For those of us lucky enough to grow up playing in our yards, barefoot, running wild through the weeds, wildflowers and grass, you were most certain to get stung by a honey bee.
Often, I would get stung by a bee, playing in the back yard. I remember running into my grandmothers house, in a great deal of pain and panic. My grandmother would scrap a credit card in the opposite direction of the sting, then apply a thick layer of tobacco, assuring me that it would feel better soon.
I had a healthy fear of honey bees after my first bee sting, but also loved to watch them forage on the clover in our yard. I was fascinated by their curiosity, wanting them to dive deep into every little flower they could find.
Little did I know at that age, these bee stings were helping to build up my immune system for later in life.
After a series of car accidents, no fault of my own other than being unlucky i guess, i started experiencing severe pain in my joints, mainly my neck and back areas. After having an xray and MRI, i learned that i had developed osteoarthritis throughout my body.
Most days the pain was over whelming. I suffered from depression, as the days grew into months and no relief in sight. Pain medications have always upset my stomach and/or left me weak and dizzy. Steroids helped at first, but I soon learned that steroids cause more damage to your immune system and bones later on in life.
I suffered through most of my days, focusing on keeping busy with work and using positive affirmations when I had the motivation to do so.
I was invited to give a talk at a treatment free beekeepers conference in Oracle Arizona. During my off time, I would sit in on the various speakers at this event. One of them changed my life forever.
Don Downs, an apitherapist from Ohio, shared his successes and challenges with healing people in his community with bee sting therapy.
How does the Bee Venom heal?
Bee venom is composed of 30 different components including the anti-inflammatory peptides melittin, and apamin. Melittin stimulates the hypophyseal-adrenal system and produces cortisone. It is 100 times more potent than hydrocortisone, according to the American Apitherapy Society.
The melittin also stabilizes cell membranes to protect against inflammation. The Apamin helps to produce cortisone, an anti-inflammatory.
His passion and compassion touched my heart. I had to learn more about how bee stings heal. He shared with me some secrets regarding using pollen and honey to heal and gifted me a bag of propolis to chew on so I would not catch a cold that was going around at the conference. It worked.
When I got back home, I was determined to find a local apitherapist. In my search, I found a handful of top Apitherapy healers. This is a quick list of the top 5 that I have found online.
Blessed Bee Therapy
Nevada City California
I became interested in Apitherapy in the spring of 2010 when I obtained my first hives and was looking for an affordable alternative treatment to provide me with relief from life long asthma. What I soon discovered was a literal treasure trove of healing from my hives. Within just a couple short weeks I noticed improved moods, increased energy and stamina, deeper sleep, improved vision, pain relief, improved lung function and circulation, and an overall sense of well being. The benefits I received were too great to ignore. I continued to treat myself while learning all I could about Apitherapy and in October of 2012 I completed the Charles Mraz Apitherapy 3 day workshop in Portland Oregon. I was also the highest scoring student on our final exam. Lyme’s disease is by far the most common imbalance I see clients for but I have also helped to educate those with MS, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, tumors, and more. Learn more about bee sting therapy on her apitherapy blog here.
What are the risks?
In a study where 500,000 bee venom therapy sessions where given over a 10 yer period, there were 12 anaphylactic events recorded. This amounts to 1 anaphylactic event for every 42,000 sessions. None of them led to death. If you are concerned you may have a true allergy to bee venom speak with an experienced Apitherapist on how to determine this.
Tamara has been practicing natural medicine for over 20 years. Her clinic is located in Marin County, California. Her practice of osteo-acupuncture includes the utilization of counterstrain, myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy (trigger point release), soft tissue manipulation, visceral manipulation, lymphatic flow support, skeletal manipulation and the incorporation of apitherapy and Bee Venom Therapy (BVT), extensive herbal medicines and nutritional support offers her clients a comprehensive natural medicine foundation for assisting in the healing processes of most conditions.She offers classes in apitherapy and other beneficial healing styles.
