flora necessary for a healthy balance.

With acupuncture and herbal medicine, Jenny is aiming to minimize the damaging side effects of antibiotics. She wants to show how traditional Chinese treatments can work together with Western medicine to make healing from Lyme disease more bearable.

Taking proactive steps, such as seeing an acupuncturist, helps you move forward in your healing. What alternative or complementary medicines are you using, if any?

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