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Qigong and Lyme Disease

If you are like many people and would rather have a root canal than exercise, listen up. In Chinese traditional medicine and complementary medicine, there is a belief that in order for us to stay healthy or to heal from disease, we need to maintain balance. One of the simplest ways to do this is with a bit of daily exercise. Qigong is a simple and easy way to help your body regain and maintain balance. You may know that Qigong is an ancient exercise that hails from China. Qi, or chi, refers to the life-force or energy. Increasing your qi leads to healing, but bear in mind that you must also practice patience with yourself, because healing probably won't happen all in one day. Create a simple, pleasant space where you can practice your daily routine. Express your determination, kindness and compassion for yourself and your unique healing path.

You can practice these gentle exercises by yourself in your living room, or maybe you're the type of person who needs the support and camaraderie of a group. Figure out what feels right to you, then just set your mind to following a routine. Dedicate yourself to healing. Asians have used these exercises for over 5,000 years to maintain health in mind, body and spirit. Qigong is only one form of exercise that you can do to help alleviate stress, increase your blood circulation, and calm your mind. I find that Qigong, like yoga, helps calm my mind. I recognize that I'm dealing with a serious illness that has changed my life, my relationships and my daily routines in every way. Anxiety is a natural result of all these changes. Anxiety arises when I feel my healing going two steps forward, one step back. A daily routine of calm and focused physical exercise helps me release the fears and find balance, literally and metaphorically.

Learn more abour exercise and it's effects on Lyme disease as a member.

Craving Sweets? Sugar and its effects on Lyme

I recently met a very sweet Coloradan named Bea who was diagnosed with Lyme disease about a year and a half ago. Same time as I was. (Coincidentally, also the same time as singer Daryl Hall was, but that's a blog of a different color.) Anyway, Bea told me that after six months of taking antimicrobial herb supplements she's healthy, finally, after a terrible nine year battle. She said she's also changed her diet. I asked her what the main change was. “I used to love Little Debbie's and ice cream,” she said.

Sugar is bad for our health. Pretty much everyone knows that. So why do we continue to eat it? Well, it's in more foods than you may know, including bread, breakfast cereals, peanut butter, mayonnaise and ketchup. Do you eat microwaveable meals? They're full of added, refined sugars. Why? Sugar is addictive. Giant food corporations know that if they can hook someone on the sweet stuff they've got a steady stream of cash flow from the junk food junkies.

One of sugar's major effects on our bodies is to raise the insulin level. As a result, it suppresses the growth hormones and depresses the immune system. Lyme bacteria feasts on sugar and replicates, while the sugar also destroys the body's natural defenses against disease. Sugar is what to eat if you want to stay real sick. Just ask Bea, who is a healthy survivor of Lyme disease. “Now I understand that sugar feeds the Lyme bacteria,” she told me. “So I don't eat that stuff anymore.”

Take An Interest In your Health

Headlines. Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh at them or cry. Yesterday's stuck with me. It was like medical news version of the common one we see in every woman's consumer magazine: Doctors Say Exercise and Eating Less leads to Weight Loss. Yesterday's headline was something like: Study Finds that People Who Take an Interest in their Own Health Likely to Heal Faster. Well, duh!

When I brought this up at the dinner table (yes, we ignore the rules about what can and cannot be talked about at dinner around here, and come to think of it, we don't even eat at a table, but never mind), I was reminded that in fact, many people don't take charge of their own healing. Not only that, but in our culture taking on responsibility for your own healing is a revolutionary act, a heroic act. A lot of people expect the doctor to make them better, presto change-o. Take this magic pill. Don't worry that the doctor doesn't even bother, to tell you what it is or what the generic name of it is, what the adverse side effects might be or even how long to continue taking it.

We live in a culture where we're unaccustomed to taking responsibility for our health. But healing, just as all art and acts of creativity, is way too important to be left solely up to the professionals. I love the advice I got from my Naturopath for healing Lyme disease. He recommended gathering a small group of medical advisors and consulting with them for the maximum of quality information. Imagine your healing journey as a road trip, he told me, and these advisors are in the car with you. Who do you choose to have along for the ride?