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Originally posted on May 28, 2010.
Inventions and advances in medicine are happening all the time. Although sometimes one and the same thing, new inventions in medicine don't always equate to advances in medicine. New supplements, drugs, energy medicine devices, treatment discoveries and other strategies designed to combat Lyme disease are constantly being invented, revamped or just repackaged!
Thank goodness for advances! Treatment for Lyme disease has improved over time, due to these new discoveries. New medicines and herbs have become available, and doctors are taking a more comprehensive approach to treatment, utilizing modalities found in Eastern, as well as Western medicine, as they address the whole body, not just the bugs.
Yet much remains to be discovered, because the runway to health is long and convoluted, and not everyone gets to its end, even with the best of the best medical treatments. Because of this, it's easy for Lyme disease sufferers who have been treating for a long time to get sucked into a vortex of desperation, whereby every new supplement or medical device that comes out seems to carry the invisible promise of a cure.
Even those who aren't desperate may be easily fooled into thinking that just because a supplement is new and aggressively marketed to the practitioners that use it, this means that it must be better than what they tried last year for their particular problem. Especially if that product boasts of being pharmaceutical grade quality.
Don't get me wrong. It's good to hope and try new things, but not every hot-off-the-shelf remedy is "the" thing; it may not even be an improvement over last year's toxin binder, sleep remedy or bug-killing herbal combination. Just because a therapy or drug is new, and has shown preliminary results that seem promising, doesn't mean that it will work well for a majority.
Often, I have seen enthusiastic Lyme disease sufferers promote a new therapy or product because it seemed to help them, and in their excitement, they have urged everyone they know to try it. This can be a good thing, if the product ends up being useful for at least a few others. But sometimes, what worked for one or two won't work for one or two thousand.
When deciding upon whether to try the latest (and apparently greatest!) therapy, it's good to get a few opinions. Make sure that your doctors' or friends' suggestions to try a new remedy are based on the fact that it has worked for others. Be wary of treatments that aren't tested and tried. Sure, somebody's got to be the guinea pig, but do you want it to be you? Some of you might enjoy the idea of being the pioneer pig of a new treatment, but it would be most beneficial to ensure that the "new" treatment has some solid studies, clinical evidence or other reasons to back its potential effectiveness.
After researching medicine for many years, I have learned that there are trends and fads in treatment, some of which are backed by only rudimentary science. And not even physicians are exempt from the influence of these fads. One marketer with a very loud and convincing voice can end up moving the minds of thousands, and not necessarily because the product that they are selling is the proverbial "bomb." Careful.
Myself, I like trying new therapies, but I'm not into diving blindfolded off cliffs. That is, if the treatment has a spotty track record based on only one or two testimonials; if risking the unknown will cost me a year of my life and ten thousand dollars, then I will tend to stay away from it.
For instance, energetic devices that are used to diagnose disease can be a big question mark for me. As amazing as their potential to diagnose disease is becoming, their development and use haven't been perfected by their makers and users. Two years ago, a practitioner diagnosed a problem in my knee with an Asyra device and then charged me $200 for the diagnosis. Well, the problem was actually in my back as an MRI later discerned.
Lest I sounded jaded, I just want to sound a warning to those beginning on the path of treatment. Some therapies, supplements and such seem promising…and they may be the next great solution to some ailment caused by Lyme disease. But not always.
That there is no "one-size-fits-all" treatment for Lyme disease makes discerning appropriate treatments difficult, but it is true that some work for a good percentage of people. These are strategies that, while far from perfected, have been around in the Lyme disease community for at least half a decade, and have a track record of effectiveness.
We need better solutions for Lyme disease, but hopefully these solutions will be things that have been developed off the backs of substances, strategies and medicines that have already been proven to work. Random treatments that are based on a handful of anecdotal reports are statistically riskier choices for treatment.
Finally, beware of chasing after the "latest and greatest" supplement or device. Newer isn't always better!
Connie Strasheim is the author or co-author of 11 wellness books, including the recently released New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment: 10 Top Doctors Real Healing Strategies that Work. (October, 2016) and Beyond a Glass of Milk and a Hot Bath: Advanced Sleep Solutions for People with Chronic Insomnia. (March, 2017). She is also a medical copywriter and an editor at ProHealth.com, as well as Editor of the Alternative Cancer Research Institute (ACRI). Her passion is to help people with complex chronic illnesses find freedom from disease and soul-spirit sickness using whole body medicine, and she collaborates with some of the world's best integrative doctors to do this. In addition to Lyme disease and insomnia, Connie’s books focus on cancer, nutrition, detoxification and spiritual healing. To learn more about her work, see: www.ConnieStrasheim.org.