From her site, HealthHive.com
Honeybees have played a vital role in traditional medicine. Bee products have been used to enhance human health as far back as the Mesolithic era (circa 10,000-3,000 BC). There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that bee products promote healing by improving circulation, decreasing inflammation and stimulating a healthy immune response. We will look at how traditional medicine has approached these bee products along with modern research to suggest convincing evidence for using them as an integral part of a natural medicine toolbox.
Dr. Andrew Kochan is the current President of the American Apitherapy Society. He has been on the forefront of evidence-based clinical research on bee therapies for nearly 15 years. He became interested in apitherapy when he learned that it helped certain conditions, especially shingles, that did not respond well to conventional medicine. He has seen first-hand the remarkable benefits of apitherapy for health problems which could not be successfully treated with allopathic medicine. Apitherapy, in general, and bee venom therapy, in particular are one of Dr. Kochan’s main areas of clinical interest. Bee products are an integral part of his approach to treating acute and chronic pain.
Alan Lorenzo is a member of the American Apitherapy Society, and from their CMAC Conference, possesses two Certificates of Knowledge on Apitherapy (using bees and products of the hive to treat health conditions).
Alan was initially trained by Dr. Theo Cherbuliez and Dr. Amber Rose to administer his own treatment plan. Over several years, he has applied bee stings to various areas of his body, which gradually eliminated pain. The success Alan achieved in treating his tendinitis, bursitis, herniated discs, and rheumatoid arthritis encouraged him to help others with the affordable healthcare treatment of BVT. Bee Well Therapy, Inc. is located in Stamford, Connecticut.
Please call 203-322-7872 for a FREE phone consultation during normal daytime and early evening hours. I always return all potential client phone calls. If I don’t call back within 24 hours, then I probably didn’t receive your message for whatever reason. Please try calling again, and speak clearly and loud enough for the answering machine to capture your message.
House calls by appointment. I will also travel anywhere in the world to train those with a health ailment how to do BVT for themselves, if all my travel expenses are covered. As an alternative, those with a health condition who can travel, can fly to any New York area airport to be trained in their hotel room. http://www.beewelltherapy.com/index.htm
How does it work?
Giving repeated and controlled injections of bee venom under the skin causes the immune system to get used to bee venom, and helps reduce the severity of an allergy to bee venom.
Want to learn more about Bee Sting Therapy? Sign up for conferences here.
My journey continues with bee sting therapy. I go back and forth whether to continue the therapy with honey bees or move forward with western doctor treatments. After my first bee sting, on the right side of my neck, within 20 minutes, the depression lifted. Within 40 minutes, the pain in my neck was all but gone. I scheduled another session with my apitherapist for the following week.
I continued the sessions, once a week for 3 weeks until I felt certain I could perform the stings on my own. My teacher, Tracey, is so patient and caring. I learned so much from her. I had purchased 10 bees to bring back home for my friend to sting me with.
My passions are to protect pollinators, not harm them in anyway. I thought I had talked myself into doing bee sting therapy. Heck, after my positive experiences with Tracey, I daydreamed about me opening a bee sting clinic and helping everyone that I could. But, this first time on my own was a rough one. My friend had left the venom sack in longer than Tracey would have, and I was in a great deal of pain and tightness around my hip for the rest of the evening. I chickened out after that and stopped the bee sting therapy.
After a month of not using bee venom, I am now back in severe pain and depressed. I am taking pain killers and steroids, knowing very well, that these are doing more harm than good in the long run.
I will start the bee sting therapy again, after I am finished with this round of steroids.
I am making peace with the fact that bees can heal my body, but they could lose their life in the process. My mentor and friend Susan Weed reminded me last night that a honey bees life span is not all that long, and, if I use a bee that is a month old, that the bee would be dying soon anyway…and why not let that little bee return to me some healing and protection in the process.
I would appreciate your comments, likes and shares to help spread the word for these talented healers working to give hope to the hopeless and relief to so many who suffer. I am so very thankful for these men and women who have helped me on my journey. This article was a little way to say thank you.