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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Acupuncture and TCM

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Author Topic: Acupuncture and TCM
cb789
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I want to be very careful here as everyone has to make their own medical decisions, especially with treating lyme and coinfections. This is just my opinion based on my personal experience - I have no medical background so take everything with a grain of salt and do what is right for YOU.

I will not go into my entire horror story with lyme as it pretty much mirrors what everyone else is going through.

Years of misdiagnosis, regular docs not helpful, seeing many many specialists, tons and tons of labs and tests like, xrays, mris, cat scans, finally finding a llmd but have no idea how people can pay the cash prices, taking years of many medications...nearly passing away multiple times, etc... but still here and kicking.

Now if I could go back in time I would head straight to yelp and find a reputable acupuncturist that thoroughly knows traditional chinese medicine. This is very important - not just some newbie who just received their acupuncture license - preferably someone who has been trained in china and has been in practice for many years. Of course you have to use your own
judgement here. This doctor must be knowledgeable about traditional chinese medicine (tcm)!!! The acupuncture is just one part but knowing which herbs to use on you is vital.

I understand the problem is when you first believe you have lyme then you go straight to the doctor and get abx.

Then I would go to my TCM doc and provide my symptoms and see what he can do with acupuncture and herbs.

I believe all the years of western medicine has totally jacked up my gut and body. If I could do it all over I'd go with the TCM first and then if that didn't work I'd find a llmd.

Don't get me wrong - when the regular medical community would not help me at all - the llmd was there and helped me so I am thankful for that.

However, with all the first hand knowledge I have now - I'd do it differently and want others to think about it too.

Obviously do what is right for YOU!!!! You are the only one who knows what you are experiencing and what you are willing to risk.

The reason I bring up TCM is because my body is so jacked up now and regular docs and llmd are completely at a loss as to how to help me....so I found a chinese medical doctor and he helped me in one session!!! No lie - I improved drastically in one week. I did not tell him anything about any prior diagnoses. Just told him all my current symptoms and he started from there.

I do not want to be reckless and give false hope but now it's been 3 weeks and acupuncture along with tcm this doctor is knocking out one symptom at a time. It's amazing...a total miracle. I fully am aware that we are all different - every
single case is going to have different factors, different docs, different medicines, different body types, different beliefs, different diseases - I just wish someone had told me to try TCM before I went the expensive llmd route. To me it's much safer and you can always go to a llmd down the line and blast your body with big pharm western medicine.

I do not know anything about this new Zheng protocol - if it works or if it's another expensive treatment. I just went to the
local chinatown and found an acupuncturist knowledgeable about tcm. The cost was crazy cheap. (less than $100)

I still have a long way to go after jacking up my body with western medicine for years but this is the first time I have some hope of recovering and getting to a healthier place.

Best of luck and God bless to all battling lyme, coinfections, or any other undiagnosed disease that the western medical community is totally dismissive to.

--------------------
These are personal opinions only. Do what you think is best for YOUR situation.

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Lymetoo
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That's great! Many people will only do what insurance will pay for .. but that's a whole other ball of wax!

I have a great acupuncturist, but I'm not able to take herbs now.. so I don't even know if he's good at that!

Let's hope and pray that you continue to progress!

--------------------
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Opinions, not medical advice!

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Brussels
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I mean, 100 bucks is almost nothing for what you are getting back right?

Glad it helps. During my whole lyme treatment I used acupressure, and for sure, loads of Chinese herbs - not exactly TCM, but antimicrobial herbs used by TCM.

I'm a super fan of accupressure and I also use essential oils on acu-points for many many decades. It was the only thing that stopped my gastritis - before I knew it was caused by heavy metals.

When I don't feel well: I tap the acu-points, it usually helps either solve the problem or at least, it relaxes my body.

Dr K uses acupressure for ALL his patients, for decades too. He said that - no tapping these acu points = no healing. So cheap: it costs nothing. but because of that, few people believe it works!!

But I guess you got a good TCM trained guy. I hope it will keep you going. Just let us know!!!

Posts: 5998 | From Brussels | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cb789
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I just thought it was very important for people thinking they have lyme to at least consider alternative methods.

I definitely would not want to provide bad information that harms anyone....but when I look back on my years of treatment - if I could go back in time I would not start with blasting my body with all the medicine prescribed.

And I have no insurance so I've been paying out of pocket for the llmd and expensive labs and travel - like most lyme patients I'm nearly broke from paying for the treatment. Now I find this doc in Chinatown that costs less than $100 for a visit.

Yes - I am a new believer in TCM and never ever thought it would help. I was desperate so I tried it and am very fortunate to have found the right tcm doctor. He totally saved my life and that is no exaggeration.

