Lyme disease came about being called Lyme disease because it was first noticed in 1975 in Lyme, Connecticut. It can occur anywhere in the world including China. The disease is transmitted by a tick and can lead to a whole host of symptoms. The most common symptom is a rash and the second most observed symptoms is a flu like like picture with chills, fever and headache. Tiredness and muscle joint pain can come and go and others go onto develop hot swollen painful joints. In some cases there may be also be neurological problems.
How does modern medicine treat Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease has been called the scourge of the mid-Atlantic and there are now 20,000 new cases reported each year. It is known to be a bacterial infection passed on from deer to ticks to humans. Antibiotics are prescribed and if not treated soon enough or if the antibiotics are ineffective, more chronic symptoms can evolve. Aspirin and NSAID’s are prescribed to attempt to give relief to the joint and swelling symptoms that can occur.
How is Lyme disease classified in Traditional Chinese medicine?
Chinese medicine has for centuries used the term “Heat Toxins“, which can enter the body through bad food and poisons as well as via insect and snake bites. Traditional treatments have been developed accordingly to address these symptoms.
Why do some people get more affected by Lyme Disease than others?
From a Chinese medicine perspective, there are a number of reasons for this. Heidi Most, a Licensed acupuncturist from the States says that chronic cases of Lyme disease often fall into a syndrome known as Latent Pathogens in traditional Chinese medicine. If the pathogen or bacteria lays dormant for example in the joints, then reoccurring flare up of symptoms may occur. Scott Pearson of the Newtown Acupuncture Centre says “It is recommended that any people suspecting to have Lyme disease to see a doctor first. If antibiotics have been unable to help, then acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used to improve the health by increasing what can be referred to as the fighting energy (Zheng qi). If people have weak zheng qi, they may be more susceptible to a slow recovery from Lyme disease”.
Are the same Chinese herbs or acupuncture points used in all cases of Lyme Disease?
Every person has different signs and symptoms and the severity of those symptoms vary. For example, some people may have on going fever and chills as the predominant symptom and others many have chronic swollen and painful knees. Hence each person would be diagnosed as according to traditional Chinese medicine and be prescribed an individual treatment regime. Each follow up visit would also require changes in the treatment strategy as the symptoms change.
Lyme Disease is one of the many “Modern” diseases that traditional Chinese medicine can help. There are over 600 members of Acupuncture NZ.