Sep 1, 2009
(Started Mar 01, 2007)
Perceived effectiveness for Lyme Disease:
Advice & Tips:
After years of taking terribly harmful antibiotics, my Chronic Lyme is healing with exercise, diet, meditation, and generally getting control of my life. I used to get mad at my wife–who has the same condition–when she suggested I get more exercise (I felt terrible! How could I exercise!). But doing it has helped me more than the drugs ever did. Lyme Disease is a real and serious condition, and I know the pain and frustration of having doctors condescendingly tell you "it's all in your head". Believe me, I've been there. But after YEARS of different treatment approaches and LOTS of research, I've come to the conclusion (which some empirical evidence suggests) that the "chronic" part of CLD is associated with neurotransmitters like serotonin. This is why antidepressants work (for a while) at reducing the symptoms, and why exercise, which works BETTER than antidepressants, has made me a new person and brought me back from a REALLY bad place Lyminess. This time last year I felt like death, with all the Lyme symptoms flaring. Now I'm at least 90% better, and SLEEPING, due to a 6-week Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course based on the research and practice of Charles Morin (I should mention that the first time I was offered this course a couple of years ago, I actually refused it, saying "my problem's PHYSICAL, not mental!" I'm glad I did eventually take it, after having exhausted all other options, because now I'm sleeping better than I have in ages, maybe ever, no pills or anything!). Also, meditation and general psychological upkeep have helped me begin to deal with some deep-rooted anxieties which were aggravating my condition.
It may not be "all in my head" the way the nay-sayers think it is, but I've come to realize that what I think DOES have a HUGE impact on how I feel (this is shown time and time again in experimental studies...the placebo effect is actually some of the strongest medicine known to man!), and how I treat my body (exercise, nutrition, etc) has a HUGE impact on how I THINK (which is why exercise outperforms medication in treating depression). I'm not a doctor, so this is *not* official medical advice, but to those who are on the Lyme treadmill, bouncing from clueless or hostile doctors to bogus (and often harmful) quack remedies, let me offer a bit of hope. Yes, Chronic Lyme does exist, but my wife and I are having fantastic success kicking by a more integrative approach to mind-body health (without crystals and oils and all that crap, just good clean living, exercise, and mental hygiene, which includes meditation, yoga, and therapy). Don't fall into the trap of trying to zap it with stronger and stronger doses of antibiotics. You're body can heal if you learn how to connect to it, to listen to it. I STRONGLY suggest Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Full Catastrophe Living". This book more than any other saved our lives.
We've been at the edge of the abyss and come out again. There is hope. If you take away anything from this rant, check out Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MSBR, the type of mind-body health championed by doctors like Kabat-Zinn), and get active in any small ways you can: yoga, aquafit, biking, etc. Make your body your friend, tame your mind, and healing will likely ensue.