I felt that I owed it to the lyme community to warn of just jumping straight into blasting the body with medicine and at least look into alternative methods.

Of course every case is different and you have to decide for yourself what risks you are willing to take.

--------------------
These are personal opinions only. Do what you think is best for YOUR situation.

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Brussels
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It's nice of you, that you come post about what it's working.

Many people here are using acupuncture for symptom relief.

I do agree that drugs can take you somewhere in acute cases - which are the cases to which drugs were DESIGNED to work.

When it comes to chronic cases, drugs are usually not effective, I think.

You got to keep piling up on drugs, more and more, until you don't know anymore which is causing which symptoms and more disease...

During lyme, I got healed basically by alternative practices. Acupressure never missed. But I didn't find a good TCM doctor, so you are lucky.

Another therapy that looks placebo only, but was the most useful for me, is homeopathy.

The problem with homeopathy is that it is a huge discipline, much larger than medicine or herbal medicine, with many different schools and practices.

You may spend your whole life studying it, and you'll always know just a fraction of it.

The advantage is that homeopathy is not expensive at all, it has little side effects (even though you may herx), and it covers all domains of chronic illnesses and acute illnesses.

You gotta find a good doctor too, and possibly try different schools and products.

I swear by homeopathy, but I know that the US is not very strong on it - it got killed somehow by the AMA / FDA, cut short in history, now it's taking back somehow, but you haven't got a lot of practitioners with years of experience like here, in Europe.

For me, if I have to choose again, I would choose medicines that deal with correcting the FUNCTIONING of the whole body and its systems, like TCM, homeopathy, ayurveda, complete diet /life style change...

And use herbs and other supportive treatments (such as massages, saunas, light therapy etc) for symptom relief. But no drugs for me. They never deal with the real cause of problems, anyway.

I don't believe in drugs, even though I have an insurance (because here, you HAVE to have one).

I think it's about 5 years I don't take any pill anymore. Zero. Not even aspirin. No spray, nothing. The only thing I use, are herbs, homeopathy, tapping acupuncture points, breathing, diet control, supplements (vitamins / minerals from times to times).

Gladly, many are on alternative medicine here too!

Wishing you good luck. Please keep us posted!!

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Keebler
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So glad you found someone who really works for you. Hope it continues to be very good in all ways.

In general, for others as well, just some thoughts: while not everything is lyme, of course, even if a practitioner is not LL, they might offer a great deal of wisdom, relief and healing.

Ideal to find: a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine who is also very much LL - lyme and (other) tick-borne disease literate can be very important.

I've seen some TCM practitioners who were excellent in what they knew / did -- yet they only got me to a certain point because they were not really LL at all and made some bad assumptions.

Indeed, there are various ways to approach the various tick-borne infections. But, first, there must be deep knowledge of the specific microbes and how they work / do their damage.

I was treated by someone who taught TCM, even the ancient Classical style, at a naturopathic college, head of that department even, and who said he knew all about lyme.

I trusted him for 5 full years - and wasted at least 4 of those. Finding out he was not at all lyme-literate left me feeling stupid, sicker and broke. All my money went to treatment with him.

At that time, there were no LL NDs in my state and the MDs had already gotten into their "no lyme here; never" mindset. And the web had not even come around yet, Google not even an option then for research.

Turns out that he then turned on me blaming me for not wanting to take responsibility of decided long ago - even in another lifetime that I wanted to be sick. Yikes. That approach is not unheard of among some practitioners, either, so just be aware.

So,

Just as most doctors are not properly informed about lyme & other tick-borne infections, some NDs or practitioners of TCM are not aware either. It takes someone who has gone above and beyond the basics whether in training or deep experience.

Yet, of course, it just depends upon the patient's specific case and the knowledge, skill and wisdom of the individual TCM doctor or acupuncturist . . . and the point in time.

Some of the deeply rooted TCM pratitioners do have any amazing wealth of knowledge. Just don't assume they have all you will need if at some point progress stalls.

When considering herbal / nutritional / adjunct methods:

if at all possible - because each person & each case is different - it's best to consult with an ILADS-educated LL ND (lyme literate naturopathic doctor) (or similar) who

has completed four years of post-graduate medical education in the field of herbal and nutritional medicine either here in the states or another country -

- and someone who is current with ILADS' scientific research about the nature of the microbes . . . & also attend regular presentations

and has completed the ILADS Physician Training Program (see: www.ilads.org )

Many LL NDs (when needed, when appropriate) incorporate antibiotics (depending upon the licensing laws in their state). Some LLMDs and LL NDs have good working relationships.

