Beating and Healing from Lyme
Everyone with Lyme disease knows how important things such as taking antibiotics, sticking to herbal antimicrobial protocols and natural therapies, and finding an excellent healthcare practitioner can be. There are, however, many other factors involved in fighting Lyme that also make a huge difference in the healing process. In my struggles with the disease, I can think of 10 things that have helped me a lot in my healing journey, and I’d like to share them with you.
I’ll start with love, as it is often called the great healer.
You might think this is obvious. Having Lyme disease, however, can make it much more difficult to receive and generate love. The Lyme patient needs to recognize this and place a priority on maintaining and deepening important relationships. Many people don’t understand how serious Lyme can be. Lyme sufferers are often sicker than people with cancer, but friends and family sometimes don’t realize this. In most cases, everyone rallies around a cancer patient.
Often, this doesn’t happen with a Lyme patient. In many instances, a person with Lyme must reach out to family and friends to keep relationships in good condition. It isn’t easy to accomplish this when you have little energy. If you can do it, however, it’s worth the effort.
2. Living in a Healthy Place
Most people spend the majority of time at home. This makes it critical that your home is a healthy place to live. Because various Lyme-related issues have forced me to move many times, I’ve learned which type of places are healthiest for me. The places I like allow for lots of light and fresh air. They tend to have hardwood floors, not carpets.
It’s important to keep living spaces clean and uncluttered to limit problems with allergens such as dust and mold. As well, I find relatively small houses and apartments much easier to keep clean and free of allergens. I also place special emphasis on the bedroom when creating a healthy living space, as, like most people, I spend much of my time there.
3. Mold Avoidance
Many top Lyme physicians say mold and mold illness are leading reasons some patients don’t get well despite taking large quantities of antibiotics.Strict avoidance is the best approach to mold. Stay away from places that smell moldy or musty. If your house or apartment is moldy, seek out a mold expert who can determine what measures you should take. If you try to remediate the problem, proceed cautiously, because a poor job of mold removal can release many toxic mold spores and make things worse.
You can learn more about this subject at SurvivingMold. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, a mold treatment pioneer, founded this site.
4. Toxin Avoidance
We live on a toxic planet. There are toxins in the air, in food, in household chemicals, in building supplies, and just about everywhere else. It can seem overwhelming, but it’s important to avoid toxins whenever you can. That means educating yourself. Two helpful resources are Create a Toxin-Free Body & Home Starting Today by Dr. W. Lee Cowden and Connie Strasheim, and the Environmental Working Group.
Your mother was right when she said it’s a good idea to sleep eight hours each night. Nearly every Lyme doctor will tell you that proper sleep is essential to getting well. Research shows that the most beneficial sleep hours are before midnight, so it’s best to retire by 10 p.m. or earlier. Sleep experts recommend turning off the electrical circuits to your bedroom and keeping the room as dark as possible. It’s also best to keep televisions, computers, and other electronic devices out of your bedroom. If that’s not possible, turn them off an hour before bedtime.
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6. Emotional and Spiritual work
Dietrich Klinghardt, MD is one of many holistic Lyme physicians who urge patients to deal with any unhealed emotional and spiritual issues. Traumatic things that happen to a person, often in childhood, can cause emotional blockages that weaken the immune system and allow disease to flourish.
Many healing modalities address these issues. The American Holistic Nurses Association provides a list of emotional healing modalities along with a brief description of each. The modalities include such things as psychotherapy, mindfulness, prayer and Therapeutic Touch.
7. Cold and Flu Avoidance
You can’t get well if you’re always getting sick. This truism resonates with Lyme patients whose taxed immune systems can’t afford to contract a cold or the flu.
While natural and over-the-counter cold and flu remedies can help, hand washing is the key to avoiding these illnesses. Jason Tetro, a microbiologist and author of The Germ Code, states in his book that you should wash your hands when you return home and whenever you touch anyone or anything that you suspect harbors cold or flu germs. He recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
8. Fresh Air and Sunshine
Open windows whenever possible. Tetro says letting fresh air into the house cuts down microbial levels and gives your immune system a break.
Sunshine is a great way of increasing Vitamin D levels. Well-known physician Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, in his writings, recommends getting lots of sunshine while at the same time avoiding sunburn.
It’s not enough to know how to fight Lyme. You need the self-discipline to hold your accountable for what you need to do. Making checklists helps me with this. I have one checklist that details the supplements that I take and another checklist that has items like exercises, stretches, meditation, and deep breathing. Checking items off helps me to make sure I get things done, and each check mark brings with it a small sense of accomplishment.
Of course, Lyme disease is no joke, but Lee Cowden, MD has a different take on Lyme disease treatment. He has developed an herbal supplement program with NutraMedix to fight Lyme, but herbs aren’t the only part of his regimen. He also encourages patients using the program to make several positive lifestyle choices, including looking for ways to laugh every day, to manage Lyme disease symptoms.
Additionally, Don Colbert, MD, the author of many health books, prescribes 10 belly laughs a day for his patients in his book, The Seven Pillars of Health. Along with this, he advocates watching classic situation comedies like The Lucy Show. These physicians believe laughter is among the best medicine available. Fortunately, finding laughs is easy. Just watch comedy shows on television, or search for funny items at YouTube, at iTunes, or other social media.
This article was first published on ProHealth.com on March 28, 2016 and was updated on August 30, 2019.
Jim Davidson is a blogger and Lyme survivor. Prior to becoming ill with Lyme disease, he was a reporter with Canada’s national newspaper, the Toronto Globe and Mail. Now that he’s much better, he has started a blog: lymetips.com, and aims to use his experiences fighting Lyme to help others.