Thankfully, acupuncture has been getting a lot of attention recently as a substitute for opiods in treating pain. However, the benefits of acupuncture are not limited to that.
One of major reasons our new patients cite as a reason for coming to us over a private practice is that we have experience with such a diverse array of problems.
A great example of this is Lyme disease. Most people don't even know that acupuncture can be used to treat Lyme, but City Acupuncture clinics have seen thousands of cases over the years. Here is a brief introduction to how acupuncture can help!
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by tick bites.
One of the classic symptoms is a rash known as erythema migrans. This is a circular rash which forms around the bite and spreads outwards. It usually appears around 14 days after being bitten, but can appear earlier or later. The skin will be red and slightly raised but not hot or itchy.
However, this rash does not occur in all people who have been infected with Lyme disease and if you have been bitten by a tick, or spent time in an area where ticks may be present, it is important to look out for other symptoms.
Apart from the erythema migrans rash, Lyme disease can cause flu-like symptoms including:
- Muscular aches, pains and weakness
- Joint pain
Treatment for Lyme Disease
A diagnosis of Lyme disease can be confirmed by a blood test. Following that, the infection is normally treated by taking antibiotics for several weeks. It is very important to get treatment as early as possible, take your antibiotics exactly as directed and complete the course, even if you feel better.
If treatment is left too late, the original infection can develop into what is known as post-Lyme disease syndrome, or chronic Lyme disease.
Chronic Lyme Disease
If the initial infection is not fully cleared, it can lie dormant in your system and flare up months or even years later. Chronic Lyme disease can cause problems with many of the body's systems including
- The brain and nervous system
- The muscles and joints
- The heart and circulatory system
- The digestive system
- The reproductive system
- The skin
Although chronic Lyme disease is not usually fatal, pain, fatigue and other symptoms can seriously affect the sufferers quality of life and may lead to anxiety and depression.
Lyme Disease Prevention
They say prevention is better than cure, and this is certainly true for Lyme disease. Taking these simple precautions should reduce your risk of contracting the disease and developing serious problems later on.
Prevent tick bites by using bug spray and wearing long pants and sleeves whenever you go into areas with long grass or woodland.
Check your skin for ticks after visiting these areas and learn how to remove them properly should you find any.
Strengthen your immune system by eating a diet rich in antioxidants. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially leafy greens, citrus fruit and berries. Vitamin C and zinc are both thought to improve your immune function and you could consider taking a daily probiotic to give your immunity an extra boost.
Reduce stress as this is a major factor in reduced immune function. Make sure that you are getting enough time for rest and relaxation and try to get a good night's sleep.
Exercise regularly to keep fit, reduce your stress levels and give your immune system a kick start.
Acupuncture for Lyme Disease
Acupuncture is another way to strengthen your immune system to help prevent infections such as Lyme disease. By stimulating specific points on the body with fine needles, acupuncture activates cells and pathways involved in the immune response. This helps your body to fight against bacteria and viruses more effectively.
If you have already developed Lyme disease, acupuncture can help with the symptoms too. It reduces inflammation and relieves pain, benefits digestion and improves circulation. It is also an extremely relaxing treatment which can help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your sleep.
Acupuncture is completely natural and safe for people of all ages. It is holistic, meaning that it looks for the root cause of a disease and treats at a deeper level than most medications. Because it uses different diagnostic methods from western medicine, it is especially suitable for treating complex issues with multiple symptoms such as Lyme disease.