When possible, it might also be advantageous to have both a LLMD and LL ND and even better when they have a long-standing professional relationship.
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/2/13964

How to find an ILADS-educated LL:

N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor);

L.Ac. (Acupuncturist);

D.Ay. (Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine);

D.O.M. (Doctor of Oriental Medicine / TCM);

D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy);

D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic);

Integrative / Holistic M.D., etc.

Be aware that integrative doctors can have various levels of formal herbal &/or nutritional education, perhaps training. You want someone with a deep knowledge, not someone who has just taken a few short classes.

Do ask first. Some have learned on their own from experts in the field. There are many ways to acquire knowledge and most are eager to share basic details about their

Some of the specialities above may not actually treat lyme yet, for things such as physical adjustments, it is just good that they are also LL, at least to some degree (to know never to suddenly twist the neck or spine).

Acupuncturists who are not truly LL, can be rough, too, and might be far too aggressive with number of needles or time in whereas most with lyme require a different approach.

Links to many articles and books by holistic-minded LL doctors of various degrees who all have this basic approach in common:

Understanding of the importance of addressing the infection(s) fully head-on with specific measures from all corners of medicine, various approaches;

knowing which supplements have direct impact, which are only support and which are both.

Consulting someone with deep knowledge of nutrition is vital as well. Glucose management, keeping insulin down & nutrient density is so important to healing.

You can compare and contrast many approaches with books, articles, presentation links.
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[ 07-02-2019, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

Posts: 47698 | From Tranquil Tree House in my dreams | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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For reference,

http://tinyurl.com/5drx94 (redirects to Amazon.com)

Book: Lyme Disease and MODERN Chinese Medicine

- by Dr. QingCai Zhang, MD & Yale Zhang

36 reader reviews - 4.3 star average

Other tick-borne infections also detailed. In addition to detailing the logic behind certain herb choices and which form of herbs is best,

P 44-46, Chapter V - specific acupuncture points & meridians that are most helpful for symptoms from lyme, coinfections.

Consult his website for material that may be newer than the book's publication date, though much will still hold true over time.

It might be helpful just to share - not necessarily to insist or direct your current acupuncturist so much as just to share for his thoughts on the book.


http://www.sinomedresearch.org/

Website passwords: clinic; clinic - great detail


http://www.hepapro.com/hepapro_product.htm

Hepapro


http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/125791

Zhang Protocol - discussion thread
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Posts: 47698 | From Tranquil Tree House in my dreams | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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And, while not solely in the area of TCM, Stephen H. Buhner, is very much LL, tick-borne disease literate and a master herbalist, having studied for decades herbs from various continents & herbal cultures.

He has many books and a great website, too.


In the area of herbs from the tropics, the Amazon forest, Dr. Leslie Taylor, ND has done excellent work. She has some research papers on lyme and mycoplasma, too. Her book is amazing with superb 3rd party research links.

RainTree's "Spiro" formula as well as other formulas for other chronic stealth infections such as Mycoplasma (the "Myco" formula) have been of help to many.

Both Buhner & RainTree / Taylor links are in the "How to Find a LL ND" thread.
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Posts: 47698 | From Tranquil Tree House in my dreams | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cb789
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I appreciate your comments and guidance.

It really is a nightmare to get the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. I know there are a lot of great llmds out there really doing their best to help desperate people get better. However, people also have to be aware that the medicine can also take you down a very bad road over the long haul. At some point for my case there was no turning back and it just made things worse and worse.

I agree that there are so many factors involved - just because tcm worked for me - it might be that I just totally lucked out and found the right doc that prescribed the right herbs/teas. There are many acupuncturists in my area and I could have picked a different one that may have not helped me at all - and then I'd still be of the mindset that tcm doesn't work. And sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with the tcm doc.

It's been such a long journey of being chronically sick and getting more and more symptoms and sicker - more tests, labs, specialists, going broke, etc... everything most lyme patients go through.

I am one case that might be getting better and pray that it will provide some hope to others battling these horrible diseases.

--------------------
These are personal opinions only. Do what you think is best for YOUR situation.

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Lymetoo
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If you do a search here, you will see MANY discussions on herbs as treatment.

Thanks for posting!! [Smile]

--------------------
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oops!
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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MichaelTampa
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I will echo your comments. I had such a TCM/acupuncturist during most of my journey. She was very experienced, knowledgeable, about such a wide range of issues, topics, treatments, possibilities, it was wonderful. So many things come up, and the other docs were lacking here and there, she filled in many gaps.

She did eventually retire, luckily, by then, I was in decent shape by then.

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