Tuesday, February 1, 2011
found here It is estimated that between 5,000 to 10,000 people with MS in the United States use bee sting therapy, so some people must find that it helps them and isn’t unbearable. Read on for more details.
What Is It?
Bee sting therapy is one type of “apitherapy,” a term which refers to the use of bee products to treat medical conditions. Other forms of apitherapy include the use of bee pollen, propolis (a waxy substance produced by bees), raw honey and royal jelly. Bee sting therapy, also referred to as “bee venom therapy,” is pretty much just what it sounds like -- getting stung with bees in a controlled setting.
What Is It For?
It is used by people with many different autoimmune disorders, including MS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and scleroderma. It is also used for a number of other diseases and conditions, including depression, skin conditions, menstrual cramps and varicose veins.
How Is It Supposed to Work?
It is claimed that bee sting therapy works with the patient's own body to reduce inflammation. The theory is that because the stings produce inflammation, the body mounts an anti-inflammatory response. Presumably, this would then work to reduce inflammation where the myelin is being attacked by the immune system in a person with MS.
What Happens During a Treatment?
Bee sting practicioners include nurses, acupuncturists, naturopaths and interested laypersons, including beekeepers. Some patients eventually just order some bees and perform the sessions themselves. Bee sting therapy is also given by physicians, who use venom in an injectible form and inject it under the skin, rather than live bees.
Before the treatment begins, the therapist may inject the patient with a weak form of the venom to test for an allergic reaction. A bee (usually a honeybee) is held with tweezers up to a part of the body. The stingers are left in for up to 15 minutes, then removed with tweezers. Between 20 to 40 stings are done each session, and a patient typically gets three sessions a week.
What Does It Feel Like?