Non-traditional Treatment Options for Lyme Disease
In Parts 1 & 2 of this series, I laid the foundation for healthy lifestyle choices and also outlined the 6 elements of antimicrobial therapy in the treatment of Lyme disease. In this article, I am going to go a little farther outside the norm. As a physician with a special interest in alternative therapies and treatments, I have had the opportunity to see some of these non-traditional modalities make significant differences in patients' lives. I will share some of those options with you here.
A SIDE NOTE: When we venture into the world of alternative and complementary medicine sometimes we find ourselves in the Twilight Zone. People often get oddly excited - in a couple of ways.
Some people become overly enthusiastic and eager to do anything and everything as long as it wasn't written on a tradition doctor's prescription pad. They tend to believe that traditional medicine is only run by pharmaceutical crooks and that pill-pushing docs are just working for the ba-jillion dollar medical machine. They'll spend their entire retirement savings on the latest "breakthrough supplement" hyped up in their favorite alternative medicine magazine, but never listen to the advice of an MD.
On the other hand, some people become almost reflexively enraged at even the mention of "alternative and complementary medicine." They tout being staunchly "evidence-based" in their practice, but ironically, are usually unwilling to look at evidence that is contrary to their present paradigm. These are physicians and patients alike who have an unwaivering faith in the traditional medicine. Even if they acknowledge some limitations, they ultimately believe that there is no better beacon of medical hope than Western medicine.
I think both of these extremes are unhealthy. I am a trained medical doctor and believe that my education in traditional medicine is essential and helps me improve people's lives every day. At the same time, I know that the human body is incredible in its complexity and believe that every physician should carry an extreme humility about their personal understanding of its functions and processes. In light of this, I believe that we are blessed to have both traditional and alternative therapies. We must hold to the amazing advances we have made in the past, and also embrace the alternative and complementary industry which often pushes our medical understanding into new discovery and innovation.
As such, I do not shy from presenting alternative options to my patients. Every day I am grateful to have more "tools in my toolbox" than the average physician. Sometimes the medicines work marvelously, and sometimes we fix the problem with a supplement or something else altogether. I am grateful for all options that may potentially help my patients.
Ok, that was a long side note. Let's get back to Lyme.
Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI)
A very fascinating treatment modality that we offer at our clinic is Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI) or photoluminescence. UV light waves can destroy bacteria and other microorganisms. Such lights are used on buffet bars to help protect food from pathogens and also in some heating and cooling systems to help purify the air. Some physicians have taken this a step further and actually use it on the blood. In our office, we will remove a small amount of blood from a patient and shine concentrated UV light onto the blood. This "irradiated" blood will then be returned to the patient. This aids in the destruction of microbes and helps trigger the immune response to deal with the pathogens. I have several patients who keep their Lyme symptoms under control with occasional UV treatments alone - without antibiotic use. I personally believe that it has helped me recover more quickly from colds and upper respiratory infections when I treat them early on.
If this treatment interests you, I encourage you to do some more looking into it. The book that we have referenced in our clinic is entitled Into the Light by William Campbell Douglass, MD.
Ultrasonic and Resonance Frequency Therapy
The world of resonance frequencies, electromagnetic impulses, sound waves, gravitational forces and all-things micro and nano is a wild world with frontiers and implications yet to be discovered. Decades ago the medical application of these concepts started its slow but promising germination. Today there are all sorts of gadgets and gizmos which claim a wide range of medical and health benefits. In our office, we have had surprising success improving the lives of some of our Lyme patients utilizing Zyto scans and PulsedTech therapies. As I am not the one who operates these devices, I often defer technical questions to our technician who specializes in this interesting field.
Essentially, a Zyto scan is like a very sensitive skin impulse detector that can be used to identify and interpret abnormal responses to subtle electrical stimuli. These abnormalities can be referenced against a database which will then tell you what those frequency variations most likely mean. For example, it is interesting how often Lyme frequencies will come up in patients we suspect of having it or who have already had a confirmatory blood test. Furthermore, ultrasonic resonance frequencies such as those emitted by PulsedTech plasma tubes or Rife Machines, very often have a positive impact on Lyme patients. Thus, we use a combination of Zyto scanning and plasma tube ultrasonic resonance therapies for our Lyme patients. Some of our patients have definitely benefited and also appreciate that this is another "non-antibiotic" option.
Perhaps the most studied and scrutinized form of "alternative" medicine is acupuncture. (Although, since it is roughly a 3000 year old form of medicine, you might argue the relatively young model of Western medicine is the "alternative.") We are fortunate in our office of diverse treatments to have an excellent acupuncturist. Again, as this is not my specialty, I can only state that it often works in remarkable ways. In particular, sometimes I have patients who are so run down and tired and are seemingly sensitive to everything except air and water - these are especially the patients whom I encourage to try acupuncture. Our therapist will often isolate congestion in the liver, gallbladder, spleen or kidneys and after a few sessions, patients will feel like they are starting to turn around a little bit. Once we get some momentum from acupuncture, I will begin to address things more aggressively from the nutrition/detox/biochemical perspective. It is remarkable how placing needles in specific body locations can bring about a positive change in someone's health, but again, the body is incomprehensibly complex and interrelated. Influencing and opening up energy meridians or electrical pathways through such ancient techniques should not be disregarded. In fact, if you have Lyme Disease, I would strongly encourage you to find a reputable acupuncturist and schedule a consultation.
Although these are only a few of the many alternative options out there, they are several that I am familiar with and have seen help my Lyme patients. Again, if you or a loved on has a diagnosis of Lyme disease, I would encourage you to explore UBI, resonance frequency or acupuncture. Ultimately, Lyme is not a "one-size-fits-all" sort of condition. So personal experimentation may be the best way for you to find out what works the best for you. It is certainly nice to be able to add some non-pharmacologic options to the mix.